WTVM Editorial 1/20/17: Rep. John Lewis to deliver MLK address in LaGrange

(WTVM) - In a few days, Georgia Congressman John Lewis will deliver the annual Martin Luther King Address in LaGrange.

All of us should listen to what Congressman Lewis will say - and interest is especially high since Lewis boycotted the Trump inauguration.

He has been criticized for using his non-attendance at President Trump's swearing in ceremony to express his belief that Trump's election was illegitimate.

Some felt Lewis could have chosen instead to attend the inaugural and start a dialog with the new president to bring the country together.

Lewis is one of the most revered civil rights leaders of the last 50 years. The congressman was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom for his extensive involvement in the fight for civil rights.

This is a man who organized lunch counter sit-ins, spoke at the landmark March on Washington in 1963 and helped lead the historic march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma.

No other living person, except maybe Jesse Jackson, has had closer ties to Martin Luther King, Jr. or more of a hands-on impact on the difficult push for racial equality.

So Lewis' remarks in LaGrange will be important. Not just because of his history but also because of the need to heal current racial divides that threaten our overall unity as a country.

It may not be the biggest stage for the famous Congressman, but in remembering Dr. King in LaGrange, Lewis has a chance to talk about what we can and should do together, what he expects from the new president and how he will use his extraordinary experience in the civil rights movement to help make America work for all Americans.


General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

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