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91-year-old activist James Lawson slams plantation capitalism at John Lewis funeral

2 min read

One of the best and honest speeches given at Congressman John Lewis' funeral was by James Lawson, an activist of activists from the early days.

The words of James Lawson are ones every activist must listen to now.

Watch the full episode here.

While President Obama gave a wonderful speech at John Lewis' funeral, I think the most instructional and forward-looking speech was the one given by 91-year-old activist James Lawson. He was instrumental in the civil rights movement.

There is one specific passage in Lawson's speech that forced my 100% attention.

“The only way to honor John Robert Lewis,” said Lawson. “Let all of us in this service today, let all the people of the USA determined that we will not be quiet as long as any child dies in the first year of life in the United States. We will not be quiet as long as the largest poverty group in our nation are women and children. We will not be quiet as long as our nation continues to be the most violent culture in the history of humankind. We will not be quiet as long as our economy is shaped not by freedom but by plantation capitalism that continues to cause domination and control rather than access and liberty and equality for all. The forces of spiritual wickedness are strong in our land because of our history. We have not created them. John Lewis did not create them. We inherited them. But it's our task to see those spiritual forces. I've named them racism, sexism, violence, & plantation capitalism. Those poisons still dominate far too many of us. In many different ways, John's life was a singular journey from birth through the campaigns in the south through Congress to get us to see that these forces of wickedness must be resisted. Do not let our own hearts drink any of that poison. Instead, drink the truth of the life force. If we would honor and celebrate John Lewis' life, let us then recommit our souls our minds our hearts our bodies our strength to the continuing journey to dismantle the wrong in our midst and to allow space for the new earth and new heaven to emerge.”

I could not think of a more fitting and forward-looking clip. I see this type of leadership emanating from many of our Millennials and Gen Zs.

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