John Lewis: 'Scars and stains of racism are still deeply embedded in American society'

Rep. John LewisJohn LewisGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary Kennedy said DSCC prevented him from helping Democrats flip GOP seats Pelosi stands firm amid calls to close Capitol MORE (D-Ga.) said Tuesday that the Georgia gubernatorial race exemplifies how the "scars and stains of racism" haven't vanished from modern society.

The civil rights icon told CNN's "New Day" that Americans must do more to confront racism and the prospect of "separation" of races when asked about the state of race relations in the U.S., and expressed optimism that Democrats would retake the House in Tuesday's midterms.

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"The scars and stains of racism are still deeply embedded in American society," Lewis told Alisyn Camerota. "We need to lay down the burden of racism and separation and create what I call, 'One America, One Community, One House,' because all of us live in the same house, in the American house."

"And as [Martin Luther King Jr.] said on many occasions, we must learn to live together as brothers and sisters," he added. "If not, we will perish as fools."

Lewis, who famously marched from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., along with other activists in 1965 to advocate for voting rights for African-Americans, has frequently invoked his experience in the civil rights movement in his campaigning for Democrats during the 2018 midterm cycle.

Lewis has campaigned in Georgia for Stacey Abrams (D), who would be the first black female governor of a U.S. state if she wins Tuesday.