Barack Obama angered President Trump and his government during his fiery eulogy for the late John Lewis by calling for efforts to suppress voting and combat tear gas use by peaceful agents by federal agents.
Obama spoke at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in front of the American flag coffin and Lewis & # 39; corpse in front of the coffin, saying the late civil rights activist had dedicated his life to fighting the attacks on democracy we are seeing circulating now immediately. & # 39;
Obama refused to mention Trump by name, saying that the electoral system is currently under attack by Republicans who are trying to suppress the minority election and Trump's repeated attacks on mail-in votes.
"We may no longer need to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar to cast a ballot, but even if we sit here, there are those in power who do their utmost to keep people from voting by going to polling stations close and target minorities and students with restrictive ID laws that attack our voting rights with surgical precision and even undermine the postal service in advance of an election that will depend on postal ballot papers so people don't get sick, ”he said. referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He asked Congress to act on voting rights and restore the voting rights law that the Supreme Court reduced in 2012 and said, “You want to honor John? Let's honor him by reviving the law for which he wanted to die.
& # 39; The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, that's a nice tribute. But John wouldn't want us to stop there. Once we have passed it, we should keep marching to make it even better. & # 39;
Obama called the procedural hurdle, which effectively requires 60 votes to pass key laws, a "Jim Crow relic" that refers to the era of segregation.
He said that all Americans, including inmates, should be automatically registered for voting, and said that election day should be a national holiday to ensure that everyone can get to a polling station.
His criticism came just hours after Trump proposed to postpone the 2020 election on allegations of "mail-in fraud" – a power he doesn't have.
Former President Barack Obama spoke on Thursday in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in front of the coffin with the American flag and John Lewis & # 39; corpse, and said he owed his "mentor" Lewis and his haunted vision of freedom a huge debt
Obama said Lewis would be a "founding father of a fuller, better, and fairer America" when he took a rousing eulogy for the icon of civil rights and the longtime congressman
During his 41-minute eulogy, Obama also compared Trump to former Alabama governor George Wallace, who in the 1960s became infamous as saying, "Segregation now, segregation forever," and convinced the 1960s segregationist Bull Connor when he was the government struck for recent scenes in which federal agents have gassed demonstrators in tears.
"Bull Conner may be gone, but today we see with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of black Americans," he said. "George Wallace may be gone, but we can see our federal government send agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators."
Lewis died on July 17 at the age of 80 after fighting pancreatic cancer. His funeral on Thursday includes a week of worship and homage to the icon of civil rights
Trump used troops to evacuate protesters from Lafayette Square outside the White House and recently sent federal agents to Portland, Oregon.
"I know that this is a celebration of John's life. There are some who might say we shouldn't be dealing with such things. But that's why I'm talking about it. John Lewis dedicated his time on Earth to fighting the attacks on democracy and the best in America that is currently in circulation, ”said Obama.
Obama, who awarded Lewis the Medal of Freedom in 2011, said he owed a great debt to his "mentor" and his haunted vision of freedom, and Lewis was "a founding father of a fuller, better, and fairer America".
He said Lewis was an American whose belief "had been tested time and again to produce a man of pure joy and unbreakable perseverance".
"Americans like John … freed us all. America was built by people like them. America was built by John Lewises, ”said Obama.
“Like everyone else, he brought this country closer to our highest ideals. And one day, if we end this long road to freedom, be it years or decades, or even two centuries away, John Lewis will be a founding father of this fuller, fairer, and better America. & # 39;
Regarding Lewis’s fight for civil rights, Obama said the Americans should be vigilant against “darker currents in the history of this country”.
"This country is always under construction," he said. “We are born with instructions to form a more perfect union.
In these words, the idea is explicit that we are imperfect. What gives every new generation the purpose is to take up and continue the unfinished work of the last generation than anyone thought possible. & # 39;
One day, if we end this long road to freedom, be it years or decades, or even two centuries away, John Lewis will be a founding father of this fuller, fairer, and better America.
Referring to Lewis' long history as a civil rights activist, Obama said he kept getting on buses and sitting at lunch tables, was arrested, and was marching "on a mission to change America".
He referred to a moment when Lewis and Bernard Lafayette got on a bus and refused to change seats when he was only 20 years old.
Imagine the courage of two people Malia's age – younger than my oldest daughter. Alone. Challenge an entire infrastructure of oppression. John was only 20 years old. But he shoved the center of the table every 20 years, making every effort that his example could challenge centuries of conventions and generations of brutal violence and countless daily outrages by African Americans.
Until his last day on earth, he not only assumed this responsibility, but made it his life's work.
"John Lewis's life was exceptional in many ways … And yet, as extraordinary as John was, here's the thing: John never believed that what he did was more than any citizen of this country could do .
"If we want our children to grow up in a democracy, not just with elections, but with real democracy, representative democracy, and a tolerant, vibrant, inclusive America of continual self-creation, we will have to do it more like John. We don't have to do everything he had to do because he did it for us. But we have to do something. & # 39;
Lewis’s coffin, decorated with a U.S. flag, arrived at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday morning before his funeral service
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton praised John Lewis during his memorial service in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, and crowned commemorations and tributes to the civil rights pioneer for a week.
Former President George W. Bush, who was present with Ms. Laura, told mourners that the Americans were living in a "better and nobler country today" because of him, while Bill Clinton urged the United States to follow in the footsteps of the civil rights icon.
Politicians, dignitaries and other mourners signed up to the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday to honor the life and legacy of the longtime congressman.
Both Bush and Clinton spoke of Lewis' humble beginnings on a farm in Troy, Alabama to become a leader of the civil rights movement and ultimately the man known as the "conscience of Congress".
Bush was the first of the three Presidents to speak about Lewis and say to the mourners, “John and I had our differences, but in America that John Lewis fought for and in the America I believe in, differences are inevitable and evidence of democracy in action.
We, the people, including the Congressman and Presidents, can have different views on how we can perfect our union, while sharing the belief that our nation, flawed as it is, is a good and noble. We live in a better and nobler country today because of John Lewis.
“We, the people, including Congressmen and Presidents, can have different views on how we can perfect our union while sharing the belief that our nation, flawed as it is, is a good and noble one.
"We live in a better and more noble country today because John Lewis and his steadfast belief in the power of God, the power of democracy and the power of love take us all to a higher level."
Bush described Lewis' character and said, “He always thought of others; He always thought of preaching the gospel in word and deed and insisting that hatred and fear be answered with love and hope. John Lewis believed in the Lord, he believed in humanity and he believed in America. & # 39;
Former President Bill Clinton praised Lewis’s decades of civil rights efforts and said he had an “uncanny ability to heal troubled waters”.
"John Lewis was a walking rebuke for people who thought," Well, we're not there yet, we've worked a long time, isn't it time to bag it up? "He kept moving. He hoped and introduced himself and lived and worked and moved for his beloved community," said Clinton.
The honor guard carries Lewis' coffin after his memorial at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta
The coffin of late US Congressman John Lewis is located at his burial place in South View Cemetery on Thursday after the memorial service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta
The honor guard carries the coffin to its final resting place during the funeral service
The gold of honor folds the American flag that was hung over Lewis' coffin
The military honor guard folded the flag before family members placed white roses on the coffin. The coffin was then lowered into the ground
A military honor guard greets Lewis near his resting place in South-View Cemetery
“He had many good problems along the way, but let's not forget that he also developed an uncanny ability to cure troubled water. When he was angry and determined to cancel his opponents, he tried to get converts instead. He found the open hand better than the clenched fist.
"It is so fitting on the day of his service that he leaves our marching order to us – keep moving," added Clinton, referring to Lewis & # 39; last words published posthumously in the New York Times on Thursday.
"I just loved him. I will always do it, and I am so grateful that he stayed true to form: he left there and left us with marching orders, ”said Clinton. "I suggest … since he is close enough to God to keep an eye on the sparrow and us … we salute, get dressed and keep marching."
Former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush were among the mourners at the funeral service on Thursday
Former President Bill Clinton clapped along with other mourners when they celebrated Lewis' life on Thursday. His wife Hillary Clinton was absent from the funeral
Former President Barack Obama will take the laudatory speech for Lewis, who died on July 17 at the age of 80 after fighting pancreatic cancer. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are also expected to speak
The coffin was placed in front of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Thursday before its funeral service
Family members come to the service of the late senator and civil rights leader John Lewis
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi also spoke, remembering how Lewis’s body lay in the U.S. Capitol earlier this week and a double rainbow appeared.
"There was that double rainbow over the coffin," she said. "He told us:" I am at home in heaven, I am at home in heaven. "We always knew that he worked on the side of the angels, and now he's with them. & # 39;
She continued that Lewis had bought his civil rights experience in Washington.
"He insisted on the truth in the United States Congress," she said. "When John Lewis served with us, he wanted us to see the civil rights movement and the rest through his eyes."
"He wanted us to see how important it is, how important it is to understand the spirit of nonviolence."
President Trump, who did not visit the body of the late Congressman when he was in the state this week, did not attend the funeral.
Before the funeral began, church bells rang 80 times to indicate how many years Lewis was still alive.
Hillary Clinton was absent. The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Senator Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams and Senator Cory Booker were among the mourners.
More than an hour before the service began, dozens of people had gathered in front of the church, and many were sitting on garden chairs in front of a large screen outside the door, waiting to see the service.
The House of Representatives spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi sits on Thursday for the funeral of John Lewis
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and her husband Derek attended the Lewis funeral
Members of the congress were socially distant from each other during the funeral service and wore all masks
Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, left, speaks to Senator Nikema Williams before the funeral service
BULL CONNOR: THE FACE OF THE SEGREGATION IN BIRMINGHAM, AL
Bull Connor was Commissioner for Public Security in Birmingham, Alabama for more than 20 years in the 1960s and was a staunch opponent of the civil rights movement.
He became an international figure and a symbol of oppression when he pulled police dogs and fired hoses that a civil rights activist, including children, advocated.
Connor is said to have protected members of the Ku Klux Klan when they committed racist violence and bombings.
Bull Connor was Commissioner for Public Security in Birmingham, Alabama for more than 20 years in the 1960s and was a staunch opponent of the civil rights movement
In 1961, he reportedly ordered the Birmingham Police to stay away from Trailways bus station while Klansmen attacked the Freedom Riders.
The images of the dogs and tubes used against demonstrators were shared on television and published in newspapers across the country.
Some say it has helped change attitudes in favor of the civil rights movement.
He died of a stroke in 1973.
His funeral followed a week of memorial service. The coffin that carried his body was escorted over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Sunday, decades after his "blood Sunday" struck there and cast a national spotlight on the battle for racial equality. On Monday, his coffin was brought to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, where he was in the state until Tuesday.
He spent more than three decades in Congress and his district spanned most of Atlanta.
The funeral took place on the same day. The New York Time published an essay by Lewis two days before his death.
He wrote that he was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and that demonstrators had filled him with hope for the future in the last hours of his life.
"When historians lift their pens to write 21st century history, let them say that it was your generation that finally put down the heavy burdens of hatred and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression, and war," Lewis wrote.
"So I tell you, go with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of eternal love be your guide."
He also remembered King's teachings: "He said we are all complicit if we tolerate injustice," Lewis wrote. & # 39; He said it was not enough to say that it was getting better gradually. He said that each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak out, and speak out.
"Although I may not be here with you, I ask you to respond to your heart's highest calling and to stand up for what you really believe in," added Lewis. “In my life I have done everything to show that the way of peace, the way of love and non-violence is the better way. Now it's your turn to let freedom ring. & # 39;
The bow of Lewis & # 39; Legacy of Activism will again be associated with Ebenezer's former pastor Martin Luther King Jr., whose sermons discovered Lewis while scanning the radio dial as a 15-year-old boy who grew up in what was then Alabama.
King continued to inspire Lewis & # 39; civil rights work for the next 65 years as he struggled against segregation during sometimes bloody marches, the Greyhound Freedom Rides bus through the South and later during his long tenure in the US Congress.
When Lewis was 15, he heard King's sermons on WRMA, a radio station in Montgomery, Alabama, he recalled in an interview for the Southern Oral History Program.
"I saw him several times later in Nashville when I was in school between 1958 and 1961," said Lewis. "In a way, he was my leader."
King was "the person who influenced my life more than anyone else and made me what I was," Lewis wrote in his 1998 autobiography, Walking with the Wind.
In the summer of 1963, Lewis spoke to thousands of people during the March in Washington and spoke shortly before King delivered his speech, "I have a dream." Back then he was talking about black people who were beaten and detained by the police – topics that resonate vividly today.
"My friends, let's not forget that we're in a serious social revolution," Lewis told the crowd at the Washington Mall.
"To those who said," Be patient and wait, "we have long said that we cannot be patient," he added. "We don't want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now! We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by police officers. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail time and time again. & # 39;
In 1965, Alabama State Troopers beat Lewis in the city of Selma on a so-called "Blood Sunday".
After the memorial service, close friends and family at South-View Cemetery for Lewis’s funeral
The honor guard presents his son John-Miles Lew with the flag that stood on Congressman Lewis's coffin
Samuel Lewis holds a flower for his brother at the funeral service, which followed the stirring monument in the Ebenezer Baptist Church
Family members watch Rev. Raphael Warnock say a prayer at the service
Lewis & # 39; family put white roses on his coffin after the honor guard removed the American flag and handed it to his son
Overwhelmed by emotions, family members are seen hugging at the tomb. Despite the rising temperatures, the family was still careful to keep their face masks in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic
Lewis & # 39; son John-Miles Lewis released a white dove and rose petals after completing the funeral service on Thursday
Family and friends left the coffin covered with white roses before it was finally lowered into the ground
GEORGE WALLACE: & # 39; NOW SEGREGATION, TOMORROW SEGREGATION, FOREVER SEGREGATION & # 39;
George Wallace was one of the leading figures against the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The four-time governor of Alabama said: "I am drawing the line in the dust and throwing the glove at the feet of tyranny, and I say: segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" when he was elected in office in 1962.
George Wallace was one of the leading figures against the civil rights movement in the 1960s and fought to limit the powers of the federal government.
The four-time governor of Alabama said: "I am drawing the line in the dust and throwing the glove at the feet of tyranny, and I say: segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" when he was elected in office in 1962.
Eleven years earlier, the US Supreme Court had issued its landmark decision on the Brown Vs Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas, arguing that the education of black and white children was unconstitutional.
The Brown case meant that the University of Alabama had to be separated. But in the years that followed, hundreds of African Americans applied for admission, but all were rejected. The university worked with the police to determine if they were disqualified or intimidated applicants if it failed.
In 1963, three African-Americans with perfect qualifications – Vivian Malone Jones, Dave McGlathery and James Hood – applied and were not intimidated. In early June, a federal district judge ordered approval and prohibited Governor Wallace from interfering.
Then, on June 11th, Malone and Hood came to register and Wallace tried to keep his promise. Federal marshals asked Wallace to step aside, but Wallace interrupted Katzenbach and refused by giving a speech on state rights.
General Henry Graham needed to order Wallace to step aside and say, "Sir, it is my sad duty to ask you to step aside on the orders of the President of the United States."
Wallace also ran four times for the presidency – three times as a democrat and once as an independent. During his 1968 campaign as an independent, he slandered blacks, students and people who called for an end to the Vietnam War.
He ran on his own ticket and won five southern states – or 46 votes.
In 1972 he returned to the Democrats because of the great support of the population and was vehemently opposed to "forced buses" – or the attempt to integrate schools.
During the campaign, he was shot in Laurel, Maryland, paralyzed from the waist down, and wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.
He died of Parkinson's disease in 1998.
In front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, people watch the spokeswoman for the house, Nancy Pelosi, speak at the memorial service of the late Congressman John Lewis in Atlanta
A mourner raises his fist as the hearse bears the icon of civil rights. The late MP John Lewis arrives on Thursday afternoon after his funeral service
A large crowd gathered in front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church to watch Lewis & # 39; worship on a large screen
More than an hour before the service began, dozens of people had gathered in front of the church, and many were sitting on garden chairs in front of a large screen outside the door, waiting to see the service
Patrice Houston and Isaac Ferguson Dillard stand together with others in front of the church before the funeral service
"In the last few hours of my life, you have inspired me": The icon of civil rights, John Lewis, urged Black Lives Matters' protesters to "redeem the soul of America" and "answer the highest calling of your heart" in one powerful essay that was written shortly before his death
By Luke Kenton for DailyMail.com
Civil rights icon John Lewis said the demonstrators had given him hope in his final hours in a powerful essay that the New York Times was supposed to publish on the day of his funeral.
Lewis, who is mourned and celebrated at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, took the message as part of a powerful call to action that he had written just two days before his death.
"While my time here has ended, I want you to know that you have inspired me in the past few days and hours of my life," said Lewis.
“You filled me with hope for the next chapter in great American history when you used your power to make a difference in our society.
“Although I may not be here with you, I ask you to respond to your heart's highest calling and to stand up for what you really believe in. I have done everything in my life to show that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the better way, ”he added. "Now it's your turn to let freedom ring."
In the play, Lewis told of his own fears about Emmett Till's lynching in 1955 and how his death led him to join the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King.
In June Lewis visited the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, which he described as a "powerful work of art". He was hospitalized the next day
'Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland, and Breonna Taylor, ”said Lewis. "He was 14 when he was killed and I was only 15 at the time. I will never forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. & # 39;
In June Lewis visited the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, which he described as a "powerful work of art".
In his essay, although he was hospitalized the day after the visit, he wrote: "I just had to see and feel that after many years of silent testimony, the truth is still going on."
Lewis, a prominent figure in the civil rights movement and in-house representative of a district in the Atlanta region for more than three decades, died of pancreatic cancer on July 17. He was 80 years old.
Lewis was born in Troy, Alabama, the son of tenants, and started civil rights activism at a young age. On March 7, 1965, at the age of 25, he helped lead a march for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
The day became known as "Bloody Sunday" after Lewis and numerous other demonstrators were brutally attacked by the police and left with a broken skull.
Pictures of the march stunned the nation and helped strengthen support for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was legally signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The icon in his last essay revealed how Emmett Till's Lynch death triggered his lifelong struggle for equality and justice.
Lewis (second from left) was born in Troy, Alabama, the son of stockbrokers, and started civil rights activism at a young age. On March 7, 1965, at the age of 25, he helped lead a march for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama
Lewis marches hand in hand with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery
"He was 14 when he was killed and I was only 15 at the time. I will never forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me, ”Lewis wrote.
He said he spent these days as a young black teenager in an "imaginary prison" of fear, with the continuing feeling that brutality could be committed "for now understandable reasons" at any time.
"Although I was surrounded by two loving parents, many brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression that is just waiting outside of this family circle," Lewis wrote.
"Uncontrolled, unbridled violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple walk to the store for a few skittles or an innocent morning run on a lonely country road into a nightmare."
Lewis said he was looking for a way out – or a way out – when he heard Martin Luther King's voice on the radio that inspired him to be active.
He spoke about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit in tolerating injustice, ”said Lewis.
"If you see something that is wrong, you have to say something. You have to do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act and each generation must do its part to build what we call the beloved community, a nation and a world society that are at peace with themselves, ”he continued.
Lewis urged the next generation to continue to face "good trouble, necessary trouble" because "now it's your turn to let freedom ring". He was arrested more than 40 times during various demonstrations
In order to survive as a "united nation", Lewis insisted that we first have to find out what "roots in our hearts so quickly that Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina can be robbed of its brightest and best, shooting ignorant concert goers in Las Vegas." and stifle to death the hopes and dreams of a talented violinist like Elijah McClain. & # 39;
Towards the end of his essay, Lewis urged the next generation of activists to continue with the cloak of civil rights and continue the tradition of causing "good problems".
"Ordinary people with extraordinary visions can redeem America's soul by getting into what I call good, necessary trouble," he wrote.
Lewis said that voting and participating in the democratic process are two of the easiest and most important ways to bring about significant change, and called the right to vote the "most powerful nonviolent changer" you can have in a democracy.
"When historians lift their pens to write 21st century history, let them say that it was your generation that finally put down the heavy burdens of hatred and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression, and war," he urged.
"So I tell you, go with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of eternal love be your guide."
Lewis’s essay was published by The Times just hours before his funeral service, which will take place on Thursday at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
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