U.S. Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Dies at Age 80, At a Time When His Country Needs the Likes of Him the Most
A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted June 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.” – American Civil Rights Giant John Lewis
He was one of the last of the great foot soldiers from the Martin Luther King era in the ongoing struggle for civil rights in America and around the world.
Inspired by Martin Luther King, John Lewis was a young “freedom rider” in the battle against racial segregation in the early 1960s.
On what became known in history books as ‘Blood Sunday’, John Lewis almost lost his life from a police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, during a march for voting rights in 1965, lived on to fight one battle after another for the betterment of those who are oppressed in this world.
In the end though, Lewis, who went on to serve for many decades as a U.S. Congressman, lost his battle against pancreatic cancer and died late this Friday, July 17th.
The stage-four pancreatic cancer had been eating away at him for many months yet, fortunately, he lived to see the Black Lives Matter movement win world-wide support this spring in the wake of the horrific killing of another African-American under the knee of police, George Floyd.
One of John Lewis’s last public appearances was on newly-named ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ in Washington, D.C. – given that name by the city’s mayor after the racist in the White House had peaceful protesters beaten by police there so that Trump could do a photo up in front of a nearby church for his evangelical fans, holding a Bible upside down.
With Trump still in the White House, and his millions of white supremacists admirers still screaming their anger and hate across the country, the U.S. can ill-afford to lose great warriors for justice like John Lewis who, as the late Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice put it upon learning of his passing, was never in it for himself and who always stood for one thing – “what was right.”
To watch a short documentary on the life of John Lewis, click on the screen immediately below-
RIP John Lewis
Let all good people in this world make a pledge to keep fighting for what he stood for.
A Brief Footnote from Doug Draper –
I can’t help but include this video clip of a young John Lewis, speaking on the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial, during the March on Washington where Martin Luther King delivered his famed ‘I Have A Dream Speech’ in 1963. Click on the screen below to watch –
For a CBC News report on the death this July 17th, 2020 of C.T. Vivian, another American Civil Rights icon and one-time advisor to the late Martin Luther King, click on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/c-t-vivian-civil-rights-leader-obit-1.5654081
One Final Note here from Doug Draper (I promise) – If you get NETFLIX, there is now a new documentary on John Lewis out called “Good Trouble.” Here is the trailer –
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