I felt better as I watched Real President Obama eulogize John Lewis today. “We Shall Overcome,” belted out at the end of Lewis’s memorial service in Atlanta. Jumping to my feet dancing, clapping, and singing, I recalled participating in 1960s demonstrations.
On this day that the historical aberration in the White House floated the postponement of the November presidential election, this woo-woo thought popped into my head: Did John Lewis know the Oglala Lakota quote “Today is a good day to die?” Did he know that during his memorial service Obama and others would push the absolute necessity of voting on Nov. 3?
Who was this man, a saint of American History? I’m not religious but I believe in the sanctity of John Lewis. His head was bashed in marching for voting rights in 1965. Marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Marching across a bridge named for a KKK leader.
Marching for equality every day of his life. For more than 30 years as a U.S. Congressman from Georgia, engaging in “Good Trouble” to right 400 years of inequality in this country. Who else would have led a sit-in for support of gun control legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives?
A few years ago I walked across the Pettus Bridge in Alabama. Halfway across I felt the presence of those ’60s Civil Rights activists. So powerful was the sensation, I turned around and walked back to where I started. I felt better. Had a few of my memory cells traveled back and mingled with the marchers, somehow adding support to their cause?
In a remarkable NYT op-ed destined to be published the day Lewis died, the voting rights hero encouraged young people to “[lay] down the heavy burdens of hate.”
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of living in a shithole country.
I feel better aligning with John Lewis’s optimism. I feel better imagining a Democratic electoral landslide on Nov. 3. I feel better visualizing a Democratic U.S. Senate takeover, so that some “Good Trouble” can create a new normal for all Americans.
Very nice and thoughtful post.
Thank you, Sheila. I feel the same about “good trouble” moving forward.
Amen. Can we vote now.
May it come to pass.
Yes, well said and thank you for the hope.
John was an incredible man, inspiring. 😢