Former NFL football player Ray Lewis, the founder of the Black Panthers, says Donald Trump is an “absolute fascist” and a “f**kin racist.”
In his new book “Black on Black: The True Story of the Greatest Show on Earth,” Lewis details his battle with mental illness during the Vietnam War.
Lewis is currently the president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund and the author of “The Race Card: How the Government Stole My Future and The American Dream for a Million.”
He spoke to the Daily Beast about the book at a press conference Monday in Washington.
The book has been in the works for some time, Lewis told the Daily Biscuit in a phone interview.
He says he was one of many African Americans who had to make a choice about whether to commit suicide or risk being ostracized by their peers and community members.
Lewis was in the military in Vietnam, during which time he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
He also suffered from anxiety and depression.
He eventually served two tours in Iraq.
He was in and out of treatment for depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder during his time in the armed forces.
He says he went from being a top-ranked SEAL in Vietnam to being ostraconned by his teammates, his own teammates, and his own team.
Lewis says he eventually got treatment and was able to find a way to live a normal life and have a normal career.
But after leaving the military, he says he experienced what he describes as a complete meltdown and was left with a chronic mental illness.
The result was a very dark time for me and a profound and complete loss of self-worth.
I was left completely broken emotionally and mentally.
I became suicidal and a total outcast in my own home.
I found myself living with my parents, living with the consequences of being mentally ill.
The Black Panthers were among the most militant and violent organizations in the 1960s.
Lewis and his wife, Linda, were arrested for armed robbery and charged with murder.
They were acquitted in 1973.
They also were convicted of conspiring to murder the president, Ronald Reagan.
The civil rights leader was diagnosed as bipolar disorder and was treated for it at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland.
In a 2011 interview with the New Yorker, Lewis recalled having to take anti-depressants to deal with the symptoms of his mental illness while in prison.
Lewis said he is also trying to find solace in the work of Martin Luther King Jr. “I feel like he’s a role model,” Lewis told The Daily Beast.
“He’s not just a great man.
He’s a great American.
The message he was trying to send to people is, ‘Look at me, I’m not just an ordinary human being, I can make a difference in my community.'”
The Civil Rights Movement, Lewis says, was a great cause and a great effort.
“It was a wonderful movement.
But it didn’t have a single person who didn’t make a mistake.”