The media commonly – and very dutifully – describe Congressman John Lewis as a courageous hero of the early civil rights movement, and as an enduring icon of the fight for racial justice in America. But human beings are not icons; they're just people. Icons, by contrast, are usually the creations of our own wishful thinking. And whatever glories they may in fact have achieved in the past, we aren't obligated to venerate them forever if they begin to speak or behave in ways that are undeserving of our continued respect. And indeed, John Lewis for many years has been doing precisely that.
Lewis over the years has devolved into a perpetually angry, hate-mongering racist. He's the kind of racist who projects his own racism onto other people, and then passionately and self-righteously denounces them for their “racism.” And of course, he sees racism everywhere. He hears it everywhere. He smells and tastes it everywhere, which perhaps explains why he invariably looks like he's just eaten a batch of bad clams. Disgust and outrage are etched permanently onto the face of this very bitter, petty, psychologically disturbed individual.
Last year, Lewis boycotted President Trump's inauguration on grounds that Trump was not “a legitimate president,” given that “the Russians participated in having this man get elected.” Now that his Russia delusion has proven to be nothing more than a pack of malicious lies, Lewis is ready to move on to his next crusade without missing a beat. Specifically, he will be boycotting Trump's upcoming State Of The Union (SOTU) address because he “cannot in all good conscience be in a room” with a man who “knows something about being a racist,” who has racism “in his DNA,” and who seeks to “fan the flames of racism and bigotry.”
In other words, John Lewis is the living embodiment of psychological projection.
And Lewis doesn't just disagree with Donald Trump. He doesn't just dislike him. He thoroughly hates Trump; he loathes him; he detests him. Thus he will spend the remainder of Trump's time in office going out of his way to publicly degrade the president, and to cast him as the moral equivalent of a Klansman.
By contrast, Lewis was exceedingly happy to attend President Obama's two inaugurations and his eight SOTU addresses. He wasn't the least bit troubled by Obama's longtime connections to revolutionary Marxist terrorists like Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, or to unapologetic racists and Jew-haters like Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, Rashid Khalidi, and Ali Abunimah. Nor was he disquieted by Obama's multiple meetings with representatives of Black Lives Matter, a black supremacist organization, or his multiple laudatory speeches to the National Council of La Raza (“The Race”), a Hispanic supremacist organization.
Lewis's latest obsession is that Trump – in a closed-door immigration negotiation with several members of Congress – allegedly referred to a number of poverty-stricken, terrorism-infested nations as “shi*hole countries.” Specifically, Trump was talking about Haiti (the poorest country in the Americas, with a GDP of $846); El Salvador (with the second highest murder rate in the world, fueled in large part by unrestrained gang violence); and Sudan (which for decades has been recognized as one of the world's leading state sponsors of terrorism).
Given the foregoing facts about each of these countries, it would appear that Trump's terminology was an accurate, if not genteel, assessment. But of course John Lewis can't admit that. So instead, he says it's evidence of Trump's racism. By contrast, Lewis wasn't the least bit offended two years ago when President Obama characterized the North African country of Libya, which was being overrun by Islamic terrorism and economic calamity, as a “shi* show.”
Perhaps because acting outraged and offended by the “racism” in the hearts of his political adversaries has become something of a way-of-life for John Lewis. Just a few examples:
- In October 2008, Lewis compared Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, to George Wallace, the segregationist former governor whose words “created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights.”
- In March 2010, Lewis falsely claimed that conservative Tea Party activists participating in an anti-Obamacare protest on the steps of Capitol Hill had shouted the “N-word” at him when he walked through the crowd.
- At the Democratic National Convention in September 2012, Lewis gave a speech in which he accused Republicans of seeking to “go back” to the days of Jim Crow segregation.
In each of these cases, Lewis “saw” racism because he wanted to see it, and nothing was going to stop him from seeing it.
Just last week, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Shelby Steele, who is black, published a profound opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal where he articulated what he called “a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with.” “This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless,” Steele added. “We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.”
As though he were describing the mindset of John Lewis himself, Steele continued: “We [blacks] conjure elaborate narratives that give white racism new life in the present: 'systemic' and 'structural' racism, racist 'microaggressions,' 'white privilege,' and so on. All these narratives insist that blacks are still victims of racism.... We end up giving victimization the charisma of black authenticity. Suffering, poverty and underdevelopment are the things that make you 'truly black.' … Protest is the action arm of this identity. It is not seeking a new and better world; it merely wants documentation that the old racist world still exists.”
And what is the cause of this phenomenon? Steele tells us: “When you don’t know how to go forward, you never just sit there; you go backward into what you know, into what is familiar and comfortable and, most of all, exonerating. You rebuild in your own mind the oppression that is fading from the world. And you feel this abstract, fabricated oppression as if it were your personal truth, the truth around which your character is formed. Watching the antics of Black Lives Matter is like watching people literally aspiring to black victimization, longing for it as for a consummation.”
This very accurately describes John Lewis, who quite obviously derives a sense of meaning and purpose from continuing, for as long as there shall be breath in his lungs, to lament and denounce the white “racism” that supposedly infests every facet of American life.
Yet another Hoover Institution Fellow, Thomas Sowell, once described how the NAACP had transformed itself from a formerly worthy and courageous civil-rights organization, to an organization obsessed with identity politics and contrived racial grievances. “In time,” wrote Dr. Sowell, “even monuments can become overgrown by weeds,” and “even a great crusade can degenerate into a hustle.”
The same holds true for the individual crusaders, like John Lewis.