RICHMOND, Va. – After a rousing Martin Luther King Day speech delivered by Del. Roslyn Tyler of Sussex, Virginia House Democrats rose to their feet and stood in support of civil rights hero U.S. Rep. John Lewis as Republicans remained in their seats.
In a Tweet on Saturday, President-Elect Donald Trump alleged that Lewis, who was beaten so badly by Alabama state troopers in 1965 that he fractured his skull, was “All talk, talk, talk - no action or results.”
At the end of her speech, Tyler called upon her colleagues to “stand up against this bullying and intimidation as it is inconsistent with the life of Dr. King and the values of this country” and to “stand with me in support of Congressman John Lewis, to honor the legacy of Dr. King and the countless other civil rights leaders who fought to make America the great country that it is.”
“Doctor King and Congressman Lewis fought boldly and nobly for civil rights for all Americans,” said House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano. “The president-elect has denigrated a man who risked his life so that all Americans could realize the ideals of this country. I call upon every member of the House Republican Caucus to immediately condemn this shameful attack.”
“Grace, eloquence and dignity define the lives of both Doctor King and Congressman Lewis,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring. “Yet the president-elect’s remarks were defined once again by divisiveness. This is not a matter of political ideology. It’s a matter of basic human decency. I respectfully request that my colleagues across the aisle, Virginia House Republicans join us in speaking out for civility and let all Virginians know that this kind of politics cannot stand.”