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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

April 11, 2014 - 8:12 am

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), while stressing that those who think nothing has changed in terms of civil rights should rethink that and walk in his shoes, said “history will not be kind” to the country if Congress fails to pass immigration reform.

Lewis, 74, was one of the original Freedom Riders and famously made peace in 2009 with a former Klansman who beat him at a 1965 march.

MSNBC’s first questions to the congressman, though, were about how he would equate gay rights with the civil rights movement.

“If two women or two men want to fall in love and get married, it’s their business. You cannot have equality for African-Americans or for Latinos or Asian-American, Native-American, white American, and not have equality for gay individuals,” Lewis said.

“…In the final analysis, we are one people and it doesn’t matter whether we are black or white, or whether we are Latino or Asian- American, Native-American, or whether we are gay or straight. As Dr. King said, we have to learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we’re going to perish as fools.”

The civil rights movement of the MLK era, he stressed, “changed America forever.”

“Our country, our people. Our country is so much better. The American people are better. People woke up and said Congressman John, I want to ask you to forgive me for what we did. I hear it in Alabama and Georgia and Mississippi, all across America. There’s a greater sense of community. There’s a greater sense of family in our country today,” Lewis said.

“And people ask me now that — tell me, where is the next step? Where is the next movement? I was not old enough to be with you, but I’m with you now. And then I hear some people saying nothing has changed. I just say come and walk in my shoes and I will show you change.”

When asked what’s left “undone” from the 1960s, he said immigration reform.

“We have millions of people standing and living in the shadow. People need to come out and state them on a path to citizenship. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s not just. It’s immoral to have millions of our citizens — some of these young people, the only place they know is America,” he continued. “And I’m convinced that history will not be kind to us if we fail, as a nation and as a people, to pass comprehensive immigration reform. And we should do it now and not delay.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Remember that Rep. Lewis is the guy who lied about the Tea Party using the 'N' word 14 times that day.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lewis is not an icon.

To be an icon, you have to stand for something of value.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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All due respect to Rep John Lewis. He made history, and all that. Kudos.

But for the love of great-gee-whillikers, it's been 50 years. Blacks have equal rights and equality of opportunity; heck in many instances they get preferential treatment. (...Which is one of those "conversations we should be having"; but that's not germane to THIS post).

Mr. Lewis, as a lawmaker, should understand that illegals are NOT citizens and do not "deserve" to remain here after illegally crossing the border or illegally remaining here after their visa expires. They do not "deserve" drivers licenses, do not "deserve" to be able to vote, do not "deserve" to be employed, or to have food and housing and medical care provided at taxpayer cost. Nor do they "deserve" to remain in the USA because they happened to deliver a baby while on US soil.

Countries have borders for a reason. Within the borders is "us" and our common culture and our rule of law. Beyond the borders is "those others", with a different culture and different laws. Countries are stable ONLY when there is general agreement about culture, customs, language, and laws. "Legalizing" millions upon millions of people who speak a different language and have a different understanding of the relationship between government and the individual is DE-stabilizing.

This guy is trading on his REAL accomplishments of decades ago, in order to promote an egregiously-bad policy that will do REAL harm to our country's future.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
"There’s a greater sense of community. There’s a greater sense of family in our country today" - Lewis - your party and your leader are the most divisive force in America today.

Let's start with "Border Control" reform and when that is implemented we can talk about immigration.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, because what the world needs are more Guatemalas and Somalias.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or they could just stay in their countries and make them better. If it doesn't matter who they are, it should be no problem.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember that Rep. Lewis is the guy who lied about the Tea Party using the 'N' word 14 times that day.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
He just spit on Martin Luther King, Jr.

23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lewis is not an icon.

To be an icon, you have to stand for something of value.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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