Late Congressman John Lewis left an indelible mark on the civil rights movement in the United States. Even Speaker McCarthy expressed a close bond, referring to Lewis as his “friend.” Despite being a member of the Republican party, McCarthy recounted a significant moment when Lewis introduced Obama for the first time, stating that he sensed “change was coming.”
During a stamp unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries paid tribute to Lewis. Jeffries recalled their initial encounter on the House Floor, where Lewis cautioned him about the challenges of Washington, DC., stating that he wanted the freshman Congressman from Brooklyn, New York, to avoid trouble, unless it was “good trouble.”
Throughout his career, Lewis frequently invoked the concept of “good trouble” to describe actions aimed at driving political and social change. On March 1, 2020, while standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, John Lewis proclaimed the importance of engaging in purposeful and essential acts of dissent, thus reclaiming the very essence of America’s moral fabric. This statement came as a poignant commemoration of the harrowing events of Bloody Sunday, which transpired on March 7, 1965. During Bloody Sunday, peaceful demonstrators were brutally assaulted by law enforcement officers simply for attempting to cross the bridge. The viciousness of the attacks was exemplified by the injuries sustained by Lewis and other valiant individuals like Amelia Boynton Robinson, who were left hospitalized as a result.
The Pavlovic Today asked Leader Jeffries during his Thursday press conference what kind of “good trouble” he aspired to be known for as the leader of the Democrats.
“Well, House Democrats are gonna continue to stand on the shoulders of the late great John Lewis,” Jeffries told The Pavlovic Today. He emphasized that he and his party would persist in fighting for social, racial, and economic justice. Jeffries pledged that Democrats would advocate for “equal opportunity in every single zip code throughout the United States of America.”
The House Democratic Leader specifically mentioned women’s reproductive rights, affirming that Democrats would steadfastly support “a woman’s freedom to make her own reproductive health care decisions” while opposing the “extreme MAGA Republican efforts” that seek to enforce a nationwide ban, “criminalize abortion care, and unleash bounty hunters on the women of America.”
He further stated, “I think John Lewis would have encouraged all of us to stand up for what is right in America, stand up for freedom, defend democracy, certainly lean into the right to vote, and oppose Republican efforts at extremism that are restricting freedom in ways that have not been seen since the end of the Civil War.”
During his weekly press conference, Jeffries underscored the “stark contrast” between the House Democrats and House Republicans this week. With the censure of Rep. Adam Schiff and the articles of impeachment against President Biden in the backdrop, Jeffries emphasized that the Democrats have prioritized their focus on the economy, future prospects, and the pursuit of the American dream. In contrast, he criticized the “extreme MAGA Republicans,” asserting that they “have no plan” for the American people.
“Their extremism continues to be on full display. And they are doing nothing, nothing, nothing to enhance the health, the safety or the economic well-being of the American people,” said Jeffries.