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Veteran Black Leader Schools Southern Republican (Video)

Veteran Black Leader Schools Southern Republican (Video)

The veteran civil rights leader John Lewis handed a Georgian GOP representative his ass on a plate last week in the House.

Representative Paul Broun had tabled an amendment to end all funding for U.S. Department of Justice enforcement of Section Five of the Voting Rights Act. This requires states like Georgia to submit new election laws — last year’s statewide redistricting, for instance — for federal approval to ensure against disenfranchisement of minorities.

“It is also highly unfair,” Broun said, “allowing some states to make changes to their election laws while other states wishing to make the same changes are forced to jump through a bunch of hoops.”

Lewis, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and was beaten during the Freedom Rides, then marched into the chamber. He called Broun’s proposal “shameful” and “unbelievable” coming from a member from Georgia.

“Maybe some of us need to study a little contemporary history dealing with the question of voting rights,” Lewis said. He then schooled Broun on how African-Americans were once forced to count the number of bubbles in a bar of soap or number of jelly beans in a jar in order to register to vote.

“People died for the right to vote – friends of mine, colleagues of mine,” Lewis said. “I speak out against this amendment.”

The elder was then followed up by the younger. Jess Jackson Jr. then schooled them on how Section five was still needed because of the political redistricting tricks of both sides of the aisle.

Broun then retreated and withdrew the amendment, saying, “I apologize to any hurt feelings that anyone has, because I certainly wasn’t meaning to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

Last week, the House passed a spending bill for the Department of Justice (DOJ) which blocked it from spending funds on challenging state immigration laws and that would limit DOJ’s ability to oppose the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act in court proceedings.

Watch:

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Photo credit: CSPAN screengrab

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29 comments

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1:54AM PST on Feb 4, 2013

The right of vote comes with being an American immediately.

1:11PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Thank you Congressman John Lewis. I'm shocked that anyone of the Republicans can be shamed and I'm grateful that you showed that at least one Republican could be shamed.

5:42PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Our founders, trying to give birth to a new nation were forced to make some drastic choices when the Constution was first written. Since then much has changed. However, there is still that segment of stupidity that believes you shouldn't be allowed to vote unless you are a property owner, or unless you are white, or unless you are a male, or unless you strictly agree with their illogical logic. They are called REPUGNANTS.

3:24PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Nice job Mr. Lewis!!

2:51PM PDT on May 16, 2012

"..", it's not just about "black power." It's about the right to vote. Mr. Lewis was right to "school" Rep. Braun about black people and their struggle to gain access to the voting both. The surprise is that Rep. Braun actually learned anything.

And what have YOU learned? Did you know, for example, that black men were given the right to vote before women? At least a hundred years.

And if the GOP manages to disenfranchise black people--or perhaps I should say, 'all non-whites'?--who do you think they're coming after next? And you, a female, will also lose your right to speak up. As a woman, I'm opposed to disenfranchisement of any group of people. And you should be too.

The ACLU has a downloadable PDF file of a timeline of voter's rights, if you're interested:
https://www.aclu.org/timelines/timeline-voting-rights-act

2:26PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Very heartfelt and powerful speech! Bravo! We need more Patriots such as this gentleman in office.

2:04PM PDT on May 16, 2012

YAY!

1:06PM PDT on May 16, 2012

@Brian F.'

Actually no

You miss Congressperson Lewis and Jackson's point. BOTH parties have let down minorities. The South used to be dominated by Democrats. This is not about Republican vs Democrat. It's about an Act which ensures that minorities are not shut out by either party.

This is precisely what the GOP Georgia Rep. failed to consider.

12:30PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Well said congressman Lewis, and let's also add voter disenfranchisement to the arena too. Republicans have long known that by denying poor blacks, latinos and whites, the right to vote, gives them a free pass to get elected. Republicans are dirty liars who only care about rich people and will do anything to remain in power including lying and cheating.

12:29PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Well said congressman Lewis, and let's also add voter disenfranchisement to the arena too. Republicans have long known that by denying poor blacks, latinos and whites, the right to vote, gives them a free pass to get elected. Republicans are dirty liars who only care about rich people and will do anything to remain in power including lying and cheating.

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