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Black Lives Matter vs PRIDE

Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
John Lewis of Georgia, who died yesterday at 80, lived and led through America's two great leaps toward racial justice:

  • As a 23-year-old in 1963 — 57 years ago — John Lewis was already one of the civil rights movement's Big Six leaders. He spoke at that summer's March on Washington. In 1965, as he led 600 peaceful protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., white state troopers attacked the marchers, turning Bloody Sunday into an emblem of segregation's senselessness.
  • Last month, there was Congressman John Lewis — the highest ranking Black official in the land, after having lived to see an African American president, Barack Obama — walking through Black Lives Matter Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C., with the city's Black mayor, Muriel Bowser.
The arc of history, embodied.

  • "He didn't convince you by his arguments. He convinced you by his life," Andrew Young, his friend, fellow Atlantan, and the former U.N. ambassador, told his hometown network, CNN.
  • "He believed what we talk about, and he lived it every day of his life," Young continued. "And he didn't have a violent streak in his body. And he was always forgiving, always loving, always understanding. And he never made you feel guilty. But he made you feel responsible."

This American life ... Interviewing John Lewis
David Nather, Axios managing editor, remembers interviewing Rep. John Lewis for a CQ profile in 2002:
I was struck by something you don’t always hear in the tributes. He said he was shy as a boy, but put his inhibitions aside to join the civil rights movement — figuring that if others were putting themselves on the line, he should too.
  • He said he was still shy, but that his political life drew him out. "I think the movement liberated me," he said at the time, "and I think being in Congress liberated me more."
My thought bubble: He struck me as dignified, gentle and soft-spoken — not at all what you'd expect from the thundering presence you saw in his speeches.
  • He gave you his full, undivided attention. And when he thanked you for your time, he seemed sincere and humble about it, even though you knew how many demands he actually had on his own time.
The bottom line: There aren't a lot of genuine heroes in the crises we’re facing now. That’s probably making the grief over his passing even more intense.
  • He left some awfully big shoes to fill
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TRIBE Member
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Nah. And I'm okay with some people in a group disagreeing with others from the same group. The loud minority /= speak or set the agenda of what's okay (or not okay) for me. It's not Hate/Abuse, then I'll probably be fine with it.