Donald Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

Jay Ambrose

TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE — John Lewis, at the age of 80, has died, and one result is remembrances of his life, his courage, his Christian faith, his sacrifices and his dedication to nonviolence as one of the foremost civil rights leaders of the 20th and 21st centuries. Peace and love resided in his heart, it is said, and the Black Lives Matter protestors should listen, should forsake arson, vandalism, theft, injuring others, spreading ruin and defeating their cause.

The group’s adherents should instead become John Lewis.

Lewis lived through times when the abuse and oppression of black Americans was much harsher, crueler and painful than today, times when none could even dream of having a black president, for instance. Especially in the South, black people could not vote, ride on a bus with whites, eat in regular restaurants, stay in most hotels, go to public schools with whites or get into white colleges. Segregation ruled, and there were physical threats to deal with.

Even as a very young man who first wanted to be a minister, Lewis became a leader of a civil rights group and befriended Martin Luther King Jr., protested and demonstrated and was time and again beaten up.

He had his skull fractured. He had his face bloodied. He took risks that could have gotten him killed. He was arrested 45 times.

But when he learned of the rise of the black power movement and its acceptance of violence, he said no, no, no, that is not right. Jon Meacham, a superb journalist and author who has written a biography of him, says he was deeply of the faith, that he was led by the Gospels. He believed meekness would inherit the Earth, and no, he was not always meek, but love was Lewis’s foremost strategy: kindness, calmness, joy, humility, patience and putting the good of others first in everything he did.

Guess what? On issue after issue after issue, he and others like him won, getting major, liberating legislation enacted into law.

Perfection hardly arrived, of course, and he himself was scarcely perfect, such being a deprivation of the human condition. But he also served for 17 terms in the House of Representatives, he fought for the right as he saw it and still helped make things happen.

What we need now is more like him at a time when it looked as if a grand new moment was upon us, a time when racism might receive a cleansing like never before. The nation saw the excruciating killing of George Floyd and so very, very many were emotionally wounded, but within days we had protesters setting fire to police stations, to a block-long apartment complex under construction and to numerous small businesses.

Since then, hundreds upon hundreds of police officers have been injured, with three federal officers just maybe blinded for the rest of their lives. People have been killed. Statues have been toppled. Graffiti has become a substitute for literacy.

The substantially richer, ideologically supremacist truth-haters have minimized all of this, often belittled the desperate need for religion and demanded politically correct, evasive language if you are going to keep your job. The consequence will not be what the protesters are seeking.

Here are some of John Lewis’s final words to the protesters as reported by Vanity Fair magazine: “I know your pain, your rage, your sense of despair and hopelessness. Justice has, indeed, been denied for far too long. Rioting, looting, and burning [are] not the way. Organize. Demonstrate. Sit in. Stand up. Vote. Be constructive, not destructive. History has proven time and again that non-violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and equality that we all deserve.”

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send emails to speaktojay@aol.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. © 2020 Tribune Content Agency.

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(9) comments

Pitbull

Great article. I agree "protestors" should forsake arson, vandalism, personal injury and the like. You know what I mean? Like the famous BLM chant, "Pigs in a blanket fry 'em like bacon." I would recommend forsaking that as well.

rockloper

Would you happen to have video on that? I'm sure there must be.

Pitbull

Just put "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon BLM in Google search. There is a YouTube video prominent. BLM started this years ago and it has been resurrected.

hermit thrush

what a ridiculous comment. is blm as an organization behind that chant? no they are not. when a cop beats the [bleep] out of peaceful protesters, all we hear about is that it's a single bad apple which has no bearing on the police overall. what an interesting principle!

rockloper

Knock it off with BLM movement. Like the rest of the right wing you do NOT understand what the movement is about. Think I'm painting too broad a brush stroke? If you knew what it was about you wouldn't be right wing. I guess that's not acceptable to say tRUMP and his supporters are my enemies. Well guess what, you are. If you mess with my family you are an enemy.

rockloper

As I reread my own comment I realize some more detail should have been provided. If you knew what it was about and you are either a closet bigot or you wouldn't be right wing. Kinda like the person who says they're not racist then follows up with a patently racist comment.

rockloper

oh well so much for typing and eating at the same time. [sad]

hermit thrush

this column is a shameful betrayal of john lewis's legacy. he supported black lives matter!

rockloper

[thumbup]

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