John Lewis
U.S. Rep. John Lewis addresses the crowd at a news conference in honor of Atlanta City Council renaming a street in his honor, in Atlanta, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Atlanta is honoring Lewis by renaming a street after the civil rights icon. (AP Photos/Brinley Hineman)

Civil Rights icon John Lewis has passed away, ultimately succumbing to pancreatic cancer, a particularly nasty way to go. But that wasn’t his toughest fight. Lewis, as a young man, was one tough hombre. A believer in the cause of individual liberty, he was arrested many times and often beaten by agents of the state and by passing “volunteers.” One of the most significant events in the life of John Lewis was the event known as, “Bloody Sunday.”

Bloody Sunday started out as a peaceful march by mostly Black Americans from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery. Their purpose was to protest the practices of Southern states (at that time, all run by Democrats) that had enacted a number of laws that were clearly designed to disenfranchise Black voters. On March 7, 1965, as the marchers approached Pettus Bridge, Alabama State Troopers assisted by local Democrat “volunteers,” attacked the marchers with clubs, bats, and tear gas. It was brutal.

John Lewis was struck in the head and knocked to the ground. As he tried to get up, he was struck again, cracking his skull. For the rest of his life, he carried around a metal plate in his head, a remembrance of that brutal day on an Alabaman bridge. Lewis was jailed and beaten several more times during his younger days as a civil rights firebrand and protégé for Dr. Martin Luther King.

However, despite the severe provocations and physical insults on his person during his early life, Lewis was a staunch believer in non-violence and remained so through his career as a United States Congressman and up until his death. As I said, a real tough hombre. I ain’t tough enough to preach non-violence when somebody takes a poke at me. I’m about swift retribution. John Lewis, in that regard, was a much better man than I. Having said that, there are some things we need to note as we celebrate the bravery and steadfastness of purpose Lewis exhibited in his early life.

First and always foremost, his trials and tribulations were exclusively the end result of Democrat governance. It was Democrats who voted for and passed voting restrictions that led to the march on Montgomery. It was Democrats who were in control of the political systems that ordered law enforcement, agents of the state, to brutally beat other Americans for peaceably exercising their rights. Even after some arm twisting by the then Democrat President, Lyndon Johnson (who had been shamed into proposing the legislation after Selma), it was still Republicans who had to carry the legislation across the finish line.

The Democrats are loath to remind anyone that the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of the marchers’ efforts, was supported by a much larger percentage of the Republican lawmakers present, than the Democrats. In the House, Democrats voted 217-54, for passage, 25 percent of them voting NAY. In the Senate, Democrats voted 49-17, 34 percent of them voting NAY. On the other hand, and although in the minority in both chambers, Republicans voted 111-20 for passage, only 18 percent voting NAY. On the Senate side, Republicans voted 30-1 for passage.

Back to Congressman Lewis’ abhorrence of violence; It would be a moral insult to his legacy if we failed to note that it is the Democrat party that is and has always been the proponent of violence to achieve their means. The KKK was formed as the violent enforcement arm of the Democrat party…and members of that organization were present and plying their evil trade that day in 1965. The very bridge on which the battle was fought, was named after a former Grand Dragon of the KKK.

The Democrats, especially their far left-wing, ANTIFA and BLM, are continuing the tradition of using violence against innocents to make their political point. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, it still seems to be White Democrats of Black Lives Matter, who are beating Black citizens who have the effrontery to disagree with them. Congressman John Lewis stood for non-violence. it’s about time we call out the members of his party who are sullying his legacy.

Mike Ford
Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters. 
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