2 Republican Senators Post Photos of Elijah Cummings in John Lewis Tributes - The New York Times
Category: News & PoliticsVia: jbb • 3 weeks ago • 10 comments
Rubio is so damn dumb he still supports Trump...
Marco Rubio and Dan Sullivan were each trying to honor Mr. Lewis on social media when they mistakenly posted photos of Mr. Cummings, a Black congressman who died in October.
Senator Marco Rubio later acknowledged having used an incorrect photo in a Twitter tribute to Representative John Lewis, who died on Friday.Credit...Pool photo by Andrew Harnik
By Christina Morales
- July 18, 2020 Updated 7:57 p.m. ET
Like thousands of other Americans, Senators Marco Rubio and Dan Sullivan took to social media on Saturday to mourn the death of Representative John Lewis, a venerated figure of the civil rights movement.
"It was an honor to know & be blessed with the opportunity to serve in Congress with John Lewis a genuine & historic American hero," Mr. Rubio said in a tweet on Saturday afternoon. "May the Lord grant him eternal peace."
Except the photo Mr. Rubio posted was not of Mr. Lewis, but of another congressman: Representative Elijah E. Cummings, who died in October. Mr. Rubio also used the photo of himself with Mr. Cummings as his Twitter profile picture for a brief time.
Wrong black guy pic.twitter.com/qYnWSuw177
— Wesley (@WesleyLowery) July 18, 2020
Mr. Sullivan, Republican of Alaska, also memorialized Mr. Lewis with a photo of Mr. Cummings. In the picture he posted to his Facebook account, Mr. Sullivan is standing beside Mr. Cummings in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.
"Congressman Lewis' courage and principled leadership helped guide America through one of the most challenging periods in its history, calling our country to live up to its ideals with justice and equality for all people regardless of color and creed," Mr. Sullivan wrote.
In a follow-up tweet, Mr. Rubio, Republican of Florida, acknowledged having used an incorrect photo.
"John Lewis was a genuine American hero," he added. "I was honored to appear together in Miami 3 years ago at an event captured in video below. May God grant him eternal rest."
For his part, Mr. Sullivan later removed the photo of Mr. Cummings from his Facebook post, as well as a reference to the museum.
According to Nick Iacovella, a spokesman for Mr. Rubio, the mix-up with the photo of Mr. Rubio and Mr. Cummings happened because of a mislabeled photo. The original photo, taken in February 2014 by the Philadelphia Inquirer photojournalist Lauren Schneiderman, was removed from Ms. Schneiderman's personal website.
Screenshots show that caption information indeed identified Mr. Cummings as Mr. Lewis.
"Senator Sullivan's staff made a mistake trying to honor an American legend," Mike Anderson, a spokesman for Mr. Sullivan, said in an email on Saturday.
Twitter was quick to criticize Mr. Rubio for confusing the congressmen.
Mr. Lewis died at 80 Friday. He announced in December that he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. One of the original 13 Freedom Riders, he was a powerful force in the U.S. civil rights movement, helping organize the March on Washington and other demonstrations.
Mr. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, died in Oct. 17 at 68 in Baltimore. At the time of his death, he was serving his 13th term in the House of Representatives.
Amid the nationwide unrest that grew out of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in May after an encounter with the Minneapolis police, the treatment of Black Americans has been brought to the front of the country's political consciousness. Black employees, for instance, have been subject to indignities such as being mistaken for a fellow Black co-worker.
For all its prestige, Capitol Hill is still just another workplace, and the senators' posts were far from the first instances of Mr. Cummings and Mr. Lewis's having been confused for each other.
In late December, CBS News apologized for incorrectly showing a photo of Mr. Cummings when referring to Mr. Lewis. In June 2019, a Fox News anchor, Eric Shawn, apologized for confusing the congressmen, even with Mr. Lewis's nameplate being in the news clip.
Mr. Lewis took the mix-ups in stride. Standing next to a portrait of Mr. Cummings on the House floor in October, Mr. Lewis paid tribute to his friend and talked about his service.
"Sometimes people would confuse us, and say, 'Hello, Elijah,' 'Hello, John Lewis,' to him," he said. "And we would joke about it. We would laugh about it."
On April Fools' Day last year, Mr. Lewis jokingly announced that he would grow a beard to at last put an end to his being mistaken for Mr. Cummings. In an official statement, he said that he had even considered getting a tattoo on the back of his head.
"I guess being mistaken does have its advantages, though," Mr. Lewis said. "Elijah's younger than me, so I guess being mistaken for him is kind of a compliment. Maybe one day when I have a schedule conflict, I'll see if he wouldn't mind sitting in a hearing for me. You think anybody would notice?"