GOP Congressman Says NO To USNS John Lewis
Credit: Office of John Lewis
June 16, 2016

Not so very long ago, the U.S. Navy announced that their newest ship would be named after civil rights icon John Lewis, and it was a glorious announcement.

At a ship-naming ceremony in January, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced, "Naming this ship after John Lewis is a fitting tribute to a man who has, from his youth, been at the forefront of progressive social and human rights movements in the U.S., directly shaping both the past and future of our nation."

Just as a reminder that the decision to name the ship after Rep. Lewis actually meant something. Something significant. Something memorable.

Unfortunately, it apparently means something less significant and less memorable to Mississippi Representative Steven Palazzo. According to reports from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Washington Post, Palazzo has introduced legislation to strip the name from the ship, and bar any ships from being named after anyone who has not served in the Armed Forces.

Palazzo is insisting it doesn't have a damn thing to do with bigotry or anyone in Congress, but the only people impacted are Rep. Lewis, Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and activist Cesar Chavez.

Here's a news flash for Rep. Palazzo. This bill is an expression of pure bigotry. There are many ways to serve one's country, and those ways aren't necessarily by serving in the military. John Lewis has served this country long and well, in Congress and in the fight for civil rights.

Stripping him of that honor is nothing but plain prejudice and bigotry. Period.

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