Tag Archives: John Lewis

The repressive power of tolerance

One way protest works is by provoking overreaction from opponents. Remember, Colin Kaepernick sat out the national anthem for three days before anyone noticed. It was the reaction from people who took offense that drew attention to the quarterback and–to … Continue reading

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Evaluating the sit-in

The Democrats’ sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives is over–for now, and the House is out of session until after the July 4 holiday. There was, unsurprisingly,  no vote on any gun control measure. And no one … Continue reading

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Prospecting political tactics for gun control

Democratic members of the US House of Representatives sat in on the floor of the House, demanding recorded votes on gun control measures. Rep. John Lewis (Georgia) made the speech that launched the effort, and was framed at the center of … Continue reading

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#Selma50: Whose history?

The thousands of people who marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama this weekend would not be attacked by state troopers, nor face gas or police dogs. Fifty years makes for an auspicious anniversary.  The brutal beatings that … Continue reading

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Updates: Martin Luther King Day 2015

We try to take control of the past with current struggles in mind.  Martin Luther King, killed less than a half-century ago is a prize for contemporary activists.  The civil rights movement isn’t quite a wispy memory from the era … Continue reading

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Rep. John Lewis, comic book hero

Without cape and tights, Congressman John Lewis is becoming a comic book hero.  (He’s already a hero of mine, and some of his exploits have appeared in this blog.) From a piece by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, at the New York … Continue reading

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Bloody Sunday and the uses of history

History isn’t just telling stories about the past; for most of us, it’s about making sense of the present.  Politicians, pundits, and activists invoke their understandings of the past to try to affect the future. This Friday, March 7, marks … Continue reading

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Lunch counter sit-in anniversaries

There was once a store called Woolworths.  It sold dry goods, mostly cheap stuff, including paper and pencils.  Many Woolworths also included a cheap restaurant where you could get coffee and a grilled cheese sandwich, also cheap.  Fifty-three years ago … Continue reading

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Freedom Rides, 50 years on

Fifty years ago this month, the Freedom Riders put their bodies on the line to test their right to integrated interstate travel and accommodations. Starting tonight, PBS is running a compelling documentary of the events, featuring interviews with many of … Continue reading

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The Constitution and Reading Aloud

My first grader is starting to get bored of reading aloud in class.  Like most members of Congress, she can read faster than she can listen, and having to slow down as every reader stumbles through the words gets tiresome.  … Continue reading

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