“Let us not forget that we are involved in a serious social revolution.” Words as relevant, as impactful, as critically important in today’s civil vortex as they were when John Lewis spoke them during the Civil Rights Movement.
Mr. Lewis’ life was dedicated to holding this nation up to its ideals of equality and justice for every person. Through his loving presence, a presence of forgiveness of those who beat and repressed him, a presence of insistence and strength, he posited the rights spelled out in the Constitution as the foundation for civil action.
The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
On 6-Dec-2019 the U. S. House passed the Voting Rights Advancement Act restoring protections of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court had previously struck down federal oversight of elections in states with a history of discriminating against minority communities in the Shelby v. Holder 2013 decision. The House intended to restore that oversight. The House bill sits, stalled, on the Senate Majority Leader’s desk.
The right to vote is sacred, a fundamental piece of a free society. John Lewis: “We must go out and vote like we’ve never voted before.” In addition to vigorously supporting the right of every person to vote, John Lewis’ voice – now, my voice – demanded continuing and unyielding action to fulfill the promise of the Constitution.
Our words really do live in others. If I can see or feel myself in other human beings and acknowledge that my words matter, would I not hope, and even expect, of myself a voice that speaks fairly and fully for everyone.
We all are beneficiaries of Mr. Lewis’ courage, voice and soul force.
We live in each other. Whose voice do you want to represent?