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.

70-year-old Joyce Beatty had never been pepper-sprayed before!

…The pepper spray was new to her. It “shuts you down,” she told me in an interview this morning. “It gets into your lungs. You’re coughing profusely. You can’t see.”


Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch

It happened yesterday afternoon, when Beatty joined a group of demonstrators in downtown Columbus protesting police violence following the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. In videos of the protest now circulating on Twitter, Beatty, with her gray hair, red mask, and hot-pink sweatshirt tied around her small waist, is easy to spot…

In that moment, Beatty told me, she wasn’t a member of Congress. She was just another black American attacked while protesting injustice—one of innumerable others across the long expanse of history. The events of the past week, she said, represent “a collection of historic anger.”

Truly readable interview. If we had more like her in Congress instead of the “same as it ever was”-crowd, we’d be getting more done on behalf of the overwhelming majority of working folks and families in this country…

Sheltering-in-place

Thanks, gocomics.org

For millions of Americans, venturing from home is the most dangerous thing they can do. Going to your job, grocery shopping, anything Mr.Charlie and The Man finds offensive if a Black person does it.