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Observations on the Funeral for John Lewis
By Gary F. Zeolla
I watched some of the funeral for Democrat US House Rep. and civil rights icon John Lewis on Thursday, July 30, 2020. I only turned it on at about 1:40 pm, so I missed quite a bit, as I think it started at noon. But in this article, I will present my observations on the part of the funeral that I saw. But do know, before I tuned in, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke.
John Lewis Background
To be honest, I knew very little about John Lewis before this past week. But I gather he was with Martin Luther King Jr. when they and hundreds of other blacks marched a planned 48 miles, culminating in the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Lewis was one of the prominent activists who marched across the bridge March 7, 1965, in what later became known as Bloody Sunday. He suffered a fractured skull when Alabama state troopers beat marchers trying to cross the bridge to bring awareness to racial inequities in voting registration.
The march, and subsequent retaliation against protesters, served as a unifying force that helped push the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to get passed (USA Today. Who).
This was a great act of bravery, especially given John’s dedication to non-violence. That attitude came from MLK. His plan was that if the blacks in the march and in the fight for civil rights in general remained peaceful, but the police were shown to be uncivil, then that would turn public sentiment to their cause. And it worked. Images from that incident at that bridge turned the tide in the fight for civil rights.
I only wished those engaging in uncivil protests, which is to say, riots today had the same sensibility. By their violence, they are not garnering public support but disdain from many of us. That is why I said previously that those who are peacefully protesting should be the first to decry the violence, as it is distracting from their message (see Protests Turned Riots).
That said, the accolades John has received for his work in civil rights activism are rightly deserved, and I would guess Presidents Clinton and Bush and Speaker Pelosi spoke at length in that regard.
Lewis then went on to be a US House Rep for decades. For that, many are commending him. But personally, I have a disdain for those who spend their entire lives in the government. They lose touch with those of us in real America. I would also disagree with those who commend “public servants,” as if they should be more honored than those working in private enterprise. Anyone who does their best and excels in their chosen profession should be commended, no matter what it is.
And most of all, I would disagree with Lewis’ very liberal politics. But still, his work for civil rights stand out, and for that, he is to be commended.
No Social Distancing
My first observation about the funeral was there was about 200-300 people in attendance. All were wearing masks, some with John’s name and birth and death years on them (1940-2020). But there was little social distancing. There were four sections in the church, but they seemed to be mostly packed together in three of the four sections. The far left section was mostly empty. That means, they could have spread out more, but chose not to. That reminded me of the funeral for George Floyd, with some 500 people packed together in attendance.
I could not help but think why it was safe for hundreds of people to pack into a church for the funerals for these two “special” people, while “normal” people who have had loved ones die in the past several months have had their funerals limited to ten people of less. For that matter, if hundreds of people can pack into a church for the funerals of these two special men, then why can’t hundreds of people pack into a church for a church service? Just wear masks, and everyone will be perfectly safe. But that is not being allowed anywhere in the USA, as far as I know.
This type of hypocrisy was the point of my article Coronavirus Surges Across the South (The Authorities Have Lost All Credibility).
Race-Baiting by Obama
As for the funeral service itself, when I turned it on, a very attractive black female was singing a Gospel song. She had a great voice, and the song was excellent. The lyrics were about leaning on the Lord.
Then former President Barrack Obama spoke. He spent about 15 minutes talking about the history of John Lewis and his participation in the civil rights movement. That all sounded well and good, and was accurate, as far as I know.
But then he came to today. He first said we have seen white police officers (plural) kneeling on the necks of (plural) and killing unarmed black men (plural). That was of course a misrepresentation. He made it sound like there was a wave of white police officers kneeling on the necks of and killing black men. That is not true. There was one white police officer (singular) who knelt on the neck of (singular) and killed one unarmed black man (singular).
To insinuate there have been many such incidents was a perpetration of the lie of the Black Lives Matter movement that there is a wave of police brutality against unarmed black men. That is a lie. But it is why we have been subjected to the waves of protests and violent riots over the past two months.
Obama then fed into that hysteria by claiming we now have federal police officers using tear gas against “peaceful protestors.” That is another lie. The tear gas has been used to disperse violent rioters, who are by no means “peaceful.”
Shooting fireworks at police officers, throwing rocks and urine filled bottles, tearing down statutes, looting and vandalizing businesses, and trying to burn down a federal building is not peaceful. And most of all, permanently blinding three police officers with lasers is not peaceful.
When I heard about that last one, my heart really sank. Yes, three federal police officers are now permanently blind because of these “peaceful protestors” shining lasers into their eyes. I would really like Obama to talk to them and try to convince them that those who blinded them were “peaceful.”
I almost shut it off at that point, as I had enough of Obama’s race-baiting divisive rhetoric during his eight years as President. That is why I have a section in my book Tearing the USA Apart titled, “Divisiveness Began with Obama in 2008.”
From his “The Cambridge police acted stupidly” comment to his “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin” comment, his presidency was all about rushing to judgment and tearing the country apart. And sadly, those trends have continued ever since. I will continue to expose these two distressing trends in the USA in my forthcoming three-volume set, Dems Cannot Beat Trump, So They Impeach Trump.
Voting Rights Act/ Voting Lies
Obama then went into a litany about voting rights. He rightly praised John for his work in getting the Voting Rights Act passed. He even commended Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush for signing its renewal. But he also claimed blacks are still being denied the right to vote. But the main evidence he gave for that claim was the desire of some (mostly Republicans) to require voter photo IDs.
Personally, I find the idea that requiring a voter photo ID to be a racist measure is racist in itself. The criticism implies that blacks are not smart enough of figure out how to attain a photo ID. But I have enough faith in the intelligence of blacks that they are smart enough to figure how to do so.
Obama then criticized those who complain mail-in voting is fraught with potential problems. But as always with those who voice such a criticism, he conflated absentee ballots with mail-in ballots. But they are not the same. I know, as I have long been voting via absentee ballot due to my health situation.
To do so, I must first request the ballot by sending in an application, with an explanation as to why I need to vote via absentee ballot. Then when the voting office receives my request, they send me a verification it has been approved. Then later, I will receive my ballot.
In fact, working on this section reminded me that I needed to request my ballot for the November election, which I just did. When I did so, I needed to include my driver’s license number. If people can be expected to know how to obtain a driver’s license or other certified identification to request a mail-in ballot, then they can be expected to know how to attain a photo ID, usually at the same place as the driver’s license, at the dreaded DMV.
But for mail in ballots, there is no such application needed and verification given. The ballots are just sent out en masse to all registered voters, with no prior action on the part of the voters. As a result, there are often ballots sent to those who have passed away or moved since they last voted. What happens to those ballots?
The persons who receive those ballots should send them back and notify the proper authorities. But will they? Or will they fill them out and thus vote twice, using their own and the ballots for their deceased loved ones or the former residents of their home? I have also heard of cases of people receiving ballots for deceased relatives who were never even citizens, and in one case, of someone who received a ballot for their deceased cat!
There have also been reported cases of postal service employees tampering with ballots, not delivering them, or filing them out themselves, and of “lost” ballots.
But most of all, there is the very real possibility of subtle or blatant coercion. To explain, when voting in person, the voter goes into a booth and can vote for whomever he or she wants, with no one knowing who was voted for. But with home voting, a person might be voting with someone else leaning over his or her shoulder and feel coerced into voting against the voter’s true wishes.
Finally, mail-in votes take longer to process and count than in-person votes. As a result, we might not know the results of the various elections on Election Day. It could take weeks to figure it all out. And if the results of presidential race are not finalized by January 21, 2021, guess who becomes President? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
With millions of such ballots being sent out, the potential problems are massive.
DC and Puerto Rico Statehood
Obama next indicated that “all citizens should have equal representation” in the US government. He then claimed that those who live in Washington DC and Puerto Rico (PR) do not have such representation.
Though he did not use the words, what he was referring to was the Democrats’ desire for DC and PR to become the 51st and 52nd states. But why are Dems so intent on statehood for a city and a territory? The answer is pure politics and a desire to attain and keep power.
Both DC and PR are very liberal. That means, if they were to become states, they would be most assuredly vote for Dems in statewide elections. That would assure Dems would have four more US Senators (two from each new state) and at least one more US House member (one from each new state). It would also give them at least six more Electoral Votes in the presidential race (three from each new state).
Those additional Dems in both chambers of Congress and in the Electoral College could ensure Dems control both chambers of Congress and a Dem wins the presidential race for the foreseeable future. Then the Democrat President will nominate, and the Dem-controlled Senate will confirm a couple of liberal Supreme Court Justices, and you will have indefinite liberal control of all three branches of the federal government.
That insidious scenario is what hides behind cries for DC and PR statehood. It has nothing to do with “equal representation,” no matter how many times Dems like Obama claim such.
Obama's Concluding Remarks
Obama next gave more praise for John and for his example to all of us in working for civil rights for all. That was all well and good. But then he went over the top when he claimed there was still “subjugation of black Americans.” With such a remark, Obama seems to ignore all of the progress that has been made in the past 50 years.
But then, despite that race-baiting remark, he hypocritically said we should not be “sowing hatred and division.” But his previous remark did just that.
Obama then closed by praying for God to bless us all.
After Obama had finished, those in attendance now sang “We shall overcome.” That is a song I believe is often sung in a civil rights context.
Then Gospel and CCM singers Be Be and Marvin Winans sang their song “Good Trouble.” The import of this song was that John had gotten into “good trouble” via his civil disobedience for racial justice.
The service then closed with a benediction by Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock. In it, he quoted several Bible verses about death, most notable from Paul’s swan song in 2Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the course [or, race]; I have kept the faith” (ALT3).
Eight military personal then carried out John’s flag-draped coffin and into the awaiting hearse. There was then to be a private burial at a local cemetery.
If it were not for Obamas’ race-baiting and bringing of politics into the service, it would have been a fitting send off for a civil rights icon.
Bible verse quoted from Analytical-Literal Translation of the Bible (ALT). Copyright © 1999-2018 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
CalTech. Voting. What It Can Be.
CNN. John Lewis makes final journey across Edmund Pettus Bridge in horse-drawn caisson.
CNN. Why Democrats need to prioritize statehood for DC and Puerto Rico.
Daily Signal. 15 Election Results That Were Thrown Out Because of Fraudulent Mail-In Ballots.
Patriot Post. The Risks of Mail-In Voting.
Real Clear Politics. 1 in 5 Ballots Rejected as Fraud Is Charged in N.J. Mail-In Election.
USA Today. Rep. John Lewis, who ‘risked his life and his blood’ as a giant of the civil rights movement, dies of cancer at 80.
USA Today. Who was Edmund Pettus? Selma bridge got its name from Confederate general, KKK leader.
Washington Examiner. Three federal officers could be permanently blind after laser attacks from Portland protesters.
Washington Examiner. What riots? Democrats pretend nothing dangerous is happening in Portland.
Observations on the Funeral for John Lewis. Copyright © 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
Tearing the USA Apart
From Kavanaugh, to Incivility, to Caravans, to Violence, to the 2018 Midterm Elections, and Beyond
The United States of American is being torn about by political differences more than any time since the 1960s and maybe since the Civil War of the 1860s. This division was amplified by political events in the summer to fall of 2018. This time period could prove to be seminal in the history of the United States. This tearing apart came to the forefront and was amplified during the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This book overviews the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings in detail. It then overviews these additional major events that occurred up to the end of November 2018.
The above article was posted on this website August 1, 2020.
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