There’s no delicate way of saying this while also conveying the importance of the statement, so let me just say this: John Lewis isn’t fucking around anymore. Yesterday afternoon, after roughly an hour of general speeches, Rep. Lewis asked his colleagues to join him on the floor, and proceeded to kick all of the asses.
Lewis’ speech starts at 1:18:00
Luckily for those of us in favor of gun control, Lewis, one of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights movement, is familiar with an effective sit-it. As of 8am EDT, the sit-in was still happening.
Now, to be clear, the Democrats staging the sit-in aren’t demanding that gun control legislation be passed before they’ll end the sit-in. They’re demanding that a vote be taken on proposed bills. It’s an important distinction. Because demanding that Congresspeople “do their fucking job” sometimes looks like this:
And while I wouldn’t call the scene “chaotic”, “unruly” or “radical” the way some articles have, I am a little bit torn about this. There’s a big part of me that loves everything about this. I love the demand for change, I love the overt action taken, I love the inherent “fuck you”-ness to the establishment rules. But I understand that this demonstration is and should be embarrassing for us. Leaders elected to Congress shouldn’t be shouting and yelling and behaving with open hostility against the institution they serve. They shouldn’t be staging a sit-in to demand a vote on gun control, because they should have been able to do that without a fight about it. We should be embarrassed because this is the length we need to go to before out elected officials will agree that if someone wants to buy a gun, we should be able to ask what their goddamn name is.
But before I become too filled with what I mistake to be righteous anger, I think it’s more important to bear in mind what the leader of this sit-in intends it to be.
Give us a vote. Let us vote. We came here to do our job. We came here to work.
The American people demand an action. Do we have the courage? Do we have raw courage to make at least a down payment on ending gun violence in America?
We can no longer wait. We can no longer be patient. So today we come to the well of the House to dramatize the need for action. Not next month, not next year, but NOW. TODAY.
Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a ‘way’ of ‘no way.’ We have been too quiet for too long.
There comes a time when you have to say something when you have to make a little noise when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more. The time for silence is over.
If anything else, at least, this very excited woman can thank the sit-in for allowing her to deliver pizzas to John Lewis.
Someone in California paid $344 to deliver 10-12 Domino's pizzas to John Lewis. This woman is excited to deliver em. pic.twitter.com/sIaAP0Rwg5— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) June 23, 2016