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John Lewis

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    I was going to write something about John Lewis's passing and life, but then I read Barack Obama's post, and decided to just copy it here:

    From Barack Obama's Facebook page:

    America is a constant work in progress. What gives each new generation purpose is to take up the unfinished work of the last and carry it further - to speak out for what's right, to challenge an unjust status quo, and to imagine a better world.

    John Lewis - one of the original Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Member of Congress representing the people of Georgia for 33 years - not only assumed that responsibility, he made it his life's work. He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.

    Considering his enormous impact on the history of this country, what always struck those who met John was his gentleness and humility. Born into modest means in the heart of the Jim Crow South, he understood that he was just one of a long line of heroes in the struggle for racial justice. Early on, he embraced the principles of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience as the means to bring about real change in this country, understanding that such tactics had the power not only to change laws, but to change hearts and minds as well.

    In so many ways, John's life was exceptional. But he never believed that what he did was more than any citizen of this country might do. He believed that in all of us, there exists the capacity for great courage, a longing to do what's right, a willingness to love all people, and to extend to them their God-given rights to dignity and respect. And it's because he saw the best in all of us that he will continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon in that long journey towards a more perfect union.

    I first met John when I was in law school, and I told him then that he was one of my heroes. Years later, when I was elected a U.S. Senator, I told him that I stood on his shoulders. When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made. And through all those years, he never stopped providing wisdom and encouragement to me and Michelle and our family. We will miss him dearly.

    It's fitting that the last time John and I shared a public forum was at a virtual town hall with a gathering of young activists who were helping to lead this summer's demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd's death. Afterwards, I spoke to him privately, and he could not have been prouder of their efforts - of a new generation standing up for freedom and equality, a new generation intent on voting and protecting the right to vote, a new generation running for political office. I told him that all those young people - of every race, from every background and gender and sexual orientation - they were his children. They had learned from his example, even if they didn't know it. They had understood through him what American citizenship requires, even if they had heard of his courage only through history books.

    Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders - to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.

    Barack Obama

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    Yes, "Obama" had "feelings"; Trump "none". I did not see anything at all from Trump about this; again it shows how far this country has sunk. An piece like what Obama wrote is of course totally impossible for an Trump who barely can write, except "checks".

    John Lewis had an unbelievable sound history fighting for an cause, however Trump's history is the opposite. We will miss John's strong voice even before the "impeachment" debacle. May he rest in peace.

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    I hope he rests in peace. It's so unfortunate that he was fighting an uphill battle for his entire life. He certainly deserved better. Petulant ignorant people need a hard wake up call.

    He had incredibly important contributions and in a small way he has made the world better. We're 30% towards a level playing field. Joe Biden could bring us closer to where we should be. Leadership should be fair and decent to ALL.

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    What a profound tribute by President Obama.

    Congressman Lewis devoted his entire life fighting for civil and human rights. He was born the son of sharecroppers, stood alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. countless times, and carried on the torch after King's assassination. He was beaten, bloodied, harassed, tormented, and arrested countless times, but never, ever stopped fighting for what was right.

    He was a towering figure in the House of Representatives and that body now has a gaping hole in it. It's a sad, sad day.

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    Bill Clinton also had a lot of nice things to say about John Lewis:

    "We have lost a giant. John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America’s unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together.

    From a small farm in Alabama, to life-risking service in the civil rights movement, to three decades in Congress, he was always “walking with the wind,” steered by a moral compass that told him when to make good trouble and when to heal troubled waters. Always true to his word, his faith, and his principles, John Lewis became the conscience of the nation.

    Hillary and I loved John. We were blessed by his friendship, support, and wise counsel. We’ll miss him so much, but we’ll always be grateful to God for his long good life, and grateful that he lived to see a new generation of Americans take to the streets in search of his long sought “beloved community.”

    Our hearts go out to his son John-Miles and the entire Lewis family, his able loyal staff, and all who loved and admired him the world over."

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    As a young adult, Lewis was a “troublemaker,” breaking the laws of his state: he broke the laws upholding racial segregation. He organized voting registration drives and in 1960 was one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders, white and black students traveling together from Washington D.C. to New Orleans to challenge segregation. “It was very violent. I thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious,” Lewis later recalled.

    An adherent of the philosophy of non-violence, Lewis was beaten by mobs and arrested 24 times. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC—pronounced “snick”) he helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington where the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., told more than 200,000 people gathered at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial that he had a dream. Just 23 years old, Lewis spoke at the event. Two years later, as Lewis and 600 marchers hoping to register African American voters in Alabama stopped to pray at the end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, mounted police troopers charged the marchers, beating them with clubs and bullwhips. They fractured Lewis’s skull.

    Just over a month ago, on June 7, Representative Lewis visited the BLACK LIVES MATTER public art painted on a street in Washington, D.C., with Mayor Muriel E. Bowser. Six days before, the president and Attorney General William Barr had set federal police in riot gear, wielding tear gas and rubber bullets, on the peaceful protesters nearby to clear them out of the way for a presidential photo-op. It must have been a chilling echo for Representative Lewis.

    But he told Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart that he felt compelled to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza because he was “inspired” to see the peaceful protests in America and around the world against police violence. “It was so moving and so gratifying to see people from all over America and all over the world saying through their action, ‘I can do something. I can say something’,” Lewis told Capehart. “And they said something by marching and by speaking up and speaking out.”

    Lewis said he had a warning for Trump. “Mr. President, the American people are tired and they cannot and will not take it anymore. They have a right to organize the unorganized. They have a right to protest in a peaceful, orderly, nonviolent fashion. You cannot stop the people with all of the forces that you may have at your command. You cannot stop people when they say ‘no.’”

    Trump, of course, isn't listening.

    Yesterday Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf released a press release warning the American people just how dangerous the “violent anarchists” in Portland are. His list includes 17 counts of graffitiing a courthouse, damaging fences, “throwing animal seed” (what does this even mean?), vandalizing two security cameras, breaking windows, and throwing fireworks.

    For these acts, unidentified officers in unmarked cars are pulling people off the streets. The officers appear to be from Customs and Border Protection, and a memo obtained by The Nation says they are a special task force created by the Department of Homeland Security in response to Trump’s Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence. The task force is called the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), and is supposed to combat civic unrest.

    Local authorities have said repeatedly they do not want the federal officers there, and that they are deliberately aggravating the tensions in the city to gin up the Republican base with contrived images of violence. Today both of Oregon’s senator and the U.S. Attorney in Oregon called for an investigation into “constitutionally questionable arrests in Portland” by PACT.

    Nonetheless, the administration has made it clear they intend to take these tactics nationwide. When asked about the arrests in Portland, Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli told NPR that “this is a posture we intend to continue not just in Portland but in any of the facilities that we're responsible for around the country.”

    It is worth noting that Wolf and Cuccinelli are both “acting” secretaries—they have not been confirmed by the Senate and thus are beholden to Trump for their jobs. Mark Morgan, who is in charge of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is also an “acting” commissioner.

    The administration’s actions in Portland are a major red flag for democracy. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has called the law enforcement officials "stormtroopers."

    See the source image

    As the administration escalates its attacks on democracy, many of us are weary. In June, reporter Jonathan Capehart asked Representative Lewis “what he would say to people who feel as though they have already been giving it their all but nothing seems to change.” Lewis answered: “You must be able and prepared to give until you cannot give any more. We must use our time and our space on this little planet that we call Earth to make a lasting contribution, to leave it a little better than we found it, and now that need is greater than ever before.”

    “Do not get lost in a sea of despair,” Lewis tweeted almost exactly a year before his death. “Do not become bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way.”

    Thank you, Sir. May you rest in power.

    (The above comments are a distillation of much longer comments from Heather Cox Richardson) .

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    Yes the contrast between John Lewis's peaceful protests and Trump's "stormtroopers" -- thugs grabbing citizens off the street to intimate -- could not be clearer. Trump's tactics have roots in fascism.

    John Lewis, of course, carries on the non-violent advocacy of the Martin Luther King protest movement. Now Trump's stormtroopers have only aggravated the situation in Portland giving rise to more violence. That was Trump's intent. He cannot stand to see peaceful protests. He wants anarchy and violence to serve his "law and order" political position.

    Plus it's another diversion from the covid-19 pandemic. We are in a league of our own there.

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    that guy in AZ Wrote:

    From a small farm in Alabama, to life-risking service in the civil rights movement, to three decades in Congress, he was always “walking with the wind,” steered by a moral compass that told him when to make good trouble and when to heal troubled waters. Always true to his word, his faith, and his principles, John Lewis became the conscience of the nation.

    Obama's words altogether were a perfect tribute. But I think Bill's comment in bold here captures Lewis' character and actions throughout his life perhaps better than any other turn of phrase. That's how I think of Lewis, a person of high character and integrity, with intelligent foresight on how best to act on his convictions.

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    If you have not watched Barack Obama's eulogy, its worth your time. He did outstanding job honoring John Lewis and promoting Lewis's life long effort for human rights for all. In Obama's eulogy , he makes it extremely clear that Trump wants to do whatever it takes to suppress the minority votes.

    Later today Trump will have a press conference (if not cancelled) and sure as the sun rises, Trump will have a complete meltdown. Trump's biggest weaknesses is he has no skills to handle truthful criticism.

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    Three former presidents spoke at John Lewis's funeral, but the current president spent the day tweeting more nonsense.

    The cover on the Daily News shows a clear contrast between the former and current presidents:

    Image may contain: 4 people, text that says 'COSENDS Friday.Juy31,2020 DAILY NEWS NEW YORK'S HOMETOWN NEWSPAPER 3 MEN & PAGES A BABY! 4-7 As past presidents honor Lewis, pouty Trump touts delaying elex SIDEN'

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    I guess Trumpy is now mad about the speech Obama gave at the funeral of Lewis. as well that 3 ex-Presidents were there.
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    I am guessing that Trump was specifically told he was not invited, but I am also 110% certain Trump did not want to attend. We can all imagine what would happen, he might try to fake it for minute, then enter into rally rant for 30 minutes.
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    I remember the McCain funeral he did sent Ivanka there; I hope he attends his own funeral, haha.

    He's so "small" and "useless" but will go into history as the biggest "crook" ever of an "one term" W.H. occupation.

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    In the recent Axios interview Trump was asked about John Lewis, and Trump refused to say anything positive about Lewis. He limited to his comments to the fact that Lewis did not attend his inauguration, so why should he {Trump} attend Lewis's eulogy. And the sad (and absurd) part was he stated once again "I have done more black people and any president in history". The sad part is the he believes it to be true because suck-up on his staff told him that once.

    Bottom line. Trump did not want to go, and there is very high probability he was directly told he was not welcome and not invited. I suspect if he had come, he would not have been allowed to speak like the Bush & Clinton, and been forced to sit in the back of room separate from the other presidents.