By The Associated Press / By The AP A man who grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood is defending a GOP candidate for Congress who he says wants to help black Americans and stop a wave of police brutality.
In his campaign for the seat vacated by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., David Williams says he is against any efforts to bring back Jim Crow laws.
He is also not backing a Republican nominee for the state’s Senate, who is black, who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
He’s challenging Rep. Terri Sewell, R-Harrisonburg, who has represented the district since 2003.
Williams, who grew to become a community activist, is running as an independent and is hoping to win the primary.
He has raised more than $6 million to date.
The congressman said his candidacy is not driven by politics but by the issues that have shaped America for over a century, such as the Civil War, the Great Depression and the Vietnam War.
Williams says the civil rights movement changed America.
He says the era of segregation is gone, and that he would have been the first African-American elected to Congress.
Williams also is the son of a teacher who fought in the Civil Wars.
Williams grew up mostly on the east side of Atlanta, in the neighborhood where Lewis grew up.
Williams said the police brutality he experienced growing up in the 1960s was just the latest example of racism and injustice in America.
“It was a terrible time,” Williams said.
“I had to hide.
I was scared to tell anyone.”
Williams says he was raised in a mostly white neighborhood.
He said he believes he has overcome that, and he says he would like to do it again.
“If we have to fight for something, it’s worth it.
If not, it ain’t worth it,” Williams says.