RIP John Lewis

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As I watch the coverage of the funeral of John Lewis, an icon of the American civil rights movement and the conscience of the Congress I can help but wonder how much this one man has accomplished for the American people.  Not only Black people but all peoples of color, all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and stations in life.  I can remember him beaten to within an inch of his life on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on his march to Selma by Alabama state troopers.  But today members of that same police force are saluting his casket.  He brought us a long way. But we have so much farther to go.

We all have to thank John Lewis for the freedoms we enjoy today.  As a gay person, I have him to thank for the support he has given to the LGBTQ community.  Because of him and others like him, I can happily live openly with my husband.  I do not stand alone in this gratitude for what he has done for our country.  And I do not stand alone in my desire to have his work continue for all those people who cannot or do not enjoy the freedoms we all, as American, should share.  

Today those freedoms John Lewis had valiantly fought for are coming under attack from the very government that is sworn to protect us.  Under this vile excuse for a president, Donald Trump,  the Constitution, and the rule of law are attacked daily. Armed secret police are terrorizing American citizens exercising their right to peacefully protest.  The voting rights of citizens of color, which John Lewis had fought for and won, are slowly being stripped away, to ensure the re-election of Trump and the dominance of the white race.  The once honorable GOP stands by as the enabler of the racist regime of Donald Trump.

Watching the memorial services and tributes for John Lewis I cannot help but think of those portions of our population that are angered and repulsed at the honors given to a Black man. We mustn't forget the vast numbers of white supremacists and racists who are inflamed by the praise heaped upon Congressman Lewis and may be moved violence or retaliation.  We must also not forget that these cretins are led by the President of the United States!  While most of the country is honoring Lewis, fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, or dealing with Trump's secret police in Portland or other cities, Trump is golfing. He is too busy to attend any tributes to the civil rights icon!

John Lewis's work is far from done. We can honor him with speeches, naming schools after him, or paying tribute to him in memorial services. But the one thing we can do to honor his memory is to continue his work in fighting for the rights of ALL Americans.  We can start by standing up to Trump and his Gestapo tactics and then voting out Trump and all of his Republican enablers.  John Lewis wasn't afraid or inconvenienced in fighting for our rights so neither should we.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, Steven, but also frightening as you're correct: The rights that John Lewis committed his life to fighting for are systematically being stripped away. What a disgrace. Trump is not only a "vile excuse for a president," but for a human being, as well. We can't be rid of him soon enough. He should me marched from the White House, or the bunker where he hides like a little bitch, in handcuffs and then locked away for the rest of his unnatural life.


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