This Hour of History — What would Martin Luther King say?

What the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. might say today to the Senators who have pledged to “do impartial justice” as jurors of the Senate’s impeachment trial requires no imagination.

Behind every Moses is an Aaron. Behind the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was John Lewis. If Dr. King was the primary face and voice of the civil rights movement, John Lewis was, and still is, its soul.

News of Congressman John Lewis’s Stage IV pancreatic cancer was a sad day that shocked the heart of America’s better self. On the eve of the Senate impeachment trial, John Lewis’s voice echoes those of his Moses and his late Congressional friend and colleague, the Honorable Elijah Cummings who chaired the House Oversight Committee.

John Lewis knows now what he learned in the years after he was beaten on the Pettus Bridge: some cancers metastasize and change into new forms and symptoms that defy treatment. America’s “original sin” of white racism — the presumption of white supremacy and the rights of white privilege — continues to re-create itself in the American psyche. John Lewis knew that the original sin would not be destroyed by passage of the Voter Rights Act. He knows how quickly a victory for justice can be overturned by Congress, the Courts, and a President. He knew how quickly the cancer of white supremacy turns Black Lives Matter to dust and ashes. Like Elijah Cummings and Martin Luther King, Jr,, he will leave this world shaking his head, refusing to hate, and praying for the nation’s repentance, healing, and redemption on the other side of America’s original sin.


The House Articles of Impeachment sent to the Senate for trial were framed in no small part as the result of the work of Elijah Cummings, the integrity of whose oath of office gained respect on both sides of the political aisle. Like Elijah and Martin, John Lewis will continue to bear the authentic witness to “the right side of history” until his last breath and far beyond in the annals of American history.

Congressman John Lewis addressing the U,S. House of Representatives re: Impeachment of Donald. Trump
This hour in history – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gordon C. Stewart, author, “Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness” (Wipf and Stock, 2017), Chaska, MN, January 22, 2020.

3 thoughts on “This Hour of History — What would Martin Luther King say?

  1. Pingback: Competing Obsessions: Impeachment and Car Shopping | Views from the Edge

  2. Sometimes, I do stuff automatically, then realize I meant to comment but I’ve deleted the message. Fortunately, this was still available and I dug it out. I am not optimistic about the upcoming hearings. Did they start today? I haven’t checked. I watched most of the Congressional hearings, but watching the Republican Senate pretend that ‘everything is JUST FINE” and there was NOTHING WRONG and NO CRIME is madly depressing. I am not handling this well. I’m trying to believe it will all work out, but I don’t really believe it. Good to have you back. You always make me feel that maybe there IS hope. I want hope. I need it. It has been a hard, hard, hard few years. Doesn’t it feel so much longer than that?


    • Marilyn, Please pardon my tardy reply. I just uploaded your comment as the opening of today’s post, “Competing Obsessions: Impeachment and Car Shopping.” Your comment fits like a glove. I watched last night but turned it off after watching what can only be described as evil. It turned my stomach. May or may not tune in again today just to see the president’s defense lawyers make fools of themselves, as they did last night. The House managers did a splendid job of presenting evidence in spite of McConnell and company ruling against the admission of evidence until AFTER closing arguments. Go figure. I hope every senator’s phone is ringing off the hook, and that they do what they do best: stick their fingers in the air and move in whichever direction the wind is blowing.

      Take good care of yourself and Garry and we’ll do our best to do the same here in MN.


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