(BREAKING WIDE) — Republican Lawmaker Loses Chairmanship for saying John Lewis is only famous because he got conked on the head.
Tommy Benton, a Republican lawmaker has again lost his chairmanship after making ridiculous comments mocking the legacy of John Lewis, a civil rights icon who died 17th July, 2020. Benton was just reinstated last year after having it stripped from him in 2017 for sharing an article with colleagues that challenged slavery as the root cause of the Civil War.
John Lewis, the legendary civil rights leader and United States Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district was buried July 30th, and on Thursday, two weeks after his funeral, Benton said during a radio interview on WJJC (1270 AM) that the congressman and civil rights leader had no accomplishments to his name.
“John Lewis, his only claim to fame was that he got conked on the head at the (Edmund) Pettus Bridge,” Benton said. “And he has milked that for 50 years — or he milked it for 50 years,” he added.
House Speaker David Ralston on Friday announced that he had stripped Benton of his chairmanship of the House Retirement Committee. Benton said he disagreed with a bipartisan effort to replace the statue of Confederate leader Alexander Hamilton Stephens in the U.S. Capitol with one of Lewis.
“I would suggest that before they do something like that, that they take a pilgrimage down to Crawfordville and visit the Alexander Stephens museum, and read all the stuff that he did do,” said Benton, who was elected in 2004. “Now, the other person they’re talking about replacing his statue with — I have never read of a significant piece of legislation that was passed with his name on it.”swa
Stephens, who served as the vice president of the Confederacy, is famous for his “Cornerstone Speech,” given in defense of rebellion in March 1861, a few weeks before the attack on Fort Sumter. In the speech, Stephens said Thomas Jefferson’s view of slavery as a moral evil that would “evanescent and pass away” was “fundamentally wrong.”
“The comments made by Representative Benton are offensive and disgusting. These comments do not reflect the values or the views of the House Majority Caucus. I can neither condone nor ignore such hurtful remarks,” Ralston said in a statement. “Congressman John Lewis spent a lifetime of public service advancing equality for all. He stood with Dr. King to fight for civil rights during dangerous times for which he paid a brutal price,” Ralston added.
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