NC Chief Justice on death of John Lewis: 'It's incumbent for us to keep going with their work'
North Carolina's Chief Justice Cheri Beasley had to opportunity to know Congressmen and civil rights leader John Lewis before his passing. She has a message for us as a nation: continue his work. Watch WRAL's Mikaya Thurmond Interview Beasley live.
13, 16, 32, 58,AND >>> THIS IS WRAL NEWS. >>> IT IS JUST ABOUT 7:15. THE NATION IS MOURNING THE DEATH OF TWO GIANTS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. OF COURSE, CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS, AND REVEREND C.T. VIVIAN. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. WHAT DOES THIS REPRESENT FOR YOU. WE KNOW THAT CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS PASSING JUST YESTERDAY. HOW ARE YOU HANDLING THIS? >> YOU KNOW, IT IS TRULY A GREAT LOSS FOR ME AND THE NATION. IT IS JUST AN INCREDIBLE TIME TO KNOW THAT THIS MAN WHO LIVED SO LONG AND LIVED HIS ENTIRE LIFE TRYING TO MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR ALL OF US, IT IS INDESCRIBABLE. IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT HE IS NO LONGER WITH US. >> CHIEF JUSTICE BEASLEY, WE ALSO LOST C.T. VIVIAN. I SAW YOUR TWEET GO OUT YESTERDAY. REFLECTING AND SHARING OF PHOTO OF BOTH MEN. GREAT ICONS. THIS IS A LOT TO HANDLE AT THE SAME TIME. >> IT IS. I HAD THE PLEASURE AND HONOR TO KNOW BOTH OF THEM AT SOME LEVEL AND I'M JUST SO DEEPLY GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE WAYS IN WHICH THE TOUCH MY LIFE. BUT THE FIRST QUESTION WAS, HOW DO WE GRAPPLE WITH THIS? HOW DO WE MOVE FORWARD? HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT THE IMPACT ON THE LIVES REALLY HAS MEANT AND IT REALLY DOES MEAN THAT BOTH MEN WHO HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH TO US, IT HAS BECOME INCUMBENT FOR US TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RACIAL IDEAS THAT THEY FOUGHT SO HARD FOR US. ALL THE WAY'S AND THIS OFFER EQUITIES TO INSTITUTIONS AND COURTS, THAT WORK MUST GO ON. >>> WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HONORING BOTH MEN AND IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE SAYING THAT IT IS TO PASS ON THE BATON. THERE IS A LOT OF UNREST RIGHT NOW AND I WAS A TIME TO REALLY DO THAT. >> THIS IS THE TIME OF UNREST BUT ALSO THESE MEN PLANTED THE FOUNDATION FOR THIS MOMENT. THEY KNEW THAT AS THEY WERE TOILING IN THE 60s AND CERTAINLY BOTH OF THEM DOING THIS WORK THROUGHOUT THEIR ENTIRE LIVES THEY KNEW THAT THE WORK WOULD NOT BE COMPLETED WITH THEM AND REALLY, IT IS INCUMBENT UPON US AS A NATION TO GO FORWARD TO THINK ABOUT HOW THEY CAN IMPROVE THINGS. HOW WE CAN MAKE SURE THAT THE JUSTICES TRULY ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL PEOPLE. THEY KNEW THAT THE WORK WOULD CONTINUE LONG AFTER THEY WOULD BE GONE AND WE MUST DO THAT. >> SUCH POWERFUL WORDS THAT YOU ARE SHARING WITH US LIVE THIS