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Sunday, October 12, 2008

John Lewis on McCain Sowing Seeds of Division

John McCain is running a campaign that appeals to white nationalism and Congressman John Lewis called him out on it. By painting Barack as being unpatriotic by “palling around with domestic terrorists” and being “dangerous,” McCain and Palin are questioning his loyalty to white nationalism, no matter how much he loves and is devoted to a better America.

McCain said at the values forum said that John Lewis is one of the people he most admires for his courage and morals. That same Lewis has now criticized the appeals to white nationalism that have become the central feature of the McCain campaign. Lewis suggested that McCain’s seeds of division were reminiscent of George Wallace. Lewis was right to warn McCain. Because he was compared to George Wallace, the McCain campaign demanded that Barack disavow Lewis’ comments.

The truth is that one does not go back to George Wallace to find the Republican appeal to white nationalism. Recall that Reagan opened his presidential bid in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site of the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner. Reagan and his Republicans opposed sanctions for South Africa. He opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He tried to weaken the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He opposed the national holiday for King. The “Reagan Revolution” was based on white nationalism and division.

The McCain/Palin campaign is just following the tradition of Donald Segretti, Lee Atwater, and Karl Rove. RGN

John Lewis Warns McCain: You're "Sowing The Seeds Of Hatred And Division"
Georgia congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis, reacting to the increasingly incendiary atmosphere at McCain-Palin campaign rallies, condemned the GOP for using tactics that are creating a mood not unlike the one created by George Wallace, the former segregationist governor and presidential candidate. Lewis accused the Republicans of "sowing the seeds of hatred and division," and warned the McCain
campaign that they are "playing with fire:"

"As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign," Lewis said in a statement. "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse."

The veteran Democrat even invoked one of the most divisive figures in recent U.S. history. "During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama," said Lewis.

He warned, "As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."

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