In addition to enforcing Jim Crow, I bet that Nashville restaurant pictured at left also paid its female employees less than the men. It was the 1960s, after all, and women still aren’t being paid equitably 50 years later.
Was John Lewis tacitly endorsing the oppression of women by signifying a desire to eat at that lunch counter? Fuck no. I bet he didn’t even have a hankering for that joint’s particular pot of stale coffee and congealed, lumpy grits. Lewis was doing something much more important than trying to order food: He was dramatizing the unfairness of segregated public accommodations.
John Lewis, genuine American hero, has famously been getting in “good trouble” for longer than most of us have been alive. And now he and the Democrats in Congress are engaging in “good demagoguery.” They are exposing their Republican colleagues as the NRA lickspittles they are.
Mass shooting after bloody, appalling, inexcusable mass shooting have rendered so many of us numb to yet another round of “thoughts and prayers” and inaction on basic gun safety laws that the vast majority of Americans support. If Newtown couldn’t change things, there’s no hope, many of us thought — and still think.
Well, the Democrats are doing something courageous and amazing right now. They are hanging the Republicans’ intransigence on guns around their necks in a simple, visceral way that can be understood even by the people of the land, the common clay of the new West — you know, morons!
The script for this bit of political theater includes the chant, “No fly, no buy.” Should this be understood as a Democratic embrace of the unfair “no fly list”? Nope. No legislation will come out of this protest. The sit-in is political theater that is meant to “dramatize” — as John Lewis carefully put it — Republicans’ refusal to do their jobs.
You’re watching a drama, and a damn good one, with a cast of Democrats who are displaying spine and fire on an important issue as we’ve been demanding for fucking years. You can choose this moment to nitpick the script. But if so, you’ve lost the damn plot, IMO.