After the passing of iconic civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, there has been mounting pressure to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he famously marched for equality alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lewis paid a heavy price for his efforts in being beaten and jailed in the name of civil rights.
It’s far past time to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge after Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon that nearly gave his life on that bridge,” said Michael Starr Hopkins. “Edmund Pettus was a bitter racist, undeserving of the honor bestowed upon him. As we wipe away this country’s long stain of bigotry, we must also wipe away the names of men like Edmund Pettus.Michael Starr Hopkins
Change.org has recorded over half a million signatures in favor of the name change. If you would like to add your name to the list click here to sign.
For those that need to learn a little bit more about Edmund Pettus and why people feel this bridge should be renamed here are a few details about him. Pettus was regarded as a hero in Alabama and more specifically Selma. He was a lawyer and statesman who served as a U.S. senator. But he was also a decorated Confederate general and a leader in the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. Pettus is the very example of the rooted racism in the United States. The Edmund Pettus Bridge was built-in 1940, and 80 years later, despite being declared a national historic landmark because of Bloody Sunday, the structure still holds the name that symbolizes hate.