Tag Archives: Edmund Pettus Bridge

Petulant POTUS-elect fires back at iconic lawmaker

I’ve already declared that I believe U.S. Rep. John Lewis’s declaration that Donald Trump is “not a legitimate president” went too far, that Trump is — in my view — legitimate.

So … what does Trump do? He responds to Lewis — perhaps the most¬†legendary member of Congress — with a couple of tweets.

“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to……mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk ‚ÄĒ no action or results. Sad!” Trump wrote in two tweets Saturday morning.

I want to repeat the ending: “All talk, talk, talk — no action or results. Sad!”

Good ever-lovin’ grief, man!

Given that the president-elect seems to know nothing about our history and the role that many brave men and women played in shaping it, I feel compelled to remind everyone that of all of Trump’s critics, John Lewis has more than earned his right to speak out.


He stood with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He marched with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. He faced down racists, was beaten to within an inch of his life — on more than one occasion — while speaking out for the cause of equality for all Americans. He participated in boycotts, protests, marches, demonstrations.

For the president-elect — a man with zero public service experience — to denigrate a critic as renowned and beloved as Rep.¬†Lewis is to yet again demonstrate his utter and absolute ignorance of an iconic figure’s stature.

Scalise needed to be in Selma

If there was one member of the congressional leadership team who needed to be in Selma to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, it was Louisiana U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.

He should have been there. He should have sought to make amends for a significant error in judgment some years ago, before he became a Republican member of the House of Representatives.


Scalise had the bad taste in 2006, prior to his election to Congress, to accept a speaking engagement before a group founded by noted Ku Klux Klan grand lizard David Duke.

Scalise, who’s now the House majority whip, has since expressed regret over attending the Duke-sponsored event.

Where was he the day of the Selma commemoration? He was in Sea Island, Ga., attending an American Enterprise Institute conference, along with some other key conservative thinkers and politicians.

One of them attending the AEI event was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who also took time to attend the rally on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

McCarthy was one of a handful of key Republican politicians to attend the Selma event; another key Republican in Selma was the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, who was there with his wife, Laura.

Scalise, who still has some damage to repair from the fallout from his David Duke speech all those years ago, missed a chance to demonstrate that he really doesn’t subscribe to the views held by the KKK.


Rep. Lewis still stands tall

If I had to cast a vote for the nation’s pre-eminent civil rights icon, it would have to be — without question — a gentleman from Georgia, U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

This great man spoke over the weekend at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. He was among a large crowd of Americans marking the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when marchers were attacked at that bridge by Alabama police officers.

Rep. Lewis was one of them. He was beaten within an inch of his life by policemen with clubs.

He was part of what was supposed to be a non-violent march in search of voting rights for all Americans, notably African-Americans.


Lewis spoke today, 50 years after that event, and presented himself as just one man who sought to bring justice for his fellow Americans.

He’s such a towering figure today that he totally belies his relatively short physical stature.

Lewis is the last known survivor of those who stood on the podium behind Martin Luther King Jr. during Rev. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He was at the forefront — even at such a young age — of non-violent protest marches.

He was beaten, but never defeated. And then, when it came time for him to seek public office, he launched his effort to win election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he would help write the laws that affect all Americans.

I was proud for Rep. Lewis that he was able today to speak loudly and forcefully from the bridge where 50 years ago he was bloodied. This great man demonstrated the immense power of one’s principle and conviction.

There can be no greater testament to the cause for which this courageous man fought and bled.

'Selma' lays racism bare

“Selma” may be one of the more important films of the past decade.

It tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts to rally a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. It’s gripping in the extreme.

But my wife and I took the same feeling away from the film as we drove home this evening from the theater. It was the presence of the Confederate flags being waved by counter protesters who did and said some nasty things aimed at the marchers.

Proud sons and daughters of the Confederacy keep saying — with all earnestness — that their pride rests in their heritage and that it has nothing to do with race. They contend, for example, that slavery was not the reason the Confederate State of America seceded from the Union.

But those Confederate flags waving at the Edmund Pettus Bridge and in Montgomery, where the marchers ended their trek tell a different story — at least to my wife and me.

This enduring symbol of the Confederacy often is displayed by those objecting to African-Americans’ calls for equality. Why is that? How is it that the Stars and Bars has become such a symbol of groups that remain dead set against equality for all Americans based solely on the color of their skin?

We watched the film tonight with our son and his girlfriend. Our son said the film is “tough to watch,” but said it is “worth the time.” We all liked the film very much.

For me, the toughest elements to watch in the movie¬†were the brutality inflicted by law enforcement on the marchers seeking to cross the bridge — and the sight of those Confederate flags waving amid the hideous insults being hurled at Americans who were demanding the right to vote.

Yes, indeed.¬†“Selma” is an important piece of moviemaking.