This Saturday morning, when the United States had a need for some kind of competent leader who could step up and deliver some kind of outline for unifying Americans, Donald Trump was yet again on the golf course. On Friday, Georgia Democratic Congressman John Lewis passed away after a months-long battle with cancer, and tributes quickly began to emerge — although well after the news broke, the closest thing to a statement from the president himself honoring Lewis was a White House-distributed proclamation for flags to be flown at half-staff in his honor. Meanwhile, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill issued a joint statement honoring Lewis and pointing Americans towards the work ahead that he helped lay the groundwork for.
Lewis was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Among other high-profile parts of his experience, he was a “Freedom Rider” who rode on buses across the South in an attempt to desegregate public transportation, and he was one of the protest leaders advocating for voting rights for black Americans on an Alabama bridge in 1965 when racist police violently attacked the crowd in an incident known as “Bloody Sunday.” He subsequently served in Congress for decades.
The Bidens commented:
‘We are made in the image of God, and then there is John Lewis. He was truly one-of-a-kind, a moral compass who always knew where to point us and which direction to march. To John’s family, friends, staff, and constituents, Jill and I send you our love and prayers.’
In their full statement, the Bidens share that they spoke to Lewis just a few days prior to his passing, and at the time, they say that Lewis “asked us to stay focused on the work left undone to heal this nation.”
The Bidens add:
‘John’s life reminds us that the most powerful symbol of what it means to be an American is what we do with the time we have to make real the promise of our nation — that we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally.’
Check out the Bidens’ statement in full below:
We are made in the image of God, and then there is John Lewis. He was truly one-of-a-kind, a moral compass who always knew where to point us and which direction to march. To John’s family, friends, staff, and constituents, Jill and I send you our love and prayers.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 18, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response to Biden below: