The results of the contentious 2016 election still continue to divide Americans in 2017. There are some Americans who strongly support Trump while others still think that he is not qualified to be president. John Lewis, a Democratic congressman, who represents Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District, says that Trump is not a “legitimate president,” so he will not be attending Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017. Lewis isn’t the only politician who will not be present at the inauguration. In fact, 55 more politicians will not be going to Trump’s inauguration either.
Lewis also thinks that Russia had a huge influence in helping to elect Donald Trump. He also said that Trump’s inauguration will be the first one he will not be attending. On Twitter, Trump, who used Twitter as a political platform during his 2016 political campaign, who will become the 45th president of the United States, said that Lewis was lying. He said that Lewis did not attend Bush’s 2001 inauguration either. According to the fact checker, it turns out that Trump was absolutely right. This will be the second inauguration that Lewis will not attend.
Ever since he was young, Lewis was never afraid to protest or show society how he really felt. As the son of sharecroppers, who was born on February 21, 1940, in Alabama, Lewis’ beginnings were humble indeed and helped to mold him into the great man that he has become today.
Growing up, Lewis was inspired by the moving words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who became the greatest leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis was so inspired by Dr. King that at a young age he decided that he would become a part of the movement that would change the world.
As a college student at Fisk University, Lewis was not only sitting in the library reading books and studying for exams, but he was also receiving an education outside of the classroom by helping to make arrangements for sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee. He even participated in the Freedom Rides and sat in seats that were designated for white passengers. Simply put, fear was never a word in his vocabulary.
Even though he was beaten by angry mobs and arrested by police for not following the Jim Crow laws, he still fought for the justice that he always felt in his heart. Due to all of his efforts and the courage that he had in fighting against segregation, Lewis was named the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Committee (SNCC), which he helped to create. He continued to set up nonviolent protests that would eventually end segregation and bring equality to all.
At the age of 23, part of Lewis’ dream already came true. He was known as one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. During the historic March on Washington on August 1963, he was already a distinguished speaker who drew large crowds.
John Lewis and Hosea William, another notable Civil Rights leader, helped to organize a protest from Selma to Montgomery to show the need for voting rights in the state. This Civil Rights peaceful march became known as “Bloody Sunday” because protesters were violently attacked by Alabama state troopers. Despite all of the brutality, the efforts of the voters helped pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Not only did Lewis demonstrate fearlessness and strength, he also showed his humanitarian side when he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to lead more than 250,000 volunteers of ACTION in 1977.
With all of his experience in the Civil Rights Movement and his willingness to help others, it is not surprising that Lewis, who earned a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Fisk University and graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary, would turn to a career in politics. Ever since November of 1986, he has served as a U.S. Representative of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District.
Since Lewis is a leader and a role model, he holds over 50 honorary degrees. Some of the honorary degrees are from Ivy League colleges such as Harvard University and Princeton University, among many others.
In addition to his numerous honorary degrees, Lewis also has many awards, which include the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Martin Luther King Jr. Non-Violent Peace Prize among many other distinctions. He is also the only recipient of the “Profile in Courage Award.”
Besides being a politician, Lewis is also a renowned prize-winning author of several books about his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement. One of his books, March, a trilogy, became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.
The story of Congressman Lewis shows us that he was always a candid man who fought hard to achieve equality for all. Whether you agree or disagree with his decision to attend Trump’s inauguration, it is evident that he still possesses the idealism and fighting spirit that he had in his youth.
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