Only because my wife likes to watch true crime shows on OWN- the Oprah Winfrey Network- like Dateline and 20/20 crime stories, the station was tuned on the television as I surfed the guide looking for something to watch (settled on Monty Python and the Holy Grail). In the background was a tribute to the recently deceased Georgia Congressman John Lewis complete with testimonials of people who likely never met the man personally and singers singing songs in tribute to him. Some of it was recollections in his own words. What struck me was that they were raising him to some saintly status because he got his head clunked on a bridge in Alabama and being arrested 24 times for his civil rights activism.
What all these tributes leave out are the inconvenient truths about John Lewis. This is a man who led a front group for the Communist Party in the United States and who lauded a known Communist- Paul Robeson who happened to be a big fan of Stalin who killed more people than Hitler. Lewis handed off leadership of that Communist front to someone equally radical- Stokely Carmichael. He was a co-sponsor of another Communist front group “A Call” that grew out of the movement to free Angela Davis.
This is a man that despite his 24 arrests, fractured skull, and “war wounds” in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s has been openly endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America and who published articles in Communist Party papers. In 1989, Congress condemned the Nicaraguan Communist Sandinistas by a 379-29 vote. Guess who was among the 29? He is one of a handful of Congresscritters who have praised Fidel Castro and Cuba. To gain an understanding of this “saint’s” mindset, John Lewis said this on the House floor in 1995:
They (Republicans) came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews … trade unionists … Catholics … Protestants…They are coming for the children. They are coming for the poor. They are coming for the sick, the elderly, and the disabled.
Lewis is not afraid of invoking the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. if it suits his political agenda. In fact, he often does so in many contexts. With immigration, he said this:
…if Dr. King were here today, he would be traveling and preaching all across America (to promote) comprehensive immigration reform to legalize millions, on grounds that there is no such thing as illegal human being.
Regardless of what Dr. King “would have said,” at the end of the day John Lewis is nothing but a race baiter who parlayed his name into a House seat. He is no different than Al Sharpton or Rhymin’ Jesse Jackson- race hustlers who see a racial bogeyman behind every tree. It was he, after all, who lied and said someone shouted the “N-word” at him during a Tea Party protest in 2010. Even after Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 award for evidence, none turned up despite the number of cameras and microphones present that day. That is because John Lewis lied. At the 2012 Democrat convention, he again touted his civil right days injuries to infer that a vote for Mitt Romney was a vote for white supremacy and a return to the days of Jim Crow. Seriously? Mitt Romney? He has accused the late Supreme Court Justice Scalia of racial prejudice and bias. Again summoning forth the 1960s, he said Trump reminded him of Southern governors and mayors (note: they were Democrats, right John?).
Perhaps instead of conjuring up the ghosts of the 1960s, John Lewis should have been addressing the daily genocide against black unborn children at the hands of Planned Parenthood. Yet he consistently voted in funding support for the greatest killer of black lives in America.
Despite what Oprah and company have to say in tearful farewells to a race hustler, John Lewis was no saint. At best, he was a Socialist; at worst, a Communist dupe. Give him praise for enduring a fractured skull and defiantly walking over a bridge, but that is all John Lewis accomplished in his life. He was a man who lived and breathed through a racial prism who saw racism everywhere while none existed. He is the one who was still living in the days of Jim Crow.
This writer refuses to sanctify a blubbering, barely intelligible racist like John Lewis. No- he was not “a great man” who did “great things.” He was, in the end, yet another race hustler. The son of a sharecropper did good for himself dying with a net worth of over $300,000. Although not Al Sharpton territory, it is more than six times the average household income of his constituents. Add hypocrite to all those praising speeches.
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