Rep. John Lewis Gives Impassioned Speech On MLK Assassination Anniversary: ‘You Cannot Be Quiet!’


In an Indianapolis park, April 4, 1968, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) received word from Robert Kennedy that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated in Memphis, TN. Fifty years later, the Georgia congressman returned to that park for the first time to commemorate Dr. King’s life and death.

“This is hard. This is tough for me to come back here,” Lewis admitted to the crowd. “[When I heard that] Dr. King had been assassinated, I cried. I lost a friend. I lost a big brother.”

“I don’t know what would have happened to many of us that had been left out and left behind,” Lewis continued. “I thank God that he lived.”

“He taught us if you get arrested, if you go to jail, go with dignity,” the congressman added. “I got arrested 40 times during the 60s. Since I’ve been in Congress, another five times. And I’m probably going to get arrested again for something.”

“It is very simple when you see something that is not right, something that is not fair, something that is not just, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something. You cannot be quiet!” He roared to the cheering crowd.

He cited the deportation of Dreamers as one of those “something”s and said that “history will not be kind” to those who support those measures.

Watch more, via NBC News.

[image via screengrab]

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