Both Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent out condolence RIP tweets last week when Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) passed away. But they tweeted pictures of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) with the announcement – a completely different congressman who died a year ago. Cummings and Lewis were both older men, black, bald, a bit overweight and just so happened to look almost like identical twins. The media instantly jumped on Cruz and Rubio as “racists.” But no one would have found this story more hilarious than the late John Lewis himself.
This is really a story about the relationship between Cummings and Lewis. Both were Democrats, obviously, so conservatives probably wouldn’t be able to find a handful of things that they agreed with either of them on. But Cummings and Lewis were very different people, despite looking exactly alike in their later years. Unlike Elijah Cummings, John Lewis actually had a couple of qualities that all conservatives should admire him for: Lewis was a genuine civil rights leader back in the days when it really mattered, and Lewis had a sense of humor.
John Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders back in 1961. Lewis and a group of black friends, along with a group of young white Republicans, would jump on interstate buses and ride them across state lines together – fully integrated – into the Democrat-controlled Southern Jim Crow states. They could have been killed for that act of civil disobedience, by white Democrat/Klan police officers in those days.
You can say anything else that you want about the late John Lewis (please do), but that took guts. John Lewis had skin in the game when it came to civil rights. He put his life on the line to finally force the Democrat Party to treat black Americans as equal in the eyes of God and the US Constitution. While Lewis was a pretty mediocre congressman at best, he was a genuine hero in his youth – and that should count for something.
Elijah Cummings was none of that. He wasn’t courageous at any point in his career. Thanks to the efforts of brave black Americans like John Lewis, Cummings was able to go to college at Howard University in DC and later earned his law degree at the University of Maryland. If Elijah Cummings was ever oppressed at any point in his life, it probably happened when he was too young to remember it. The Civil Rights Act passed years before Cummings even entered high school.
Cummings was a petty, small-minded and bitter race huckster. You could list John Lewis alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King – most people do. But Cummings belongs on a list next to professional race shakedown artists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. John Lewis was a genuine “civil rights leader,” while the highest title Elijah Cummings could ever claim was “civil rights advocate.”
John Lewis risked his life to ride a bus for freedom. Elijah Cummings leaked classified information to the press to try to help Eric Holder and Barack Obama weather the Fast & Furious scandal.
John Lewis fought the real civil rights battle, while Elijah Cummings got the scraps, fighting for invented rights for gays and transgenders who were never oppressed like black Americans. Cummings must have felt like an enormous phony anytime John Lewis walked into the room. He never had the kind of real “street cred” that John Lewis’ legendary actions warranted.
Lewis put on quite a bit of weight in the early 2000s and then discovered that no one could tell him apart from the also bald and tubby Elijah Cummings. Reporters and everyday people could no longer tell them apart. Lewis thought it was hilarious – there was nothing racist about it. They genuinely looked alike. But this infuriated Elijah Cummings and damaged his fragile ego.
Lewis told Cummings one time that they should get tattoos on the backs of their heads so that reporters could tell them apart. We don’t know what Cummings said in response, but Lewis remarked that the joke “didn’t go over well.”
The cases of mistaken identity became so common that Lewis put out a press release about it last year, just a few months before Cummings passed away. Here it is. So much for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio being “racists.”
In the press release, Lewis jokingly announced that he was thinking of growing a beard so that people could tell them apart. That’s hilarious and it probably rankled Cummings to no end. Lewis outlived him by a year, so he got the last laugh on that as well.
Lewis was married to Lillian for 44 years until her death in 2012, and never had any major scandals during his time in Congress. Elijah Cummings was married twice and had several illegitimate children with women he wasn’t married to. We could go on, but we’ll stop there.
America lost a genuine civil rights hero on July 17, 2020. And with the passing of John Lewis, we also lost the last elected Democrat in America who had a politically incorrect sense of humor about race. That’s too bad.