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'The World Has Lost a Legend': Civil Rights Hero John Lewis Dies at 80

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/18/world-has-lost-legend-civil-rights-hero-john-lewis-dies-80

John Lewis in 1965 leading people marching for voting rights and getting severely beaten was a hero.

John Lewis, congressman, was a fraud. Three examples:
In 2016, he endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders and claimed that he did not ever “see” him in the civil rights movement. Of course, he never saw Bernie! Lewis was in Missippi and Alabama and Bernie was in Chicago getting arrested protesting segregation. Not mentioned is that Hillary was nowhere to be seen in the civil rights movement,
In 2019, John Lewis sponsored a bill that passed the House and almost became law that would have prevented the IRS from ever offering free tax return software to all taxpayers. That free software is standard in many other countries. Only a last minute uproar stopped the bill from passing the Senate.
This year, John Lewis endorsed Joe Kennedy over Ed Markey for US Senate in Massachusetts. Markey is the true progressive and Kennedy is the fake. Markey is a sponsor of the Green New Deal and an original cosponsor of Medicare for All. It took months and years to get Kennedy and a lot of consituent lobbying to get Kennedy to sign on to either.

I have read several accounts of John Lewis and his many heroic acts in the civil rights movement. A big cheer to all of that. John Lewis, congressman, not so much.

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I don’t consider Markey a progressive and certainly was no Sanders supporter.

“I also believe that the United States must always guarantee Israel’s right to exist. I have always been a strong supporter of Israel. When Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons in 1981, I supported Israel’s decision to bomb the Osirak reactor because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of that era was ineffective. When Israel needed more funding for a missile defense system, I voted to provide support to accelerate the deployment of the Iron Dome System in 2010. When Hamas attacked Israel in 2012, I supported Israel’s right to defend itself.
Senato Markey

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“Earlier this year, I cosponsored H. Res 246, a bipartisan foreign affairs resolution that condemns the BDS campaign and efforts opposing Israel’s right to exist and the importance of two-state solution,” Lewis told JNS. “I will support H. Res. 246 when it comes to the House Floor tomorrow."

Civil Rights icon??

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I lived in John Lewis’s district for seven years, 2007-2014.
I had several chats with him, and lots with his staff.
He was amazingly energetic for a guy well into his 70s.
When he got primaried from his left, he easily beat the challenges back.

Sadly, he became a pretty run-of-the-mill Democrat over the course of his career.
Someone who Glenn Ford would place squarely in the Black Misleadership class.
Resorting to bullshit attacks like those he aimed at Bernie in 2016 marked him as an establishment hack.

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Add Jim Clyburn to the number of Clinton (and Obama) supporters who screwed the 99% supporting the “third way” business-as-usual.and shallow identity politics, rather than real change.

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For all the good he may have done in his earlier years, it was sad to see endorse both Clinton and Biden over Bernie in 2016 and 2020, as Clinton and Biden were not at all friends to blacks in the USA at all. Quite the opposite. So why did he endorse them over Bernie? Clearly he did not care about civil rights as he may have done in the beginning. In the end his great legacy was carrying water for the neoliberal agenda and opposed to any real possibility of a progressive future in the USA. But he will be canonized and called a saint by the media and when it comes to the political class honoring their own. The truth is that Lewis is one of the reasons why the USA is going down the drain now.

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sad that his passing is memorialized here by some more interested in expressing hate for Israel, Clinton, Biden instead of mourning someone who actually put his body on the line to advance justice and was effective in so doing. RIP John Lewis

Let’s not forget that older black Americans never warmed up to Bernie.
That’s partly Bernie’s fault – but older black Americans tend to vote for name-brand Democrats.
Which is the entire problem with LOTE voting – you help fulfill the lowered expectations on offer.

And now the expectations are so low that a right wing, rapey, and quite possibly senile warhawk d-party candidate doesn’t even have to campaign or fund raise. I’ll say it again: Trump coupled with the pandemic is the greatest gift to corporate Democrats evah.

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Let me pile onto the critical truth-telling about Mr. Lewis that is going on here. I’m glad those here are not swallowing the corporate BS line sanctifying him for the ages. He sold out working people of all colors the last 20 years, especially in lying about Bernie Sanders’ civil rights record in 2016 and 2020, along with the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus. Then they endorsed old white corporate hack Eliot Engel against progressive brother Jamal Bowman! Total sellouts. And former Black Panther Bobby Rush endorsed Bloomberg for President?! They are the establishment’s Negroes. At least Cornell West has never sold out. Listen to him, not them.

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What matters is the person he became, not the person he WAS. Beyond his courageous stand as an activist in his youth he became a silent member of the establishment of rich old white men. Or if not rich himself, comfortable and complacent He never fought so valiantly for the rights of others, just for himself and his own people. For all of his long political career, he was pro-war, pro-oligarchy, pro-crony capitalism, a staunch defender of the status quo. Lewis became a cowardly sell-out. THAT Is his legacy.

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Perhaps you might want to read what Margaret Kimberley had to say about Lewis back in 2017. She, Glen Ford, et al have accurately characterized him (and others) as part of the “black misleadership” class, of which the Congressional Black Caucus (esp. Lewis) had become a leading component in recent years.

As she wrote,

Lewis is a predictably bland Democrat who uses his past as a cover to commit the worst of Democratic Party wrong doing

See: ~https://www.blackagendareport.com/no_tears_for_john_lewis .

Lewis deserves (and gets) plenty of respect for his 1960’s civil rights activism. But if we are to acknowledge history, we should look at its entirety.and not ignore the dark side as well.

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Bullshit. Lewis might have been a lion in his day but it didn’t take him long to become a lapdog for the establishment of rich white people and corporate America, which is what he was for the entire extent of his long political career. He blended in seamlessly with the establishment Democratic Party. Did you ever his voice crying out for universal health care, ending the goddamn wars in the Middle East, legalizing marijuana, ending Biden’s draconian crime bill, freedom of choice for women, raising taxes on the rich, acting on the Green New Deal, or recognizing Israel for the terrorist nation that it is? Hell no.

If he was a people’s congressman, he kept it to himself, at at time when we the people we were needing someong in government to let us know that they were on our side. Lewis was just another cowardly corporate tool, a staunch defender of the oligarhic status quo. What matters is what he became, not what he was for one fleeting moment in time. RIP, John Lewis. Rot in perpetuity.

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I was going to give John Lewis until after his funeral before pointing out that he sold his soul to the Clintons.

Spacecadet: Kennedy is the Wall Street / Corporate / Dem Leadership front to unseat Markey who is a progressive on economics for the working classes and a progressive on climate change.

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The number of “sellouts” form those that participated in those Civil rights marches and the anti-war movement is beyond count.

This is basically how those two movements destroyed and those movements were the greatest threat to the 1 percent and the establishment in over 60 years. They assassinated the leaders that could not be bought and bought out the ones that could be.

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And I would add----he became a silent member of the establishment of rich old white and rich white women (HRC)!

He supported HRC and Biden. He lied about Sanders in the process of supporting HRC to join the oligarchy in swiftly and effectively kicking Sanders to the side.

Helped bring about LOTE candidates.

How is that being a civil rights hero? Seriously, how the hell is that being a hero? Being a true “hero” would be standing up to the neoliberal, killing machine oligarchic duopoly.


"More than 50 years have passed since the death of Dr. King, when just seven members of Congress were African Americans. After decades of struggle by activists and leaders of color (and white allies), government is fortunately far more diverse today.

If King were with us, would he still be complaining about black leaders who change from being representatives of their community to the white establishment into the establishment’s representative to the black community?

Or would he be complaining even louder?"

h-ttps://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/03/politicians-of-color-should-not-be-immune-from-criticism/

“Long ago activist for civil rights Lewis abandoned his principles in deference to wealth, power, imperial wars, corporate interests, and apartheid Israel.”

h-ttps://stephenlendman.org/2020/07/eulogizing-pro-war-pro-corporate-predator-pro-apartheid-israel-john-lewis/

Isn’t it time we stop re-writing history and speak the complete, unvarnished truth?
Are we that desperate for heroes that we create them?

With that said—I must agree with

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Wow. Well said!

Voting for the LOTE is not as much of a problem as that of the choices themselves. The choices as much as the choosing.
(You can vote where your vote won’t elect anyone.
You can vote for the LOTE.
Or you can vote for the most evil.)
Putting down the activity of voting the LOTE gets us nowhere unless realistic alternatives are offered. Realistic doesn’t mean 10-20% of the voters.
When a trump is one of the candidates, voting for the LOTE makes perfect sense. imo

And how pathetic that despite all this it is still up in the air whether or not Biden can beat Trump.

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When a good man joins a corrupt party…he is forced to do bad things.

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