RIP John Lewis (1940-2020)

enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
I'm just going to link Josh Marshall's reaction when John Lewis announced he had stage IV pancreatic cancer back in December. Because I don't have the words.

I'll add this though:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4399400/user-clip-john-lewis-doma-1996

His speech opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, which he called the Defense of Mean-spirited Bigots Act.

There's not a lot of famous people who I think will actually be missed, but he certainly is one of them.

Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    I just saw this in the news.

    I know we’re gonna be hearing this a lot, but I am truly saddened.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    He was out at protests less than a weak ago. While the cancer was about to kill him.

    Hell of a dude even for that and that's a tiny incidental sideshow for him.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    The man was an American Hero, and our nation is poorer now than it was yesterday for this loss.

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  • BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    The man was an American Hero, and our nation is poorer now than it was yesterday for this loss.

    1000% this. And even more sad, I believe his death leaves only Diane Nash and B. LaFayette as the remaining living Freedom Riders.

    His response to being beat to shit in Selma on Bloody Sunday being the rhetorical equivalent of asking the Governor and Alabama law enforcement if that was all they had was ballsier than anything I've attempted in my life.

    I can only hope to one day have the integrity and dedication needed for such action in defense of my convictions and for the betterment of and rights for my fellow citizens.

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  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    edited July 18
    Damn.
    When Lewis asked Obama to sign a commemorative photograph at his 2009 inauguration, the newly sworn-in president wrote: “Because of you, John.”

    Trace on
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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I wept this afternoon when I saw the news.

    Also, John Lewis wasn't the only member of the Civil Rights movement to die on Friday.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/07/17/892223763/c-t-vivian-civil-rights-leader-and-champion-of-nonviolent-action-dies-at-95

    Reverend C.T. Vivian also passed away. Another member of the Freedom Riders and a leader behind the planning of sit-ins in Selma and other places.


    I am sad that even though much has changed since these men were marching, they did not live to see any true resolution to their fight.

    We can only do our best to do better in their memories. and honour their legacies.

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  • EinzelEinzel Registered User regular
    Farts.

  • HenroidHenroid Seize the Memes Registered User regular
    Definitely a hero. He had genuine compassion, and wasn't afraid to act on it.

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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    I wept this afternoon when I saw the news.

    Also, John Lewis wasn't the only member of the Civil Rights movement to die on Friday.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/07/17/892223763/c-t-vivian-civil-rights-leader-and-champion-of-nonviolent-action-dies-at-95

    Reverend C.T. Vivian also passed away. Another member of the Freedom Riders and a leader behind the planning of sit-ins in Selma and other places.


    I am sad that even though much has changed since these men were marching, they did not live to see any true resolution to their fight.

    We can only do our best to do better in their memories. and honour their legacies.

    Gonna disagree slightly here.

    Seeing Obama sworn in and serve two full terms as President is some resolution that he could be proud to have helped usher in.

    That he was followed by the current occupant does show that there's still a lot of work to go, but there was, and never will be, an end to the work that John Lewis and those with him championed.

    There needs to be constant work towards equality, and constant vigilance if it's ever achieved. As @Phoenix-D mentioned, he was on the front lines as recently as last week. Never giving up the fight is a legacy I'd think John Lewis be proud of.

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I'm fine with that.

    And I get that.

    But we're still seeing black men AMD women and children and people lynched in this time.

    It hurts a bit that this is the case. It hurts to think of this being the world that these men had at their last moments.

    I dunno. I'm just sad. And bitter.

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  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    Damn. I know he had been sick but it's still a gut punch.

    Lewis was - no hyperbole - probably the greatest living American hero and did as much to make America a better place as anyone.

    He will definitely be missed.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited July 18
    John Lewis: from civil rights titan to Black Lives Matter

    A bit of his legacy and some wonderful photographs. The header is the image of John Lewis being beaten by a state trooper and suffering a fractured skull in Selma, Alabama.

    Even before I knew who he was or anything about the adult version of the civil rights movement I knew that photograph. It was in one of the history books in Jr. High School. Growing up and seeing that this was actually a man who made it into congress to make things better and not just a guy in a book was a powerful thing. History lessons and lectures never really made an impact on me as a teenager. It took becoming an adult and seeing the humanity of it and how powerful goodness is.

    John Lewis seeing Obama elected and being awarded the Medal of Freedom was one of the highlights in what was a very bright time.

    This is such a loss. He earned a retirement he never felt like taking and fought for so long.
    He saw the movement as another chapter in the cause that was his life’s work, inspiring countless younger men and women. “Generations from now,” said Obama, presenting the 2010 medal of freedom to Lewis, “when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of John Lewis will come to mind – an American who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time; whose life is a lesson in the fierce urgency of now.”

    dispatch.o on
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  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    John Lewis was titan of a man. A person who stood for the rights of those who had the least. He was voice that should be listened to for its strength of resolve and integrity. He will be missed and our country lesser with this loss.

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  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    If Justice Roberts or any of the other VRA killers try to show up at his funeral, they should get a faceful of spit.

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  • HenroidHenroid Seize the Memes Registered User regular
    There's a sadder take on his passing.
    John Lewis lived long enough to see his legacy be undone. He was sitting in the Supreme Court chamber when Justice Antonin Scalia compared the Voting Rights Act to a “racial entitlement,” and he almost cried.
    The article details the act coming up, it being attacked in the SCOTUS, and how he had a bill passed in 2019 to restore it; Mitch McConnell has let it sit for over 200 days in the Senate without a vote.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    I wept this afternoon when I saw the news.

    Also, John Lewis wasn't the only member of the Civil Rights movement to die on Friday.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/07/17/892223763/c-t-vivian-civil-rights-leader-and-champion-of-nonviolent-action-dies-at-95

    Reverend C.T. Vivian also passed away. Another member of the Freedom Riders and a leader behind the planning of sit-ins in Selma and other places.


    I am sad that even though much has changed since these men were marching, they did not live to see any true resolution to their fight.

    We can only do our best to do better in their memories. and honour their legacies.

    If even like Ta-Nehisi Coates can look around at what's happening right now and feel hopeful, I figure John Lewis could probably look around at the america he's leaving behind, with for example a bunch of white people in the middle of nowhere in Maine marching chanting Black Lives Matter, and figure the arc is still bending.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited July 18
    For some levity.

    Congressman and Civil Rights legend John Lewis went to Comic-Con dressed as a real-life hero: Himself
    In recent years, he's also become a regular attendee of comic book conventions, most notably San Diego Comic-Con — which he appeared at for the second consecutive year last weekend.
    Congressman Lewis went to Comic-Con wearing a jacket and backpack identical to what he wore during the "Bloody Sunday" march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama — the events at the center of the film "Selma."

    It didn't end there, though.

    According to The Washington Post's Michael Cavna — whose account of Lewis' Comic-Con appearance is worth reading in full — a group of local third graders were brought to the convention to see Lewis speak.


    When the time came to leave the room and cross the convention to the booth Lewis had to find a way to cross the crowded convention with his young audience.

    So Lewis decided to recreate another little bit of history at Comic-Con. Hand-in-hand, from the panel room to the show floor, Lewis and the children did exactly what Lewis did when he last wore a coat and backpack like those on his back at the convention.

    They marched.

    TLDR - Started going to Comic-Con and in 2015 Cosplayed himself and led a march of grade school kids after speaking on a panel. Wearing his famous long jacket and backpack.


    What a human.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
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  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    I have been trying to think of something to say, some response worthy of the man. I am not eloquent enough to come up with the right words, but John Lewis was more than capable of speaking for himself:


    John Lewis wrote:
    Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. #goodtrouble

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  • No-QuarterNo-Quarter Nothing To Fear But Fear ItselfRegistered User regular
    This sucks. :(

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  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    edited July 18
    2020 can go sit on the wrong end of a rake.

    joshofalltrades on
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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Marco Rubio made his profile pic Rubio meeting Elijah Cummings and posted it in the tweet talking about how great Lewis was, presumably because he cannot tell the difference

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    “Just this weekend, I went to church in Maryland. Someone came up to me and said, ‘Hi, Mr. Cummings! I vote for you all the time! I just said thank you. What else could I say? That’s when I decided, I should just grow a beard.”

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Another GOP Senator made the same mistake.

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/gop-senators-rubio-sullivan-cummings-photos-john-lewis-tribute
    Sullivan issued an apology for a now-deleted Facebook post paying tribute to Lewis that featured a photo of the Alaska senator with Cummings — the Maryland congressman who died last year — in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The photo was previously used in a post last year paying tribute to Cummings.

    “Senator Sullivan’s staff made a mistake trying to honor an American legend,” a spokesperson for Sullivan told CNN.

    Sullivan shared a new post on Facebook that refers to a Washington Post article on Lewis’ death.

  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    The right-wing "tributes" to John Lewis have been absolutely disgusting, from all the ones mistaking him and Elijah Cummings, to the dripping hypocrisy of the likes of Mitch McConnell and others who actively fought and fight against equality and currently support police brutality, to Trump not even bothering with a grammatical Tweet. Fuck them all and their mealy-mouthed bullshit.



    Jamelle Boule is a writer and NY Times columnist.

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  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Trump has decided not to go to Senator Lewis’s display.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/509206-trump-will-not-visit-capitol-to-pay-respects-to-civil-rights-icon?amp

    While I don’t want Trump to be there, this is still disrespectful on Trump’s part. It’d be one thing if Lewis’s family decided on their own to not have Trump attend, him deciding unilaterally that the office of the President of the United States not attend services is an incredible insult.

    I’m not surprised he’s this petty and racist, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enraged.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    More disrespectful was McConnell eulogizing the man.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Trump has decided not to go to Senator Lewis’s display.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/509206-trump-will-not-visit-capitol-to-pay-respects-to-civil-rights-icon?amp

    While I don’t want Trump to be there, this is still disrespectful on Trump’s part. It’d be one thing if Lewis’s family decided on their own to not have Trump attend, him deciding unilaterally that the office of the President of the United States not attend services is an incredible insult.

    I’m not surprised he’s this petty and racist, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enraged.

    Remember Bush's funeral?

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  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Trump has decided not to go to Senator Lewis’s display.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/509206-trump-will-not-visit-capitol-to-pay-respects-to-civil-rights-icon?amp

    While I don’t want Trump to be there, this is still disrespectful on Trump’s part. It’d be one thing if Lewis’s family decided on their own to not have Trump attend, him deciding unilaterally that the office of the President of the United States not attend services is an incredible insult.

    I’m not surprised he’s this petty and racist, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enraged.

    Remember Bush's funeral?

    I honestly don’t.

    I cared very little for Bush 1 and spent even less time reading or remembering him when he passed.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that Obama's giving the eulogy at tomorrow's funeral.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that Obama's giving the eulogy at tomorrow's funeral.

    It'll be nice to hear the most dynamic public speaker of our time again, and also see an example of how a real president should act.

    V wrote:
    Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that Obama's giving the eulogy at tomorrow's funeral.

    It'll be nice to hear the most dynamic public speaker of our time again, and also see an example of how a real president should act.

    Am I the only one dreading Trump realizing he's not the center of attention, and losing it because he's not been invited?

    As we saw with Fauci and baseball, he doesn't take too kindly to either.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    He wrote a thing for the NYT before he died, and I think the best parts are here:
    Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

    You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, though decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

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  • HenroidHenroid Seize the Memes Registered User regular
    Bill Clinton at John Lewis' funeral:
    Bill Clinton in full-triangulation mode at John Lewis's funeral, invoking cancel culture & dissing black power: "When he could have been angry and determined to cancel his adversaries, he tried to get converts instead. He thought the opened hand was better than a clenched fist."
    God, fucking shut up and read the room. Also, the word 'cancel' is meaningless.

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  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    After listening to Jim Lawson's eulogy I feel like I am capable of beating a mountain made out of steel to death with my bare fists.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited July 30
    The nyt published an essay written by Lewis shortly before his death. Put it here in full because fuck the Times locking this behind a paywall
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/opinion/john-lewis-civil-rights-america.html
    John Lewis wrote:

    Together, You
    Can Redeem the Soul
    of Our Nation

    Though I am gone, I urge
    you to answer the highest calling
    of your heart and stand
    up for what you truly believe.

    While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

    That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

    Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

    Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

    Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

    Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

    You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, though decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

    Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

    When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Whay the fuck is Bill Clinton doing, stop it dude

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  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    So I am listening to Clinton. So let's just say a single quote out of context isn't really what he was talking about at that part of the street. He was talking about forgiveness and kindness in the whole Christian faith sense. But also not discounting causing protest and such.

    So hey, remember long speeches are more than a line.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Eulogy from Obama in a couple minutes. I'm gonna go back and listen to the first half afterwards. Everyone's saying Lawson was incredible.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Obama is drawing a very straight parallel between the violence in Selma and Portland. Not directly yet, but certainly by allusion.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Warren 2020
    AbsalonCouscousStabbity StylemonikerTNTrooperGiantGeek2020ShadowfireToxKoopahTroopah
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