Tuesday, January 17, 2017
MY ALL-TIME HERO
I am pleased to republish my BLOG article from 2012 and a letter from John Lewis titled
I STAND WITH JOHN LEWIS
Anyone who knows me knows that I always say that John Lewis is my all-time hero.
In 1961, John was one of the original Freedom Riders. From 1963-1966, he was the Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), of which I was a member. On August 28, 1963, at age 23, he was an organizer and speaker at the March On Washington where Dr. King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech. He was beaten, nearly to death, on March 7, 1965, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the March From Selma to Montgomery. That day will always be remembered as "Bloody Sunday". The scars from his skull fracture are still visible today.
John Lewis was one of the so-called "Six Leaders of The Civil Rights Movement". The others were:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A. Phillip Randolph
Lewis was the youngest and the only one still living.
John Lewis survived many brutalities and in 1986 he ran for Congress and is serving his thirteenth term as the U.S. Congressman from Georgia's Fifth Congressional District. He has served his constituents diligently and continues the fight for the rights for minorities, women, seniors, veterans, labor, and sexual orientation.
Along with John, I am deeply concerned about the efforts to deny voting rights to minorities, seniors, the poor, and young people. Fortunately, we were able to expose and defeat the attempt in Ohio to deny voting rights. However, in several other states, there are campaigns to deny voting rights.
Below is a letter from John Lewis I wish to share.
This is deeply personal for me.
As you know, I’ve been marching and preaching and fighting for voting rights for over 50 years. Today, we’re seeing a deliberate and systematic effort on the part of Republican officials to prevent minorities, seniors, the young, and the poor from casting their ballots.
Republican Governors like Florida’s Rick Scott and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker are trying to steal this election even before it takes place.
Voting is precious, almost sacred. It’s the most powerful instrument that we have in a democratic society. We need to move quickly to launch voter education programs and counter the powerful interests that are endangering our basic rights.
Too many courageous people have fought to secure the vote. Don’t let it be taken away:
Congressman John Lewis
Georgia's 5th District