Cong. Lewis: America “Still Struggling with Scars” of Racism as Evidenced by Michael Brown Shooting

Congressman John Lewis has a lot to say about the shooting of Michael Brown. To sum it up: the whole fiasco is a mess.

Lewis released a statement on Thursday, lambasting the police, the community, the rioters and the United States.

Here are some select quotes.

“How many more young men of color will  be killed  before we realize  that we have a problem in America?  We are permitting the incarceration and shooting  of  thousands of black and brown  boys  in their formative years  who might have become  great  artists, leaders, scientists, or lawyers if we had offered them our  support instead of our suspicion.

“It is a shame and a disgrace that a city with a significant African American population has  only three representatives from that  community on the police force.  What kind of a police department is it that would refer to the people it should be trying to protect as animals?  It is unbelievable that these ideas could run rampant in 2014.  This is not 1940 or 1950 in America, but today it is hard to see the difference.

“This is not China or Russia or Syria.   This is America, and  in this country we have a right to protest in a peaceful, orderly non-violent fashion, and the press should be free  to cover these protests without fear.  The police should not interfere in the exercise of these constitutional rights.    If people are not allowed to express their dissatisfaction through peaceful protest, they will find other means to make their voices heard.

“This is a good time to consider  the words of Martin Luther King Jr., who said that “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice.”  I am glad the federal government will make an independent investigation of these matters.”

Here’s a timeline of the events in case you don’t know what happened. 


  1. Three Jack says:

    Good, somebody woke up Cong. Lewis who seldom does anything as a congressman to actually address crime, but is always ready to sign his name to a presser denouncing a single act of violence when it is convenient. Ironic that Lewis or whoever wrote the release ends it with a quote from MLK even though the original statement is attributed to Albert Einstein.

    “This is a good time to consider the words of Martin Luther King Jr., who said that “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice.”

    Actually MLK paraphrased a quote first uttered by Albert Einstein who said – “Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order —in short, of government.”

  2. South Fulton Guy says:

    If racism is defined by the actions of one policeman – given that the allegations are true, then by Congressman John Lewis definition like poverty, racism will never be eradicated..

  3. MattMD says:

    The bigger issue is the increasing para-militarization of civilian police forces.

    Yes, you can blame the feds for this.

    I really don’t know what it will take to stop this trend but it will likely be an insurrection of some sort.

  4. northside101 says:

    “We are permitting the incarceration and shooting of thousands of black and brown boys in their formative years….”

    Oh? So does he have evidence that many of those incarcerated were wrongly convicted? They did not do the crime? Just a figment of our imagination, I guess, like the Phipps carjacking arrest of a 17-year old? Like the recent crimes in the Edgewood/Moreland area? Where are the protests about black on black crime (which is far more prevalent than black on white crime and vice versa)? And speaking of “wanton violence”, well, blacks account for over half the abortions in Georgia, while making up at most a third of the state’s population. When was the last time John Lewis ever condemned that?

  5. saltycracker says:

    Always prudent to wait a few days unless you have a preconceived agenda.
    The police chief released a video today and made a bombshell statement that doesn’t look so good for Brown.
    Guess a couple more days watching is advisable as the details/denials unfold.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        It’s gonna be bad if Brown didn’t commit the robbery or if it turns out the officer had no substantive information about it prior to the shooting.

        • saltycracker says:

          ? It gives some hint of why Brown would attack the officer – maybe not suspecting him in the robbery/attack on the store keep.

          • saltycracker says:

            Let’s hear the cops version and the medical examiner’s findings – both slow coming (particularly info from the police chief) – Browns friend version has him resisting the officer then shot with his hands raised…..

            • Dave Bearse says:

              I’m not making judgments on officer Wilson—I feel for the guy—we hardly know anything verifiably credible. The Ferguson Police Chief, that’s another story. Thus far he’s not been helping the situation.

              The white police chief of a nearly all-white department in a two-thirds black city, not long after police bungling of the Trayvon Martin case, doesn’t know enough to tip off the black MO state trooper brought in to calm the situation, about the release of the video?

              The Chief doesn’t release Wilson’s name in the face of unrest, but a few reporters get wind of the video and Brown as a suspect (how’d that happen?), and the video is released without fuss.

              • saltycracker says:

                Yes, regardless of the circumstances the Sanford and Ferguson police didn’t adequately handle walking in an unexpected minefield set by folks eager to find a cause to riot and loot or continue a knockout game or get press coverage from afar.

                Would like to know if Brown has a rap sheet and if so, are there thefts and violent actions in it ? Not proof of anything but for us armchair observers, a credibility clue.

                • Dave Bearse says:

                  Based on the Police Chief’s handling of the situation thus far, and the press on it like flies on poop, we’d probably already know if he did.

                  Brown may’ve been more hostile-frightened of police if he’d just committed robbery.

                  Anybody know if MO has a stand your ground law? This may be shaping up as an FL do-over, except the defendant is a cop.

  6. Dave Bearse says:

    Lewis quoted Martin Luther King Jr: “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice.”

    The AJC reported that in the pope’s Thursday speech in Korea about peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, the pope said that peace required justice, and that justice in turn required forgiveness, cooperation and mutual respect.

    There’s probably something to the peace-justice thing.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Though I risk affronting the less strident, “God’s day of judgment” has never been anything but a myth.

  7. gcp says:

    In past few days in the metro area a Nigerian cab driver was murdered in Norcross, a 62 was murdered in his driveway in Dekalb and a father of four was murdered in East Point.

    The problem is not “militarization of the police”; it’s mostly black males killing mostly black males. That’s the problem that needs to be addressed yet no one wants to address it.

Comments are closed.