Civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in a fiery rebuke of President Donald Trump's attacks on four minority congresswomen, declared, "I know racism when I see it."
The denunciation came Tuesday ahead of a vote to condemn Trump's tweets as racist.
"I rise with a sense of righteous indignation to support this resolution," Lewis began. "I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it. And at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism.
Video of the speech was posted by Fox News.
"It sows the seeds of violence and destroys the hopes and dreams of people," he said. "The world is watching. They are shocked and dismayed because it seems we have lost our way. As a nation, as a proud and great people. We are one Congress. And we are here to serve one house, the American House, the American people."
Lewis related that he and others had been "victims of the stain, the pain and the hurt of racism" and, during the civil rights movement, he had been told by segregationists to "go back."
"As a nation and as a people, we need to go forward and not backward," Lewis said. "With this vote, we stand with our sisters – three were born in America and one came here looking for a better life. With this vote, we meet our moral obligation to condition hate, racism, and bigotry in every form."
He added, "Do what is right, what is fair, and what is just."
The House approved the resolution condemning Trump's tweets that targeted the four progressive congresswomen: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
Lewis, who has served in Congress for more than three decades, has a decorated history of civil rights activism.
During the 1965 Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 to advocate for expanded voting rights for African-Americans, Lewis suffered a fractured skull after Alabama state troopers confronted activists in what is now known as "Bloody Sunday."
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