The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Rep. Karen Bass, tweeted Saturday morning that President Trump should clam up and not respond to the death of Rep. John Lewis. Lewis passed away Friday night after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Imagine that. A member of the House of Representatives, a Democrat from California, posted a tweet that instructed the president on how to react to Lewis’ death. That takes some nerve to show such arrogance but in 2020, she likely thinks it is perfectly acceptable behavior. No doubt she was stoking the flames of division, as the CBC often does for political gain, and playing on their narrative that President Trump is a racist, and a white supremacist.
On Saturday morning, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tweeted out a statement: “Rep. John Lewis was an icon of the civil rights movement, and he leaves an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten. We hold his family in our prayers, as we remember Rep. John Lewis’ incredible contributions to our country.” That’s a good statement, right? Trump at the time had not released a personal statement via Twitter. Karen Bass told Trump to just let the press secretary’s statement stand and he didn’t need to say anything.
.@realDonaldTrump while the nation mourns the passing of a national hero, please say nothing. Please don’t comment on the life of Congressman Lewis. Your press secretary released a statement, leave it at that.
Please let us mourn in peace.
— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) July 18, 2020
As you would expect, her tweet brought criticism from Trump supporters. Frankly, she was out of line and deserved the criticism. It wasn’t for her to tell Trump about how to acknowledge or not acknowledge the death of Congressman Lewis. Imagine if Trump did as she asked and didn’t respond to his death. The headlines would scream that the bad Orange Man ignored a civil rights movement icon. He ignored her request and acted as a president does, with respect, and expressed his sadness about the loss. His tweet was simple and to the point: “Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family.”
Here’s the thing – Karen Bass is up for consideration as Joe Biden’s running mate. She has received some national attention since the BLM protests began because she often tries to sound like a reasonable person when so many others sound as though they have lost their minds. By publicly lobbing an uncalled for a slap at Trump was meant to bring her into the moment. It was petty and not productive. This is why the calls for unity from Team Biden and other Democrats fall upon deaf ears – they are empty words.
John Lewis had a long political career, including seventeen terms in the House of Representatives. He is a civil rights icon. There is no denying that on either side of the aisle. He wasn’t a perfect man, though, as none of us are perfect. He and Trump didn’t have a working relationship and that was of Lewis’ own making. Lewis referred to Trump as an illegitimate president and he refused to attend his inauguration. He did the same to George W. Bush in 2000, too, by the way. The point being, Lewis could act badly.
Trump and Lewis had a contentious relationship while the president was in office. Lewis accused Trump of not being a “legitimate president,” leading Trump to fire back that the Democrat should worry about his own “horrible” district instead.
“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.
Lewis also drew Trump’s ire when he declined to attend his inauguration.
John Lewis called Trump a racist and didn’t attend the opening of a civil rights museum in Mississippi in 2017 because Trump attended. He couldn’t find it in himself to rise above petty politics or his personal feelings. While he often spoke of Trump’s character flaws, perhaps he should have looked at his own from time to time.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle released statements to honor Lewis. Barack Obama did as he always does – he made his statement about himself.
George W. Bush did as he does, too. He rose above petty politics.
“As a young man marching for equality in Selma, Alabama, John answered brutal violence with courageous hope. And throughout his career as a civil rights leader and public servant, he worked to make our country a more perfect union. America can best honor John’s memory by continuing his journey toward liberty and justice for all.”
The leadership of the Democrat party is comprised of elderly politicians. The next generation of Democrat leadership is more divisive and is moving the party farther left, often openly embracing socialism and even Marxism, as the BLM movement does. The Congressional Black Caucus, by its very existence, separates the party into racial identity. How does it unite people if the CBC doesn’t even adhere to Martin Luther King’s words of not judging people by the color of their skin? John Lewis has a place in American history and that is being acknowledged. As it should. I’ll not hold my breath for kind words from the CBC when Republicans who are now noting the death of Lewis pass away.