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Rep. John Lewis on Beating of Brandon White

February 10, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. John Lewis made this statement today about the beating of Brandon White, allegedly because he is gay.

There is not any room in our society for any crime against any citizen simply because of individual differences. All human beings are made by the same hands, so no one has the right to demean, humiliate or beat down another individual because he or she is different. We should begin to see difference as an opportunity to grow, to understand something that is new to us, not as an invitation to violence.

Atlanta is the home of a historic movement that was centered upon respect for the dignity and the worth of every human being. We have a responsibility as the citizens of this great city to teach our children that history, to pass on the legacy of peace, the way of love and non-violence.

It is tragic that the perpetrators have found themselves in a world of trouble, and I hope they will come to understand that violence is not the answer. I have reached out to the victim of this brutal encounter to offer my support and am making arrangements to meet with Brandon White in the near future.