John Lewis, 1940 – 2020


ajc.com

I only met John Lewis a few times, starting back in 1963 during preparations for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. His style of quiet leadership, thoughtfulness about the broadest possible range of ideas and achievement possible in political action is what impressed me most.

Reflection is becoming my greatest enemy. Not because of diminished goals, issues won or lost; but, other folks I would have consulted, discussed and debated tactics and standards – and would love to do so, today – are gone. Like John Lewis.

I’ve not only outlived some of the worst enemies of progress – but, many of those I joined, side by side, in battle against bigots and bigotry, class warfare, imperial armies deployed to war against colonial freedom-fighters – many of those are gone, now, as well.

Still, these battles continue to be fought by folks of all ages, many ideologies. Fightback derives from knowledge and inspiration as much as from repression. Resentful and backwards politicians inevitably feed the bravery of those who rise up to oppose their criminal path.

For now, we will mourn John. Tomorrow, we rejoin the battle, as he would wish.

Republican alumni support Biden

A group of former George W. Bush administration and campaign officials has launched a new super PAC to mobilize disaffected Republican voters for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The group, launched…under the name “43 Alumni for Biden,” “seeks to unite and mobilize a community of historically Republican voters who are dismayed and disappointed by the damage done to our nation by Donald Trump’s presidency,” according to a release. The formation of the group is the latest example of efforts being made by anti-Trump Republicans to defeat the President in November.

Karen Kirksey, the director of the committee and who worked on the Bush 2000 election campaign and in the Labor and Agriculture Departments, said the endorsement of Biden is “not necessarily in full support of his political agenda but rather in full agreement with the urgent need to restore the soul of this nation.”

Welcome aboard, folks. “Better late than never” is an acceptable excuse at election time. I guess.

Detroit Wall, 1941

August 1941. “Negro children standing in front of half-mile concrete wall, Detroit, Michigan. This wall was built in August 1941 to separate the Negro section from a white housing development going up on the other side.”

The wall still stands, mostly because it would be a pain to take it down, but now it’s just a backyard wall. Some sections have been repurposed as murals, like the one…showing Rosa Parks catching the bus.

Times change even if some people don’t have the courage to change.