Listen to John Lewis: McCain/Palin Is Playing with Fire

First we have Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin flinging around reckless accusations against Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Then a flood of negative media reactions, comparing Palin’s hate-mongering with the civil rights era and worse.

Finally, like a bombshell, the statement of Rep. John Lewis, one of the great heroes of the civil rights movement. He said the campaign of Republican candidate for president John McCain was “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” Lewis was reminded of segregationist Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama, who helped create “the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans” during the 1960s.

…  I’ve known and admired Lewis for 35 years. As the courageous young man who took the harshest blows to his head during the infamous Selma Bridge March of 1965, Lewis is today one of the living bridges to that execrable past. That’s why it is important for him to speak as he did over the weekend, reminding the political jousters of the “atmosphere of hate” that produces “toxic language that can lead to destructive behavior.” Those are, in my view, relatively mild words, not “shocking and beyond the pale,” as John McCain claims.

Obama, too, misses the point when he denies that McCain can “in any way” be compared to George Wallace. It was Wallace’s stirring up and tolerance of the mob mentality that remains his legacy. Lewis only wanted to warn McCain and Palin that they, too, run the risk of “playing with fire, and, if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all.”

by Peter Ross Range, Spiegel Online The Lone Ranger: Is Sarah Palin Playing with Fire?


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