Seeking Forgiveness for His Racism {UpDated with 2nd Video}

"The evil of bigotry gives way to the power of redemption!"

 

Man Asks Entire Town for Forgiveness for Racism

2.06.09: 48 Years Ago, He Attacked Future Rep. John Lewis; Now the Two Hug

 

Elwin Wilson and John Lewis Nearly half a century ago, in a very different America, Elwin Wilson and John Lewis met under a veil of violence and race-inspired hate. The men had not seen each other again until Tuesday when, with "Good Morning America's" help, Wilson approached Lewis again -- this time offering an apology and a chance to relieve a burden he'd carried for more than four decades.

 

He was asked a question by a friend, his answer wasn't what it should have been, and he knew that.

 

Wilson, a young, white, Southern man, attacked Lewis, a freedom rider for Martin Luther King, in the "white" waiting room of a South Carolina bus station.

Nearly half a century ago, in a very different America, Elwin Wilson and John Lewis met under a veil of violence and race-inspired hate.

 

 

Wilson was in the group, but said he "did more than help." He said he was the main attacker.

The outburst, Wilson said, was just part of a life of hate he led for years.

"I had a black baby doll in this house, and I had a little rope, and I tied it to a limb and let it hang here," he said.

In a diner, with a look of glee on his face, he threw eggs at black men who tried to enter.

 

He watched as Barack Obama was sworn in as President, he didn't vote for Barack but he's prayed for him.

 

Wilson has been on his own freedom march in search of forgiveness.

He went back to the diner where he threw eggs. He went all around town, apologizing to anyone he may have wronged.

 

One of those was Representative Lewis and Mr. Wilson sought him out in Washington DC seeking his forgiveness, he found what he sought and certainly much more!

2.07.09 CNN News Video Report:

 

 

"The evil of bigotry gives way to the power of redemption!"

 

 

Ex-Klansman: 'I'm sorry'

 

 

Former Klansman Elwin Wilson apologizes to the "whole world" for beating Rep. John Lewis long ago.

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The Bigotry and Racism was extreme back than, and we've seen it rising these last eight years!

I saw it first hand, though it existed in the North it wasn't as pronounced as in the South.

Coming out of the Naval bootcamp my first base was the Naval Air Station, Meridian Miss, the same airbase the field is named after John McCains father.

Off the base it was very much alive, and when I arrived it was at the start of the trial for the KKK members who had killed the three civil rights workers from the North, the movie "Mississippi Burning" is about.

I was sill there when King was shot and killed!

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

I was feeling kind of down today about the political scene... no need to go into that... and your post made me remember just how positively important the election was. Sure there are a whole lot of problem that Pres. Obama has inherited that sometimes seem to be getting out of control, but that is no reason not to forget just what this election meant. We can't let the despicable behavior of the Republicans in Congress, Plumber Joe and the like  distract us from people like Elwin Wilson. Their transformation is the hopeful future of this country. Elwin's transformation is a transformational moment in my life too as I faced the creeping danger of cynicism.

Thank you Jim.

carol

Just what you're saying, my similar thoughts when I came on the story, wish ABC would give embed codes, feel like I'm stealing when I have to take and than upload.

An add on was what the son had to say, that didn't come easy in front of a national camera and his old man, and you could see it, but he knew he had to speak.

Great story not only for him and Lewis but his neighbors as well!!

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

It took a lot of intenstinal fortitude for that gentleman to own up to his past that way. Incredible example of "being the change".

Thank you Jim!

Especially as we've been witness to the rise of the racist rhetoric these last eight years, and them thinking they were becoming embolden with no turning back to be hidden anymore!!

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

are better, even, than those which talk of the young pups. The old dogs are examples for the coming generations and here's a guy who made a lie of that age-old adage.

It's one of my favorite stories, of transformation, and a better example than I could've imagined. Thanks so much!

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"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson