WASHINGTON — Venerated Congressman John Lewis is taking some incoming fire after he publicly announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, all while expressing that he was unimpressed with Sanders’ civil rights record.
Some Bernie Sanders backers and members of the anti-Clinton faction have criticized the Civil Rights hero, even going so far as to denounce the Georgia Congressman (D-Georgia) as “an Uncle Tom” and “sellout” for aligning himself alongside his longtime political and personal friend.
Lewis, who was nearly killed during the infamous “Bloody Sunday” on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., that led directly to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, has endorsed the Clinton team since the early 1990’s. He also picked Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. So this corresponds with Lewis’ political modus operandi.
Clinton’s formidable adversary Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who trounced Clinton in the New Hampshire primaries, was an organizer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and he attended the March on Washington in 1963. The Vermont senator has said his involvement was “a question for me of just basic justice.”
Lewis undermined Sanders’ credibility as an active civil rights worker at the Congressional Black Caucus’ PAC’s press conference Thursday.
“I never saw him, I never met him. I was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years — 1963 to 1966,” he said. “I was involved in the sit-ins, the freedom rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery. I directed the board of education project for six years. I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.
“I never met Bernie Sanders,” Lewis said, symbolically dropping the mic before walking away from the podium.
Some in the Sanders camp or supporters had a problem with Lewis and the Congressional Black Caucus’ endorsement choice and resorted to infantile name-calling, totally ignoring Lewis’ vast, consistent and fearless contribution to American democracy.
Take a look at the reasoning behind Lewis’ choice for the Democratic nomination, courtesy of ABC News Twitter account, followed by a social media debate (or referendum) on Lewis. But, according to social media, Lewis has a LOT of backing from all quarters of American society:
This John Lewis video is worth watching, also for the person who exclaims, “Uh oh!” https://t.co/9pdUJKUJNR
— Irin Carmon (@irin) February 11, 2016
The nerve of someone to call John Lewis a sellout. John Lewis. Who was nearly beaten to death in Alabama. That guy. A sellout. Come on now.
— Heisencurved (@TheCoolTeacher_) February 11, 2016
Folks coming for John Lewis had better think twice. He doesn’t owe you or your candidate anything. pic.twitter.com/gR1uwaynWo
— Adriane Farray (@AFarray) February 11, 2016