Rep. John Lewis Remarks on Ferguson

repjohnlewisfergusonMARTIN:  I just talked to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. on the show, and we were talking economic development, and we were also speaking about what’s happening in Ferguson.  Do you believe that  what’s happening in Ferguson, John, what’s happening in Beaverton, Ohio, what’s happening  with Eric Garner in New York ……Do you believe that these stories represent the modern day Selma that could literally…that for this generation these police killings and the social justice issue represents the modern day Selma?
 
LEWISWell, I think what is happening is moving to that point where there will be the same feeling and climate and environment that we had with Selma.  Selma was the turning point.  And I think what happens in Ferguson will be the turning point.  I think people are waiting, they’re watching, and we’re  going to see, I think, within the next few days what happens, and there could be massive, non-violent protests all over America.  When we were beaten on that bridge in Selma, the people couldn’t take it. When they saw it, when they heard about it, when they read about it there was a sense of righteous indignation. And if we see a miscarriage of justice in Ferguson, we can have the same reaction that people had toward Selma.
 
MARTINI’ve gotta ask you this though, as someone who was involved it, and I’ve spent the last ten years really studying the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and how they went about it.  What advice do you give to the young people out there who are protesting?  It’s now 102 consecutive days in Ferguson.  We saw the Ohio students association mobilized in the John Crawford case in Beaver Creek, Ohio.  What advice do you give them because y’all were in it for the long haul and it wasn’t a short term situation.
 
LEWISMy simple advice to all the young people and those of us not so young is to pace ourselves for the long haul.  Be like a pilot light and not like a firecracker. You know a firecracker just pops off and its gone.  A pilot light  will continue to burn.  There will be some setbacks.  There will be some disappointments.  There will be some interruptions, but you must never, ever give up, and hold on to the philosophy and to the discipline of non-violence  and try to protest in a peaceful, orderly fashion and appeal to the better angels in all of us.
 
MARTINAlright.  Cong John Lewis.  We certainly appreciate it sir………

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