“I would say, ‘Dr. King, we have come a distance, we have made some progress, but we still have a great distance to go before we lay down the burden of racism,” Lewis told Rolling Stone during a recent interview.
“There have been so many setbacks since you left. We have someone, the head of our government, who, in the finality, is a racist,” he said about Trump. “He doesn’t understand the meaning of your life and the significance of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Lewis, 79, has been the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District since 1987. He walked alongside King on several occasions, including the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965.
The congressman told the pop culture publication he is still as hopeful about change now as he was more than five decades ago.
“Yeah, I was very hopeful when we were marching across that bridge,” he said. “I was very, very hopeful when we were sitting in or speaking at the March on Washington. But we cannot lose hope.”