Rep. John Lewis, civil rights icon, original Freedom Rider, has died

As I read this article I could not help but think “Thank you, Mr. Lewis. May you rest in peace.”

I am a black American. I grew up in the Chicago area. I experienced racism growing up, as a young adult, and even as an old (okay middle-aged?) adult here at Sacramento State University. However, I did not have to endure the brutality that those before me endured, including Mr. Lewis. I thank those who came before me from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for sacrificing for what is just and right. Thank you to people of all races who fought and suffered for what is right. While in Napa a month ago I could not help but to thank those in the diverse crowd of BLM protestors for their support. I can’t describe the feeling of gratitude in words.

People may say today’s protests are more violent than those in the 1960s. That is patently false. As you read the USA Today piece you will see Mr. Lewis even endured a fractured skull for his peaceful protests. Again, thank you Mr. Lewis.  President Obama, while awarding Mr. Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom, said of Mr. Lewis:

“an American who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time; whose life is a lesson in the fierce urgency of now.”

As I face current issues at Sacramento State, and within the CSU system, I find inspiration and motivation from the elders. Stay tuned for more from me on this topic in the coming weeks…

Oh, and before I forget, please read the USA article and look at the pictures. There is a picture of Obama, Lewis, and Bush holding hands on the very same bridge that was part of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Alabama march. To think, those gentlemen, in unity, commemorated a peaceful protest because the cause was just and remains just. It is a good visual of the unity this country should have, could have, and must have if we expect to prosper as a nation. Yes, I’m going to say it: our current President has proven incapable of getting us anywhere near that direction of unity. The former presidents in that photo demonstrated unity because it was what they believed in, not because it was a good photo op.

Let’s do better next go ‘round in November my fellow Americans.

-Dr. Moore

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