A True Soldier and National Treasure
College student and young civil rights leader John Lewis knew the consequences of walking on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. Sunday, March 7, 1965.
Lewis knew that his actions could lead to his arrest or worse.
The future United States congressman knew that his life could be in grave danger, but he soldiered on anyway because he was fighting for an entire people and for countless future generations.
On the other hand, President Donald Trump probably faced as much danger when he was Lewis’ age as well.
Being able to flip the millions of dollars he inherited by joining his father’s already established real estate business probably put his livelihood in danger too.
If Trump succeeded he would merely become a billionaire bully.
However, if Trump failed he would have to survive the mean streets of Manhattan, N.Y. merely as a millionaire.
If only Lewis had known real struggle like Trump.
Unfortunately for Lewis, his life has been filled with no action and only talk, according to the new president.
Last week when John Lewis criticized Trump by stating that he was not the legitimate president because of Russia’s influence on the election, Trump tweeted that Lewis’ district was “in horrible shape and falling apart (and not to mention crime infested)…”
Anyone who knows history knows his resume and unfortunately for John Lewis, no one article could do him justice for all that he has done for his country and community, in addition to all of the talking Trump mentions.
According to The African American Encyclopedia, “During his student years in Nashville, Lewis became a prominent leader in the Civil Rights movement. He organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and led freedom ride demonstrations to challenge segregation in bus terminals and on cross-country bus rides.
“He was beaten severely during bus ride demonstrations held in Rock Hills, S.C., and in Montgomery, Ala. Lewis helped establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and became its first chairman.
“He was one of the key speakers at the March on Washington in 1963. He participated in the Selma to Montgomery march and helped organize the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964 to encourage voter registration of Black citizens in the South.
“As a result of his activism, Lewis was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to serve on the White House conference entitled ‘To Fulfill These Rights’ in 1966.”
John Lewis accomplished all of this by just talking apparently by the age of 26.
That talking helped John Lewis get elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1981.
And his talking helped him accomplish a lot more when he won a seat in the United States House of Representatives, representing Georgia’s 5th District, in 1986.
And although John Lewis’ Atlanta district is not perfect, crime infested might be a stretch according to CNN.
The cable news giant reported that, “Since 1986, Lewis has represented Georgia’s 5th District, which is home to almost 750,000 people. The district serves as headquarters for several Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines…Education, health services, hospitality, trade and construction were just some of the sectors that saw job growth that exceeded the national average from November 2015-November 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
On the contrary CNN.com reported, “The New York Times conducted an independent analysis on the increase in murder rates in 100 of the largest cities from 1985-2015. Across three decades, murder rates increased significantly in 25 U.S. cities, but Atlanta was not among them.
“But in the more recent past, the city has seen the number of homicides increase, from 80 in 2009 to 111 as of Christmas Day, a jump of 39%, according to the Atlanta Police Department. Nonetheless, the department says it has seen a decline in overall crime in the past eight years.”
Therefore, whether it was as a young student in the 1960s or as a U.S. congressman over the last 30 years, John Lewis has done way more than talk.
He has talked and then put his words into action.
That action has made Atlanta a better place.
And that action has definitely made America a better place.
Lets just wait and see if Trump makes this country a better place as well.