Front Page Talking Points


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The late John Lewis, legendary civil rights leader, is honored this week in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta


1.gifShare a quote from new John Lewis coverage. What emotion do you feel?

2.gifDoes attention to his memorials by this paper (number of articles, length, home page displays) seem appropriate? Why or why not?

3.gifNow pick an article about someone who reflects the late congressman's values and spirit. Tell why you chose it.

America is paying tribute to civil rights icon John Lewis, a Georgia congressman who died July 17 at age 80 after 33 years in the U.S. House. He'll lie in state Monday afternoon under the Capitol dome, one of the highest national honors, before the public pays respects from the Capitol plaza as his coffin sits atop the landmark's steps Monday evening and all day Tuesday. On Wednesday, it will be in Atlanta for a ceremony at Georgia's Capitol before his funeral Thursday in that city. Lewis, senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, had pancreatic cancer.

Lewis was known as the "conscience of the Congress" after decades of protest for racial equality. Now Democrats there are pushing to restore voting rights protections that the Supreme Court invalidated in 2013. "Congress has the power to restore it, but only one party seems interested in doing so," says Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Former U.S. Atty. Gen. Erick Holder Jr., who served under President Barack Obama, echoes the call: "If the leaders of our nation want to demonstrate their sincerity about honoring his legacy as a man of word and deed, they can pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act that languishes in the Senate, name it for John Lewis and make it the law of the land."

The House, with a Democratic majority, last December passed the measure that would restore key safeguards of the 1965 Voting Rights Act against racial discrimination. The Republican-controlled Senate has ignored it. "I have said this before, and I will say it again. The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy," Lewis said in June 2019 to support the bill.

Congresswoman says: "If he was still with us, he would be leading that fight. What we have to do is live up to his legacy. We need to continue that fight for social justice." – Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.

Past Cabinet member says: "You simply cannot honor the man or his life’s work if you're an opponent of voting rights for all." -- Eric H. Holder Jr., U.S. attorney general from 2009-15

School board says: "Rep. Lewis was a champion of the Civil Rights movement, and our board strongly believes this [high school renaming] is an appropriate tribute to an individual who is a true American hero. We will also honor his life's work by continuing to promote equity, justice, tolerance and service in the work that we do." -- Board of Education in Springfield, Va.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2021

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