Former President Barack Obama used part of his eulogy for Congressman John Lewis to tear into Donald Trump and cast the president as an opponent of the civil rights icon’s life’s work.
As Obama canonized Lewis’ famous work in the Civil Rights Movement, he warned that Lewis knew “progress is fragile,” and the country still has work to do to overcome its history of racial injustice. Obama never named Trump in his speech, but he seemed to allude to his successor as he spoke of the federal government’s use of force against peaceful protesters condemning the death of George Floyd.
“Bull Connor may be gone, but today, we witness with our own eyes police officers kneeling on the necks of black Americans,” said Obama. “George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.”
Shortly after that, Obama became more explicit in his attack on Trump by speaking of “those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting.” This comes hours after Trump went on a new, baseless attack against mail-in voting before proposing that the 2020 presidential election be postponed.
Even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive I.D. Laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots, so people don’t get sick