I remember first gazing upon the face of John Lewis in my father’s photography darkroom.
My father, after a fall from a freight train unloading a cache of pig iron at the scrap metal yard in Birmingham, Alabama where he was employed, destroyed his back. The accident rendered him unfit for manual labour. As a consequence, he had taken up photography. Although self-taught, he advanced to the position of Life Magazine‘s Deep South stringer during the roil and fury of the Civil Rights Movement.
His Nikon caught Bull Connor’s dog attacks and fire hose assaults in Birmingham, George Wallace obstructing the school house door as the first African American students desegregated the University of Alabama, and John Lewis as he was being pummeled by police goon squads on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
Yet the sit-in Congressman John Lewis engaged in over the past weeks evinces history repeated as farcical sound bite. It is emphatically nothing but a weak and faded facsimile of those 1960s protests. To wit: safe, sanitized, sham civil disobedience, in pursuit of this goal: ethically, religiously, and politically profiling dark skin people, individuals of non-culturally dominant religions, and anti-government/anti-capitalist activists.
In short, the bill the Democrats support is as unsound in civil liberties principles as the government’s no-fly list.
Moreover, when Lewis and the rest of the clutch of Democrat hypocrites stage a sit-in in protest of drone murder and other forms of the wanton, arbitrary, and non-judicial slaughter of brown people on a daily basis by the lawless government they front, then I will afford them the respect I felt for John Lewis when I was a child in the 1960s – awed, horrified, and moved as I was by the photographs I witnessed being developed in my father’s studio darkroom
Image: Dan Booth. Not to be reproduced without express prior permission.
Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City.
Yet a bio amounts to dharma for dimwits: It defines a human being in the same manner and degree of veracity as a restaurant menu describes the various slabs of meat offered … commodified things that were once living beings.