Civil rights legend John Lewis shamed Trump for mistreating children and families at the border, and called on voters to oust Republicans who have enabled Trump.
Civil rights icon and Democratic congressman John Lewis issued a clarion call to stand up to Trump's policy of ripping families apart, and encouraged voters to oust the Republicans who have enabled him.
Lewis' comments were part of the nationwide Families Belong Together protests, which rose up quickly to combat Trump's assault on children and families.
Standing on the steps of Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building, Lewis said, "We are sick and tired of seeing little children, seeing little babies, taken from their mothers. That's not right. It's not fair. And history will not be kind to us. As a nation and as a people, we can do better. Much better."
Trump changed American policy toward people crossing the border. He ordered Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prosecute everyone, leading to forced family separation. The effect of the policy was to pull children away from their parents, including infants and toddlers, and house them in caged detention centers.
Lewis also discussed how leaked audio of children being held in detention "made me cry." Republicans recently fought to stop Rep. Ted Lieu from playing that audio on the floor of the House.
Lewis famously put his life on the line as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, riding in the segregated South as a Freedom Rider and organizing and speaking at the 1963 March on Washington.
He compared the rallies for immigrant families to his earlier work, noting that passage of the Civil Rights Act seemed unlikely, but through perseverance it happened. "Don't give up. Don't give in. Keep marching. It will change things."
Speaking about Trump's Republican enablers, Lewis called on Americans to vote, noting, "When election day comes around, we've got to come out and vote like we never voted before."
Lewis and the thousands of Americans who came out to make their voices be heard directly rebuked Trump for what he has done to families.
Through his personal experiences, Lewis was able to clearly crystallize the moral righteousness of helping the vulnerable population under assault from Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.