If you’ve not seen the news yet today, Congressman John Lewis has been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. That is not good news. He is already receiving treatment. Here is his statement:
“I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.
“This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed.
“While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.
“So I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross.
“To my constituents: being your representative in Congress is the honor of a lifetime. I will return to Washington in coming days to continue our work and begin my treatment plan, which will occur over the next several weeks. I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon.
“Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this journey.”
Here is Congressman Lewis addressing the March on Washington.
What a gut punch. I wish Congressman Lewis, his family, friends and constituents strength and peace in this sudden and unwelcome challenge.
The wrong side of history….
To a lot of Americans at the time, the March on Washington was seen as a threat. On Aug. 30, 1963, the State Journal — which editorialized in support of the marchers’ aspirations and achievements — ran pro and con columns on the event. Here was the opposing column, by David Lawrence, the founder of U.S. News & World Report.
By DAVID LAWRENCE
WASHINGTON — The march on Washington will go down in history as marking a day of public disgrace — a step backward in the evolution of the American system of government.
For the image of the United States presented to the world is that of a republic which had professed to believe in voluntarism rather than coercian, but which on Aug. 28, 1963, permitted itself to be portrayed as unable to legislate “equal rights” for its citizens except under the intimidating influence of mass demonstrations.
The press, television, and radio, the public forums in halls and stadiums — all have been available heretofore as mediums through which the “right to petition” could be effectively expressed and public opinion formed on controversial questions.
But a minority group — led by men who drew to their side church leaders and groups as well as civic organizations — decided that a massive publicity stunt would be a better way to impress Congress and the President with the idea that unemployment and racial discrimination can be legislated out of existence.
Government by mob has on a few occaions in the past darkened the pages of American history. A. Philip Randolph, the leader of the march this week, frankly characterized the march as a symbol of “revolution.” He said:
“In our pluralistic democratic society, causes must gain acceptance and approval and support. They can only gain acceptance, approval, and support if they can get attention, and in order to get attention — with numerous causes seeking the focus of public opinion — it is necessary for the dramatization to be developed of a given cause…”
Randolph, however, was not content with trying to mobilize American public opinion. He said that the march would bring into “world focus” the struggle of peoples of color in America “for first-class citizenship.”
But could not the merits of the civil-rights “revolution” have been presented effectively to American audiences without street demonstrations? Couldn’t the State Department and the “Voice of America” instead have dealt comprehensively abroad with the story of the efforts being made inside the United States to deal with the “civil rights” problem?
Also, would it not have been better if the leaders of the march had not by their tactics incurred some unfavorable publicity. What shall be said, for instance, of the Gallup Poll which indicated that 68 per cent of the American people disapproved of the march and thought it unnecessary? Last month another Gallup Poll revealed that six out of every 10 Americans believe the mass demonstrations by the Negroes would hurt their cause.
The “right of petition” is a fundamental principle of the Constitution, but it assumes an orderly and non-provocative procedure. The federal government had to go to large expense to police the demonstration Wednesday and to keep people from crowding into the city who might participate in disorders.
To say that the march was successful because large-scale violence was avoided is to ignore the bitterness and resentment prevalent on that day in a city whose normal community life was disrupted. Tens of thousands of people remained secluded in their homes lest they become injured or subjected to unwarranted delays in moving to and from their residences. American citizens were prevented from pursuing their customary ways. Their right to go to their places of employment was impaired by fear of bodily injury.
Would this have happened if the petitioners had relied on the process of reason in a voluntary society, or was it a sample of what happens in backward countries when some force stronger than the individual takes over and prevents freedom of movement?
Are injustices remedied by creating more injustices, and is the cause of civil rights advanced by interfering with the civil rights of non-participants in the mass demonstrations?
These are questions which will need answering, and the full effect of what may come to be called “the mess in Washington” could be reflected in future elections. For what was proved by the big demonstration — that in free America only the mob can get laws passed covering the issue of “civil rights”?
Damn it, damn it, damn it. This good man is stricken and Trump doesn’t even have a sniffle.
Terrible, terrible. When will the righteous cease to suffer? And when will the wicked face their well-earned punishment?
I know that Rep. Lewis will draw strength from his reliance on God’s grace.
At times like this, I wish I could believe in any gods at all.
I do believe, however, that people like him make the world a better place, and that all of us can make it better by our efforts to imitate him.
That’s my prayer for you, Rep. Lewis. Good luck on your journey.
What awful news.
Trump is not … healthy. IMO 
I’m hoping John Lewis responds to treatment. Scary disease; I’m usually cold-comforted by reading a few recent papers on a disease, but not this one, e.g.
Genomic Variations in Pancreatic Cancer and Potential Opportunities for Development of New Approaches for Diagnosis and Treatment (2017 Jun)
Pancreatic Cancer Heterogeneity Can Be Explained Beyond the Genome ((05 April 2019)
 watch this video of Wolf Blitzer interviewing D.J. Trump re Pelosi’s failure to impeach GWB. He could speak in complete sentences in 2008.
This thread on John Lewis is a MUST read!!
Trump has advanced dementia, according to some. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.
@AliceBlue: consider not framing everything in the world in terms of trumpov. It’s unhealthy. It’s what he wants.
It completely disgusts me to say this, but as the outpouring of love and respect for national hero John Lewis rises, the World’s Shittiest Man™, who is already extra-deranged over Nancy’s delay, will lash out in shockingly vile and depraved terms.
He will just not be able to contain himself. Everything that is tiny and needy and so horribly broken in him will scream out, knowing that what we feel for Lewis, very few if any feel for him.
nb to Jeffro: You make a salient point. But we should be ready for Trump’s coming twitter spiral over Lewis, and use it to more deeply and thoroughly humiliate him.
That is very good.
The wheel of life does sometimes turn the right way. 2 generations and the change is dramatic. And positive. There is hope for humanity yet.
It’s what he demands. And as a spoiled toddler he always demands. And as a sick bastard with power he shouldn’t get what he wants.
That speech gives me heart, but it infuriates me that Elijah Cummings and John Lewis got so gravely ill and Dick Cheney is still alive.
As John Lewis said…he’s fought before and he’s planning to fight again. So all I’d like is for folks to hold off on treating this as if he’s dead and gone already.
If he gonna fight, then sending him prayers or whatever good vibes I can share to the universe for him to win this fight if he can
Like Booker said, John Lewis beat Jim Crow and the KKK…then he might damn well be able to beat cancer too!
Good night BJ and FUQ CANCER!
Godspeed and best wishes for this good man.
@AliceBlue: Have faith. Trump will die alone in his soiled diaper with a chicken wing lodged in his throat terrified all the while that Nancy has finally come to get him.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess this Lawrence was a white guy.
“You’re doing it wrong!”
Some things never change
Fight like hell, Congressman. Win or lose, the fight is its own reward.
We’re with you.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
John Lewis is an awe-inspiring person. It took a lot of guts to face what he did during the Civil Rights Movement.
While cancer in general is much more survivable now it’s still horrible. I wish him well. We need heroes like him.
May the Good Lord be with him!!!
It’s difficult to decide which notion arouses me more…. this, or the idea of Agent Orange living out his last days in a state prison while Javanka, Uday, and Qusay lose everything after their assets are seized and they all have to go work at Walmart.
I feel like if he didn’t actually have a good chance, he would say so. Hopefully he’ll be like Jimmy Carter and keep chugging along through illnesses that would kill a lesser person.
John Lewis is an awe-inspiring man. I wish him nothing but health, comfort, and strength for what I hope are many days to come.
I also hope he lives long enough to see another Dem president in office.
Do you think that wally world would have them? Can you imagine them going to work and finding that their supervisor was a black woman? With an attitude and a fire in her eye?
I can but then that’s just me……
@Suzanne: Some people do not have much of an option to shop or work anywhere but Walmart. Let’s not wish that family on them too.
@Omnes Omnibus: Fair. But I want them to have to work hard, for shit pay, and be in front of the public while they do it.
@Suzanne: Not sure public life would be safe for this traitorous trash crime family.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I’m pretty sure even Wally World wouldn’t have them. What’s a worse employer than Walmart that will literally hire anyone?
Not sure I care.
Actually, I’m sure that I do not.
He is about that strong isn’t he.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
@mrmoshpotato: I’m quite sure it shouldn’t be.
@ruemara: I’m more than willing to bring back shunning for that entire family. Unless Tiffany and Barron are the exceptions to the toxicity in that lineage.
A fair number of Georgetown Law grads end up working at DOJ. Wouldn’t it be karmic if she was part of the prosecution of her half-siblings?
@burnspbesq: Hahahaha that’d be awesome.
OT- the *who wants to help* posts cannot be found .
They were a temporary test bed for attempting to replicate error generation and were purposely deleted after data gathering.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): having to work in a field or poultry packing plant would be about right.
Or be a port a potty cleaner.
Attitude that one has when going into battle with cancer is most important. Science is important but at the same time the medics will admit that something else often happens to bring a positive outcome. Some call it the stubborn streak. Folks with the stubborn streak do not passively lay down and die. Lewis has never been passive.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): What this guy fails to say (and Jaysus, at least right-wingers could actually put a coherent sentence together back in the day, I’ll have to grant him that) is that “mob rule” (which the march wasn’t) was usually used by white people (whoever counted as “white” at the time) to terrify, assault, and kill African-Americans. Not to promote their rights. So, a fundamental difference there. But to admit that would be to invalidate his broader point, which is moral scolding – “you’re protesting WRONG, and besides which, you’re BLACK and you’re SCARING ME!!11!”
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
The obvious answer is that they will become Amway salesmen.
The whining (my Kindle changed that to “whiteness”) in that old editorial is impressive. People were prevented from going about their usual day, the horror!
I was actually quite disappointed with this tread. It was all about bitching about Trump, and anger.
To me, John Lewis has always been about being very determined, and positive, and polite, and when events are less immediately awful, funny, kind and utterly charming.
lamh 36’s comment and repost is what I think he has always been about.
I wish him a much longer life. I do not want him to be remembered as the anti-trump. He has ben doing great things in the public forum for decades.
I think I will start re-reading March this week.