President Kagame pays tribute to US civil rights icon John Lewis

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 20 July 2020 at 01:25

President Paul Kagame paid tribute to John Lewis, a civil rights icon and Congressman of the United States of America who passed away on Friday in the United States.

At the age of 80, Lewis died of pancreatic cancer that had lasted for a few months. Lewis was one of the leaders in the fight against injustice and discrimination against blacks in the United States in the 1960s.

Together with Martin Luther King Jr organized the protest against the injustices that the blacks faced until some of the laws that governed the country changed and blacks were given the same rights as whites.

President Kagame is one of the bows to Lewis, emphasizing that his legacy will help the present and future to stand firm and fight injustice from the bottom up.

President Kagame said on Twitter: “John Lewis’s actions inspired many, in the US & around the world, who have had to stand up to situations of injustices of different kinds. May his legacy continue to inspire generations to have the courage to face injustice with #goodtrouble. My condolences to his family&loved ones.”

Lewis is known for his long-running black rights movement in the United States. When he was in his 20s, Lewis was one of the leaders of the anti-apartheid black human rights groups.

In 1963, he collaborated with Martin Luther King in organizing the protest in Washington, which uttered powerful words, the rally at which Dr. King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream”.

He was one of the few black rights activists still involved in the 1963 protests.

CNN reports that Lewis was abused when he was in the black rights movement but never discouraged. In 1965 Lewis was beaten by police in Selma, Alabama, but never give up.

He has been imprisoned more than 40 times regularly for peaceful protests against injustice but continues to march.

Lewis once said that he reflects and wondered why they were not discouraged, and found that it was God who helped them.

“Sometimes I look back and wonder how we were doing; otherwise how did we do it? How did we do that? We didn’t have an internet site; we didn’t have a phone. Only when we were sitting on those wooden chairs or in demonstrations, there was the power behind us. Almighty God was with us.”

Lewis was considered an experienced member of the U.S. Congress where he had been a Member of Parliament for more than 30 years.

He died while Americans protested against the injustice of blacks, as a result of the brutal death of George Floyd, who was brutally killed by police, after being stabbed to death by a police officer with knees.

John Lewis passed away on Friday in the United States of America