(July 24) MOBILE, Alabama — For the recently deceased U.S. Rep. John Lewis to lie in state in the Alabama State Capitol on Sunday, a plan announced late this week, is for poetic justice to be served. And served nobly. Lewis really was heroic.

The legacy of Lewis, the civil rights giant who married righteous anger to a fierce commitment to peacefulness and patriotism, doesn’t need yet another tribute added to the innumerable paeans that have been flowing ever since his July 17 death. He’ll get one from me nonetheless, if only to emphasize that white, Southern conservatives also can and in many cases do revere him and the example he set.

Lewis’s politics were quite far left, meaning he profoundly disagreed with us conservatives about which policy solutions were best for today’s world. And understandably, considering what he went through, he seemed to see racism in the aggregate where some of us would ascribe ills to other causes. That is all immaterial. Lewis was a man who maintained the integrity of his beliefs, living how he preached, treating individuals with utmost courtesy and openness of heart, and, of course, standing courageously for racial equality.

Unless someone has been living in a cave, everyone by now has heard the stories of Lewis’s courage under beatings, his commitment to nonviolence among his own protesters, his love of country despite it all, and, of course, his own skull-endangering march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge that may one day bear his own name.

But the personal engagements for him were just as important. Everyone on Capitol Hill, or any stranger who approached Lewis at an airport to pay respects, would say the same: This was a man of generous spirit and good will….

[For the rest of my little attempt to pay tribute to this good man, please follow this link.]


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