United States Representative John Lewis (D - Georgia) is one of the most courageous men to walk this earth.
During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Congressman Lewis experienced beatings, assaults, and arrests by those opposed to racial integration. Still, in the face of all that opposition to racial harmony, John Lewis stood strong. He stood courageous.
Congressman Lewis likes to call his participation in the Freedom Rides and the marches from Selma to Montgomery "good trouble."
proclaimed he's been getting into good trouble since 1960.
John Lewis, in his address to Union College graduates this year, said, "You must get in good trouble, necessary trouble. You must help change America, you must help change the world."
Good trouble, necessary trouble is opposing American intervention in the ongoing Syrian civil war.
Eight years ago, Congressman Lewis got into good trouble, necessary trouble when he said, "The American people have not forgotten that it was the policy of the Bush Administration to attack a sovereign nation that posed no threat to us. This preemptive war is what created the flood of terrorism into the cities of Iraq.
"We have not been called, we have not been ordained to be the policemen of the world. The American people are sick and tired of this war. The community of nations and the people of the world are sick and tired of this war."
Those are courageous words from a courageous man.
Eight years later, the United States sits on the precipice of attacking another sovereign nation -- Syria. And once more, we look to John Lewis to take a courageous stand.
It's been reported by other news agencies that, "The prospect of wounding President Obama is weighing heavily on Democratic lawmakers as they decide their votes on Syria" [Lillis and Wasson (7 September 2013). Fears of wounding Obama weigh heavily on Democrats ahead of vote. The Hill. Retrieved on 9 September 2013.].
Syria, according to a recent article published in The Hill, is "a tough one for black Democrats, caught between a desire to support Obama, the nation's first black president who remains enormously popular with the Congressional Black Caucus, and an inclination to avoid another military campaign overseas" [Lillis (5 September 2013). Head of Black Caucus asks members to stay quiet on Syria. The Hill. Retrieved on 9 September 2013.].
Fear of wounding Barack Obama should not even be a consideration in this debate. Black or white, when someone is wrong, someone is wrong.
Barack Obama is wrong. And we need a courageous individual; we need Congressman John Lewis to stand up and say to America's first black President, "the United States of America has not been ordained to be the policemen of the world."
We need John Lewis to get into good trouble, necessary trouble one more time. We need John Lewis to say no and vote no on attacking Syria.