Perry was in Rock Hill, SC, when a reporter mentioned that this year was the 50th anniversary of a historic lunch counter sit-in. The Texas governor responded:
Black America’s righteous revolt against a century of post-emancipation oppression could have gone in many bitter and destructive directions. It did not. This was largely the work of one man’s leadership, moral imagination and strategic genius. He turned his own deeply Christian belief that “unearned suffering is redemptive” into a creed of nonviolence that he carved into America’s political consciousness. The result was not just racial liberation but national redemption.'
Jesse Washington is a Senior Writer for ESPN's TheUndefeated.com