Congressman John Lewis has widely been celebrated for his role in the civil rights movement. While the push for equality and civil rights is an honorable cause, he has allowed partisan politics to taint his legacy. Time and time again, he’s allowed his position as a Congressman and enrollment in a political party take precedence over what’s important.
Now he’s refusing to attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum because the President of the United States is attending. In his reasoning for skipping this important dedication to American history, he cites various comments Trump has made and other issues he disagrees with him on.
Why wouldn’t the President of the United States attend a museum opening dedicated to an important moment in our nation’s history? If the President skipped out on this moment, he would likely be criticized by both sides of the political spectrum for dishonoring the movement. There would be claims that this confirms he’s a racist.
But instead, President Trump is attending. Congressman Lewis is not.
This is far from the first time that Congressman Lewis has disrespected the movement he was once apart of. He’s previously suggested that individuals appearing on a government watch list should not be able to own a firearm. But as we noted after the comments were made last summer, Martin Luther King Jr. was a firearm owner. After an assassination attempt, King carried a firearm for personal protection. The prominent civil rights leader also was notably monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and kept on a list because of his activism.
Why does Congressman Lewis, a leader in the civil rights movement, show so much disrespect for the movement he was once apart of? Did he ever really care about civil rights in the first place, or was it only just a way to enhance his personal wealth and power? These are questions that must be considered.
Partisan politics is a curse upon America. It divides people and drives a wedge on issues that we all should be united on. Equality is something most everyday Americans agree on. The civil rights movement is widely accepted as a prominent moment in history when people stood up against government-sanctioned inequality.
Should we not honor the civil rights movement?
The implication here by Congressman Lewis is that partisan politics comes before honoring our nation’s embracing of civil rights. Many leaders struggled against public pressure and government policy to ensure equality would become law of the land. Martin Luther King Jr. died for this cause, though the Congressman believes King shouldn’t have had the right to defend himself from violent opposition.
In the end, the ceremony celebrating the opening of this museum should be attended by everyone. The President of the United States should be there because as the leader of the nation, he should be there to honor history. Despite policy differences, this is a show of respect towards history and leaders in the movement. Congressman John Lewis should also be in attendance, given his importance to the movement. This should not be the partisan issue it has become.
One would think a civil rights leader like Congressman Lewis would understand, but apparently partisanship has gotten in the way of his honor.