Rep. John Lewis made this statement on the floor today in response to the tragic shooting of Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and four other people at a Virginia baseball park while they were practicing for the annual congressional baseball game:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today with the heaviest of hearts.
Mr. Speaker, I want to be crystal clear -- there is not any room in our society for hate. There is not room for violence.
Whatever we do and wherever we may stand, we must act in a peaceful, orderly, nonviolent fashion.
We must understand that we are one people -- the American people. We are one family -- the American family. We live in the same house – the American house.
Mr. Speaker, we must teach all of our people to respect the dignity and the worth of every human being. We must be headlights and not taillights in loving and cherishing our brothers and sisters. We are brothers and sisters.
We must understand that our foremothers and our forefathers came to this great nation in different ships, but we are all in the same boat now. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said – “we must all learn to live together as brothers and sisters; if not we will perish as fools.”
Yesterday, was a difficult and dark day. There was so much pain, so much suffering for so many people, for our fellow Members, our families, and our staff. It shook the Congress and our nation to its core.
I too was in shock. My heart and my soul ached for those who were attacked and for those who witnessed the violence.
Again, Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my love, my feelings for all of our colleagues, our friends, our staff, to the officers, and their families. And each and every moment, my thoughts and prayers have been with all of the victims and their families as they begin the long road to healing and recovery.
They must understand that we are with them. We are with you. You are not alone. We love you and we are praying for your safety and recovery.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.