‘We Have Lost a Giant’: Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Dies

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a Civil Rights icon, died on Friday at 80-years-old after battling cancer — drawing words of remembrance from many.

After being elected in 1986, Lewis served 17 terms in Congress. Prior to that, he rose from poverty and he became a civil rights movement leader. He helped Martin Luther King Jr. organize the March on Washington and Lewis was a member of King’s inner circle. In 1965, he was beaten by an Alabama state trooper while leading hundreds of voting rights marchers from Selma to Montgomery during a peaceful march. That day is known as “Bloody Sunday.” He was arrested over 40 times for civil rights activities between 1960 to 1966.

Lewis shared to the public in December of 2019 that he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Among the many people who offered a tribute to Lewis was former President Barack Obama, who wrote in a statement, “He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.”

He later added:

“He believed that in all of us, there exists the capacity for great courage, a longing to do what’s right, a willingness to love all people, and to extend to them their God-given rights to dignity and respect. And it’s because he saw the best in all of us that he will continue, even in his passing, to serve as a beacon in that long journey towards a more perfect union.”

Obama concluded, “Not many of us get to live to see our own legacy play out in such a meaningful, remarkable way. John Lewis did. And thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders — to keep believing in the possibility of remaking this country we love until it lives up to its full promise.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described Lewis as “a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation.”

Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton wrote in a statement, “We have lost a giant. John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America’s unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together.”

They added, “Our hearts go out to his son John-Miles and the entire Lewis family, his able loyal staff, and all who loved and admired him the world over.”

Several others took to Twitter:

Lewis recently shared a tweet with a photo, marking 59 years since he “was released from Parchman Farm Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson, MS for using a so-called ‘white’ restroom during the Freedom Rides of 1961.”

Lewis wrote in a tweet in June of 2018, “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.”

Responses

  1. Mary, you made the comment that ‘they’ don’t want to be educated and ‘they’ don’t want to get jobs. The problem with your comment is that ‘they’ are discriminated against in every aspect of their lives. Housing, Education opportunities and employment are all hindered for black people due to discrimination. Discrimination and segregation are alive and well in this country. The good news is the millennials are less racist than previous generations. I believe with each new generation racism is reduced. I suspect and hope that in another 100 years things will be much better.

  2. liquid, ray, hugh wayne black, chuck, John & Mary…you all made racist comments! You are what’s wrong with this country and, in part, the cause for all the racial strife we’ve seen since the death of George Floyd. As long as people in this country continue to think like the bunch of you, we will continue to have racial problems! I realize that some of you don’t believe you’re racist but that’s only because it’s so ingrained in your soul you don’t realize it.

  3. LARGE mouth Ass is what he was, God rest his soul… Caused NOTHING but racial tension among the people of this country, served NO GOOD to ANYONE!! Talks about struggles but NEVER mentioned that they bring on their OWN struggles by refusing to better THEMSELVES, they go around with this attitude that they are owed a living, well, I’m here to tell you all, you are OWED NOTHING, go out, get educated and GET A JOB!!! You will be surprised how many doors open for you regardless of race, creed or color!! If you bring NOTHING to the table you get scraps at best…

  4. “We’ve lost a giant of the civil rights movement with the passing of C.T. Vivian.” Did the Hillarrhoid have a brain fart? I know, she must have seen a balloon. Lewis must have been a ‘real close friend’. She couldn’t even remember his name.

  5. The Generally Confused General is confused about the difference between a civil rights leader and a race baiter! Lesson:

    Martin Luther King=civil rights leader

    John Lewis (and his like)=race baiters that enrich themselves

  6. The article didn’t mention Lewis’s lies about being called the “N” word by the Tea Party. Despite a $100,000 offer from Andrew Breitbart to supply video/audio evidence…nothing. Thousands of cell phones and video cameras out their as Nasty Pelosi and Lewis marched through DC hand in hand with Nasty’s giant gavel.

    Lewis is proof that all it takes to be a civil rights leader is to take a whack in the noggin and to be a blatant liar! This original race baiter was a cancer, not a leader, as are Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al. RIH (Rest In Hell).

  7. I believe George Floyd’s death may have received more attention. Something’s wrong with that picture. Didn’t agree with everything he said but cancer is no way to end a life.

  8. Goodbye Mr. Lewis. I disagreed with most everything you did and said while in Congress, but I hope you are forgiven for your racism.

  9. RIP Mr Lewis and May memories of happier times bring comfort and peace to your loved ones in this trying time.

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