In a week that celebrated the eighty-eighth birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the inauguration of our forty-fifth "president," it might be time to get a little historical perspective. Who better to turn to than Governor of Maine, Paul LePage. "You know, I will just say this: John Lewis ought to look at history," LePage, who is white, said in an interview on WVOM-FM. "It was Abraham Lincoln that freed the slaves. It was Rutherford B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant that fought against Jim Crow laws. A simple thank you would suffice." Just a tiny bit of clarification here: Jim Crow laws didn't exist during the Grant administration and an electoral deal that put Hayes in office led to the end of Reconstruction and the removal of federal troops, setting the stage for the creation of Jim Crow laws that followed.
Oh, and John Lewis? He, according to Wikipedia, "is an American politician and civil rights leader. He is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, serving since 1987, and is the dean of the Georgia congressional delegation. His district includes three-quarters of Atlanta." If you read a little further down the page, details about Congressman Lewis' certifications become a little more clear: "John Lewis was the youngest of the Big Six civil rights leaders as chairman of SNCC from 1963 to 1966, some of the most tumultuous years of the Civil Rights Movement. During his tenure, SNCC opened Freedom Schools, launched the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and organized some of the voter registration efforts during the 1965 Selma voting rights campaign. As the chairman of SNCC, Lewis had written a speech in reaction to the Civil Rights Bill of 1963. He denounced the bill because it didn't protect African Americans against police brutality or provide African Americans with the right to vote." He is also the man the forty-fifth "president" tweeted as being "all talk and no action." Hard to argue with the kind of action we have seen from the Krispy Kreme doughnut selling worthless degrees and steaks. All of this confusion about what happened when could be linked to John Lewis' refusal to attend this year's inauguration. The Twit in Chief went on to tweet, "John Lewis said about my inauguration, 'It will be the first one that I've missed.' WRONG (or lie)! He boycotted Bush 43 also because he..."thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush's swearing-in....he doesn't believe Bush is the true elected president." Sound familiar! WP." The WP refers to "Washington Post," This would be the organization that routinely uses a fact checker on the Twit's tweets. To lift the veil just a little further on the "Bush 43" inauguration, it should be noted that at the time of that party, there was still a good deal of doubt about the outcome of the presidential election of 2000. Some thought that contest was not completely legitimate.
So, it's like history, I guess. Opinions vary, and it written by the victors. And on Twitter.