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Lewis says country has 'a great distance to go'

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm •  Published: August 28, 2013
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Longtime civil rights leader John Lewis said the country has come a great distance since Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago "but we still have a great distance to go."

The Georgia congressman was speaking from the same spot where King spoke and Lewis remembered being beaten and arrested during 1960s protests.

While the country has made progress, Lewis said the "scars and stains of racism still remain deeply embedded in American society." He referred to slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and "immigrants hiding in fear" as examples.

Americans massed on the National Mall Wednesday to hear President Barack Obama and civil rights pioneers commemorate King's speech 50 years ago.