Who do you believe? A man who was actually there during on of the most turbulent racial times I our history or some McCain campaign hack who is doing everything he can to help win an election? Me I am going with the person who saw, felt, and heard all the nasty hate-filled rhetoric that was prevalent at the time.
Here is Rep. John Lewis’s statement:
"As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing today reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.
"During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed one Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.
"As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."
John Lewis did not compare Johm McCain with George Wallace in a personal sense, he compared their tactics, and as a minority who also has seen and lived with racial tensions in southern Ohio, I understand what he is saying. There are a lot of people in this country who will blindly believe anything that someone tells them. Case in point, the woman that said Obama is an "ARAB". Where did she get that idea? At a rally when Palin keeps insisting that Obama "Is not one of us". Add that to the announcing his middle name and saying that he "Pals around with terrorist" and what conclusion do some people come to?
For those of us who are over 40, we understand that what Mr. Lewis said is true. His words describe himself as a "Victim" of racial hatred, which no one can deny, and states that what the McCain-Palin ticket is doing "Reminds" him of that period. It reminds him of people getting all riled up over lies and untrue statements. Statements like "He pals around with a domestic terrorist". He states that George Wallace had "Created the Climate" that lead to violence. When someone at a rally calls the opponent a "terrorist" and mentions his middle eastern middle name, and keeps saying "He’s not one of us" I believe that is also "creating a climate" of hate and mistrust. There have been numerous report of racial slurs being said, news reporters being threatened, and someone yelling "Kill him" at a rally. What do you call that? Mr. Lewis didn’t say that McCain was acting like Wallace in any other regard than "sowing" the seeds of hate and division, which I believe all of us can agree with. He says that they are "playing with fire", "not careful", and "playing a very dangerous game". Not once do I see him say that John McCain believes the same things George Wallace did, but he is sure using George Wallace’s tactics of divide and conquer.
McCain and Palin can question the man’s character and his associations all they want, but when you start using statement’s like "He’s not one of US’, and "Who is this guy with the funny middle name", then you have crossed the line. Who the hell is US anyway? From a minority point of view it is more than obvious what is meant. He is not WHITE. That is racism and you can try and hide it all you want, but as has been said, you can put lipstick on a pig and it is still a pig. Well you can put lipstick on racism and it is still racism.