And in Mississippi, John Lewis was a hero on May 24, 1961 when he was sent to Parchman for using a white restroom in Jackson.
So, it's a little bit suspect that just as Navy Secretary (and former Mississippi Governor) Ray Mabus announced that Rep. Lewis would be the namesake of a new US military vessel, Mississippi's coastal Congressman Steven Palazzo (R) has introduced an amendment that'd strip Congressman Lewis of that honor.
For his part, Congressman Palazzo insists that this legislation isn't related to Rep. Lewis at all, and wants the Navy to only name ships after those who have served in the military. The Washington Post reports:
“My amendment has nothing — absolutely zero — to do with John Lewis or any other member of Congress,” Palazzo said in a statement.Apparently, Palazzo's point of contention has come from recent namings that he sees as too political for his tastes. So I wonder what really pushed him to this point? Was it the USNS Medgar Evers? Or did the USS John Stennis really steam the Mississippi Republican?
Make no mistake. Congressman Lewis fought in battle. Mississippi (and the rest of this country) is better off for it.