Congressmen Kick-Off SC Civil Rights Tour

Columbia , S.C. (WOLO) — United States Representatives Jim Clyburn and John Lewis kicked off the Faith and Politic’s Institute’s 2016 Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to South Carolina on Friday morning.

“It’s what the struggles been all about, the behavior to forgive with a sense of grace, hope and love,” said Rep. John Lewis.

Representatives Clyburn and Lewis will lead several congressmen across the state to learn about the state’s civil rights history. The group will make stops at the site of the Orangeburg massacre, several African American churches in Columbia and conclude the the journey at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

“We come here not just to learn but also to be inspired,” said Rep. Lewis. “What happened in this state can be a lesson for the whole nation.”

In the aftermath of the Charleston shooting, family members of the nine victims expressed their forgiveness towards accused shooter Dylann Roof, showing the world the power of grace and reconciliation.

“It would give my fellow Congress people an understanding I believe and maybe even answer to the question so many people are asking, how could those family members having just experienced such a horrific act stand before the world and say to the accused perpetrator of that act, ‘I forgive you,’ said Representative Clyburn.

While representatives say the nation has come a long way in race relations, they say there is still progress to be made.

“Hate is too heavy a burden to bear but if you see something that is not right, not fair , not just then do something about it in a loving, peaceful fashion,” said Rep. Lewis.

The three-day tour will conclude in Charleston on Sunday with a church service at Mother Emanuel AME Church.

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