Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Dies At Age 80

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  4 weeks ago  •  64 comments

By:   Yahoo

Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Dies At Age 80
The Georgia Democrat who helped organize the March on Washington and was called the "conscience of Congress," has died.

America lost a great man and civil rights icon today!


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Sanjana KaranthHuffPostJuly 17, 2020, 11:32 PM

Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat known for his significant leadership in Congress and throughout the civil rights movement, died Friday at age 80.

He served Georgia's 5th Congressional District, which encompasses most of Atlanta, and was highly respected on both sides of the political aisle. Lewis was known as the "conscience of Congress."

The congressman announced in December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

"I have been in some kind of fight ― for freedom, equality, basic human rights ― for nearly my entire life," Lewis said in a statement at the time. "I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now."

Lewis said at the time that he would continue serving in Congress while he underwent treatment, noting he "may miss a few votes during this period, but with God's grace I will be back on the front lines soon."

In June, six months into his treatment, he told New York magazine that he was feeling better, saying that he has "good days and days not so good."

At the head of the march from Selma to Montgomery on March 25, 1965, nuns, priests and civil rights leaders: The Rev. Arthur Matott (from left), John Lewis (head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Andrew Young, Sister Mary Leoline and Theodore Gill. (Photo: Stephen F. Somerstein via Getty Images)

Lewis has been on the front lines of the fight for democracy for most of his life. Born on Feb. 21, 1940, to sharecroppers outside of Troy, Alabama, Lewis grew up attending segregated public schools. After watching the activism that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and hearing the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words on the radio, Lewis was inspired to join the civil rights movement and fought for voting rights ever since.

As a college student attending Fisk University, Lewis helped organize peaceful sit-in protests at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee. At age 21, he volunteered to be a Freedom Rider — one of the activists who risked their lives challenging segregation throughout the South by sitting in seats reserved for white people. (The protest was inspired by Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat for a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.)

Lewis helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and became its chairman during the peak of the civil rights movement from 1963 to 1966. Lewis organized student activism in the movement through SNCC and was eventually considered one of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement, alongside King.

At 23, Lewis was one of the organizers of and the youngest keynote speaker at the March on Washington in August 1963. He helped launch voter registration drives during the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964, yet another example of his determination to bring voting rights to Black people.

Lewis often faced violent consequences for his civil rights leadership. He was repeatedly arrested and beaten by police and angry mobs for challenging Jim Crow segregation in the South and fighting for voting rights.

Alabama state troopers fractured Lewis' skull in March 1965 while he led more than 600 peaceful demonstrators in a voting rights protest across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, during what became known as Bloody Sunday. Media coverage of the cruelty during Bloody Sunday ― and the subsequent successful Selma march in which Lewis walked alongside King ― helped usher in the passage of the Voting Rights Act that year.

Lewis speaks to the media ahead of the House vote on the Voting Rights Advancement Act on Dec. 6, 2019. The bill would restore the full strength of the Voting Rights Act after a 2013 Supreme Court decision gutted it, unleashing widespread voter suppression. (Photo: Mark Wilson via Getty Images)

Lewis was elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1981 and to Congress in 1986. He served as House Democrats' senior chief deputy whip and as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Throughout his congressional career, Lewis fought to enact laws that furthered the civil rights and moral principles that he had championed since he was a young man. He helped campaign for Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who lost the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia and has since dedicated her career to fighting for voting rights amid allegations of Black voter suppression in the state.

"I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, 53 years ago," Lewis told a crowd at a rally for Abrams just days before the election. "I'm not asking any of you to give any blood. I'm just asking you to go and vote like you never voted before. We have to vote."

Lewis was also unfiltered in his criticism of President Donald Trump and refused to attend the 2018 State of the Union address after Trump characterized Haiti and African nations as "shitholes." The congressman said in May 2019 that if King were alive today, Lewis would tell him that Trump is "a racist" who "doesn't understand the meaning of your life and the significance of the civil rights movement."

Lewis was a strong supporter of impeaching Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, warning that the country he once considered a "beacon of hope" may be "descending into darkness." Before voting to formally impeach the president in December 2019, Lewis delivered an emotional, fiery speech that alluded to his experiences in Washington that helped define the civil rights movement.

"When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, do something," the civil rights icon said. "Our children and their children will ask us: 'What did you do? What did you say?'"

Lewis held hope for the future of America even through the pandemic and widespread anger over civil rights. As protests erupted nationwide over the police slaying of a Black Minnesota man, George Floyd, Lewis remarked on the sheer scope of the movement.

"I've come in contact with people who feel inspired. They're moved. They've just never been along in a protest — they've never been in a march before — they decided to march with their children and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren and to walk with them," he said in June.

"They're helping to educate and inspire another generation of activists. It's seeing an effect. There can be no turning back; there can be no giving up.


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JBB
1  seeder  JBB    4 weeks ago

The loss of Rep John Lewis will be suffered by many.

 
 
 
pat wilson
2  pat wilson    4 weeks ago

God speed Mr. Lewis.

 
 
 
JBB
2.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  pat wilson @2    4 weeks ago

The gop badgered him relentlessly in impeachment hearings, I couldn't believe the patience he showed.

 
 
 
Gsquared
3  Gsquared    4 weeks ago

This is a huge loss for the country.  John Lewis will go down in history as one of the greatest Americans.  A true hero.

 
 
 
pat wilson
3.1  pat wilson  replied to  Gsquared @3    4 weeks ago

Absolutely.

 
 
 
Gsquared
3.1.1  Gsquared  replied to  pat wilson @3.1    3 weeks ago

I admired him so much.  This is a sad moment, but his legacy will long be celebrated.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
4  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    3 weeks ago

The world was a better place because of John Lewis.  In a world gone nuts, his was a peaceful and loving presence.  To say that his absence will be felt for a long time is an understatement.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
5  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

If Republicans had half the integrity this man had, the Hill would be a much better place.  RIP Sir.

 
 
 
Gsquared
5.1  Gsquared  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @5    3 weeks ago

May I make it even larger and say, if more people had half the integrity John Lewis had, our world would be a much better place.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
5.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Gsquared @5.1    3 weeks ago

Absolutely.

 
 
 
dennis smith
5.2  dennis smith  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @5    3 weeks ago

Didn't take long for you to turn this political when the topic is about a man and his life.

 
 
 
JBB
5.2.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  dennis smith @5.2    3 weeks ago

Except, John Lewis's entire public life was lived as a Democratic politician fighting the damn gop for minority civil rights and for equality under the law. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
5.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @5.2.1    3 weeks ago
Except, John Lewis's entire public life was lived as a Democratic politician fighting the damn gop for minority civil rights and for equality under the law. 

That is absolutely hilarious.

Sure, it was Southern Republicans who passed Jim Crow laws that Lewis marched against.

Surely you know how ludicrous your statement is?

 
 
 
JBB
 
 
Texan1211
5.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @5.2.3    3 weeks ago

Sorry, I just can't let such false, ludicrous statements go without giving them the response they deserve.

 
 
 
Gsquared
5.2.11  Gsquared  replied to    3 weeks ago

Yes, I do not want to continue any argument here.  We are on this page to honor a great American, and I think we both agree  on that. 

 
 
 
MonsterMash
6  MonsterMash    3 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
JBB
6.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  MonsterMash @6    3 weeks ago

Don't be impertinent or disrespectful. No wonder the gop does so poorly among minority voters!

 
 
 
dennis smith
7  dennis smith    3 weeks ago

Didn't take long for you to comment about Republicans when this is not at all the topic.

 
 
 
JBB
7.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  dennis smith @7    3 weeks ago
 
 
 
loki12
7.1.1  loki12  replied to  JBB @7.1    3 weeks ago

Please tell us all the significant legislation he wrote and got passed, naming a building after MLK and sponsoring the Emmett Till memorial coin doesn’t count. In thirty years of “service” did he accomplish anything? Anything at all?

 
 
 
dennis smith
7.1.2  dennis smith  replied to  JBB @7.1    3 weeks ago

Just another political hack comment

 
 
 
Gsquared
7.1.3  Gsquared  replied to  loki12 @7.1.1    3 weeks ago

You can research his extensive legislative history at propublica.org or govtrack.us among other websites.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.4  Ender  replied to  dennis smith @7.1.2    3 weeks ago
System breakdown imminent
Nature's gone belligerent
Pilot error, pre program
Oh, that human element
 
 
 
loki12
7.1.5  loki12  replied to  Gsquared @7.1.3    3 weeks ago

I did, 30 years and he accomplished next to nothing but cashing in on his civil rights credentials to get buildings renamed. He did show the world what racists democrats looked like, I wonder if he joined the DNC just to piss them off.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
7.1.6  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  loki12 @7.1.1    3 weeks ago
In thirty years of “service” did he accomplish anything? Anything at all?

Perhaps authoring and posting your own article would be best.

 
 
 
loki12
7.1.7  loki12  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @7.1.6    3 weeks ago

Why? This one is perfect to highlight his accomplishments. 

 
 
 
Gsquared
7.1.8  Gsquared  replied to  loki12 @7.1.5    3 weeks ago

I did

Uh huh...

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.9  Ender  replied to  loki12 @7.1.5    3 weeks ago

Deflection, objection, reflection, introspection?

 
 
 
JBB
7.1.10  seeder  JBB  replied to  loki12 @7.1.5    3 weeks ago

Is that how the damn gop courts black voters? 

 
 
 
JBB
7.1.11  seeder  JBB  replied to  loki12 @7.1.1    3 weeks ago
 
 
 
loki12
7.1.12  loki12  replied to  Gsquared @7.1.8    3 weeks ago

16 laws in over 34 years pretty abysmal, but hey obviously I did look it up or do you count failures to pass law as success's? you know the job he was actually hired to do?

https://www.congress.gov/advanced-search/legislation?congresses%5B%5D=116&congresses%5B%5D=115&congresses%5B%5D=114&congresses%5B%5D=113&congresses%5B%5D=112&congresses%5B%5D=111&congresses%5B%5D=110&congresses%5B%5D=109&congresses%5B%5D=108&congresses%5B%5D=107&congresses%5B%5D=106&congresses%5B%5D=105&congresses%5B%5D=104&congresses%5B%5D=103&congresses%5B%5D=102&congresses%5B%5D=101&congresses%5B%5D=100&congresses%5B%5D=99&congresses%5B%5D=98&congresses%5B%5D=97&congresses%5B%5D=96&congresses%5B%5D=95&congresses%5B%5D=94&congresses%5B%5D=93&legislationNumbers=&restrictionType=field&restrictionFields%5B%5D=allBillTitles&restrictionFields%5B%5D=summary&summaryField=billSummary&enterTerms=&wordVariants=true&legislationTypes%5B%5D=hr&legislationTypes%5B%5D=hres&legislationTypes%5B%5D=hjres&legislationTypes%5B%5D=hconres&legislationTypes%5B%5D=hamdt&legislationTypes%5B%5D=s&legislationTypes%5B%5D=sres&legislationTypes%5B%5D=sjres&legislationTypes%5B%5D=sconres&legislationTypes%5B%5D=samdt&legislationTypes%5B%5D=suamdt&becamelaw=true&public=true&private=true&chamber=all&actionTerms=&legislativeActionWordVariants=true&dateOfActionOperator=equal&dateOfActionStartDate=&dateOfActionEndDate=&dateOfActionIsOptions=yesterday&dateOfActionToggle=multi&legislativeAction=156&sponsorState=One&member=John+Lewis&sponsorTypes%5B%5D=sponsor&sponsorTypes%5B%5D=sponsor&sponsorTypeBool=OR&committeeActivity%5B%5D=0&committeeActivity%5B%5D=3&committeeActivity%5B%5D=11&committeeActivity%5B%5D=12&committeeActivity%5B%5D=4&committeeActivity%5B%5D=2&committeeActivity%5B%5D=5&committeeActivity%5B%5D=9&satellite=[]&search=&submitted=Submitted&searchResultViewType=expanded

 
 
 
Kavika
8  Kavika     3 weeks ago

John Lewis an American hero, his courage and dignity changed the face of America.

RIP Mr. Lewis.

 
 
 
PJ
9  PJ    3 weeks ago

It amazes me how some people are incapable of saying nothing when they have nothing nice to say about someone who has recently passed.  It speaks volumes about their personal character.

 
 
 
Texan1211
9.1  Texan1211  replied to  PJ @9    3 weeks ago

Does it also amaze you when people who have nothing good to say about someone can't keep their traps shut?

 
 
 
PJ
9.1.1  PJ  replied to  Texan1211 @9.1    3 weeks ago

It depends on the article that was posted.  It's exhausting trying to teach some who are challenged the do's and dont's of situations.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
9.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  PJ @9.1.1    3 weeks ago
It depends on the article that was posted.  It's exhausting trying to teach some who are challenged the do's and dont's of situations.  

It's exhausting trying to cull through comments when so many are just hate-filled rants. 

And that doesn't depend on the article.

Guess it says a lot about the character of such folks, right?

 
 
 
r.t..b...
9.1.3  r.t..b...  replied to  Texan1211 @9.1    3 weeks ago
good to say about someone

Any thoughts regarding the passing of an iconic figure who devoted an entire life in lending a reasoned voice to our shared struggle in the effort to one day realize the promises we all were granted?

 
 
 
Texan1211
9.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  r.t..b... @9.1.3    3 weeks ago

He will be missed.

He fought a good fight.

 
 
 
Gsquared
9.1.5  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @9.1.4    3 weeks ago

Good for you, pardner!!!  I'm very happy to hear you say that...

 
 
 
Texan1211
9.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @9.1.5    3 weeks ago

Yippee?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
9.1.7  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Texan1211 @9.1.6    3 weeks ago

Take this elsewhere. Don't ruin a memorial article.

 
 
 
Texan1211
9.1.8  Texan1211  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @9.1.7    3 weeks ago
He will be missed. He fought a good fight.
 
 
 
Gsquared
9.1.9  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @9.1.8    3 weeks ago

He will be missed. He fought a good fight.

In harmony...

 
 
 
Texan1211
9.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  Gsquared @9.1.9    3 weeks ago
In harmony...

Why?

 
 
 
Gsquared
9.1.11  Gsquared  replied to  Texan1211 @9.1.10    3 weeks ago

Come on, pardner...  We are singing from the same hymnal right now.  Get it?

 
 
 
XDm9mm
10  XDm9mm    3 weeks ago

Mr. Lewis, the majority of your positions were diametrically opposed to mine, but I acknowledge your sincerity in their belief.

You fought the good fight against an insidious enemy all people may one day encounter.   Unfortunately, the fight is more often than not, ultimately a losing one, but it's a fight well worth fighting.

Rest in peace sir.  You're worthy of the peace.

 
 
 
Gsquared
10.1  Gsquared  replied to  XDm9mm @10    3 weeks ago

You fought the good fight against an insidious enemy all people may one day encounter.   Unfortunately, the fight is more often than not, ultimately a losing one, but it's a fight well worth fighting.

Rest in peace sir.  You're worthy of the peace.

On that we can agree 100%.

 
 
 
pat wilson
10.2  pat wilson  replied to  XDm9mm @10    3 weeks ago
Mr. Lewis, the majority of your positions were diametrically opposed to mine, but I acknowledge your sincerity in their belief.

I'm sure Mr. Lewis was very concerned about your positions and acknowledgement. /s

 
 
 
Texan1211
10.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  pat wilson @10.2    3 weeks ago

To quote Perrie at 9.1.7:

Take this elsewhere. Don't ruin a memorial article.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
12  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

A man of strength and deed. He had the passion to face the hardships that many now would never do, and he did so with grace and dignity. Rest in peace. You will be missed. 

 
 
 
r.t..b...
13  r.t..b...    3 weeks ago

Can we put aside the rancor for this one day in honoring the memory of a truly great man?

The ad nauseum arguments over Southern Democrats, the KKK, yada, yada, yada will be revisited and left unresolved on scores of other threads. How about just this once, we allow this to be a solemn place where we can bestow our thanks should one feel compelled. That might be the greatest gift we could offer in honor of all he fought for.

Peace.

 
 
 
Kavika
13.1  Kavika   replied to  r.t..b... @13    3 weeks ago

Perhaps we could honor Mr. Lewis by renaming the Edmond Pettus bridge to the John Lewis bridge. A fitting tribute to Mr. Lewis who would be replacing Pettus a Grand Dragon of the KKK.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
13.1.1  r.t..b...  replied to  Kavika @13.1    3 weeks ago
A fitting tribute

Indeed, Kavika.

There are sites aplenty where one can lend their name and support to see this come to fruition. The perfect memorial upon which none should take issue.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
13.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  r.t..b... @13    3 weeks ago
Can we put aside the rancor for this one day in honoring the memory of a truly great man?

Excellent suggestion.

 
 
 
Gsquared
13.3  Gsquared  replied to  r.t..b... @13    3 weeks ago

Can we put aside the rancor for this one day in honoring the memory of a truly great man?

Yes.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
14  sandy-2021492    3 weeks ago

Thread #5 has been cleaned up.  Perrie has already issued an instruction not to ruin a memorial article.  Let's please keep this civil.

 
 
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