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Thu Jul 30, 2020, 08:13 AM

'Now it is your turn': John Lewis issues call to action in posthumous op-ed

Source: Politico

The late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis revealed Thursday that he had been “inspired” in his final days by nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

In an op-ed authored shortly before his death and published on the day of his funeral by The New York Times, the Georgia Democrat reflected upon his own calling to join the civil rights movement following the lynching of Emmett Till.

But Lewis also used his posthumous column to pass the torch of social justice activism on to a new generation of Americans.

“While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society,” he wrote.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/30/john-lewis-posthumous-op-ed-387770

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 08:19 AM

1. Wow. This is going to be one of the most-read NYT editorials in history.

Breathtaking.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/opinion/john-lewis-civil-rights-america.html

I hope the NYT just makes this available free to everyone.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 08:34 AM

2. IT IS BEHIND A FUCKING PAYWALL!

not sorry for screaming

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Response to 5X (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 08:39 AM

3. Why can't news be FREE!!!!???

Why don't the reporters and editors stop insisting on receiving a salary?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 08:48 AM

4. you don't see the difference?

this was surely not written for those that can afford it.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 08:56 AM

6. Brooklynite, I usually agree with you but in this one instance

I have to agree with 5X. Although I'm a NYT subscriber, these are the last words to the world of a revered icon at a most critical moment in our history, and they belong to all of us. IMO the NYT should lift the paywall on this one piece.

Also, it's not the hard work of reporters, but the work of John Lewis. I bet he would have wanted that too.

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Response to 5X (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 01:21 PM

11. Right-click the link from Chrome, and open it in an incognito window

You will see the full article that way.

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Response to 5X (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 03:27 PM

14. Check with your local online library - you might have free access to NYT that way

(altho. I see someone down-thread posted the rest)

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Response to diva77 (Reply #14)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 03:31 PM

15. I've read it now, thanks. n/t

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 08:49 AM

5. Wow.

Tears. Smiles. Thank you John Lewis for everything.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 09:30 AM

7. Sure would be nice to get a chance to read John Lewis' final words.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 09:45 AM

8. He knew he was dying, but he was still thinking of others ahead of himself

What a remarkable man he was.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 10:10 AM

9. The rest from the NYT

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, though decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 02:31 PM

12. Thank you. so so much.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 11:48 AM

10. "Man's (sic) mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimension." - O.W. Holmes

Hope is very much alive.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 02:33 PM

13. I hope the E. bridge gets named after Lewis.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Thu Jul 30, 2020, 03:35 PM

16. Beautiful OP-ED, John Lewis!

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