This past Saturday morning while surfing TV channels, I came across a segment offering tributes to John Lewis. This was Fox News that I had stumbled upon, where both anchors and guests were praising the virtues of the congressman.
Lewis, the youngest to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, talked of impatience in stopping the ill treatment of Black Americans by police. Today he was pushing for passage of the Voting Rights Act, a bill that carries his name.
How ironic that the network that opposes mail-in ballots, and has condemned the mostly peaceful protests of 20 million people regarding mistreatment of Black men by peace officers, would be so profuse in extolling Lewis’ virtues.
I have news for Fox News. John Lewis, in his day, was today’s Black Lives Matter. Recent internet memes pine for the non-looting, non-rioting, non-burning protests of Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis and others. One might think that those earlier protests were embraced by Americans. They were not. Those marchers were met with billy clubs, the jaws of police dogs and the punishing force of fire hoses.
If any news source desires to celebrate the life of John Lewis, then let them do it not by simply honoring his remains in the rotunda, but by completing that which remains of his unfinished agenda.
We must support the Voting Rights Act and we must sit down and talk about how we police differently. That is how we can best remember John Lewis.