A few points are worth noting, however. First, he stressed that things are much better than they once were. While this is a truism, it probably discomfits those who are only too eager to lament life in George W. Bush’s Amerikkka. Second, in response to a question about Cynthia McKinney, he cracked, "I told her she should take a course in non-violence." More seriously, he averred that there was never any justification for striking a police officer.
However admirable and courageous Rep. Lewis is, I part company with him on immigration. He wrapped the current marches in the mantle of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and asserted that we were, above all else, "citizens of the world" who should share. No national sovereignty, no consent of the governed, no principles of the Declaration of Independence, which justify the self-government of a particular community. I do not deny that I have a moral obligation to love my neighbor, but I do deny that that obligation requires me to extend citizenship to anyone and everyone who demands it. And lest you think that I would thereby justify denying civil rights, say, to African-Americans, I insist that there’s a morally and politically significant distinction between those who were brought to this country against their wills and those who came, or wish to come, here voluntarily.
When asked what the major current civil rights challenge is, Rep. Lewis said, universal access to health care as a matter of right. If you put that together with the aforementioned claim, there is, according to him, a universal human right to access to American health care. And we worried when the Clintons wanted to commandeer 14% of the U.S. economy!
Im glad that John Lewis was influential in the past. But the future he envisions scares me more than a little.