I won’t bother to provide a link to the news report since the glowing obituaries tout his activism in the “civil rights movement” and conveniently exclude his contemptible radical communist background, his frequent false accusations of “racism” toward political opponents, and ethical violations.
From 1962-64, Lewis was a vice chairman of a Communist Party USA (CPUSA) front group known as the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee (NCAHUAC). He also served as a vice chairman for the “Southern Region” of NCAHUAC’s successor organization, the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation.
In 1964 Lewis paid tribute to Norman Thomas, a six-time presidential candidate on the Socialist Party of America ticket, as a man who “has symbolized to millions of Americans the ideals of peace, freedom and equality.”
……When the Marxist Sandinista government of Nicaragua announced in October 1989 that it would no longer comply with a ceasefire agreement it had previously reached with the Reagan-backed Contra rebels, the House of Representatives voted 379-29 in favor of a resolution deploring the Sandinistas’ action; Lewis was one of the 29 Democrats who opposed the resolution.
……When the House of Representatives voted by a 345-75 margin to defund the notoriously corrupt community organization ACORN in September 2009, Lewis was one of the 75—all Democrats—who voted to continue funding the group.
Throwing the “racist” card and lying about slurs:
……In October 2008, Lewis accused Republican presidential candidate John McCain and and his running mate, Sarah Palin, of promoting racism in their campaign against Democratic nominee Barack Obama. “What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history,” Lewis said in a statement. “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.” Lewis added: “George Wallace [the former the segregationist former governor of Alabama] never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on [a] Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.”
In March 2010, Lewis and several fellow members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus falsely claimed that conservative Tea Party activists participating in an anti-Obamacare protest on the steps of Capitol Hill had shouted the “N-word” at them when they walked through the crowd. “It surprised me that people are so mean and we can’t engage in a civil dialogue and debate,” said Lewis. But his claim was never verified. When the late journalist/publisher Andrew Breitbart offered to donate $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund in exchange for any video evidence of anyone having shouted the “N-word” at Lewis or his colleagues, none was ever presented—despite the fact that hundreds of cameras had been present at the event in question.
At the Democratic National Convention in September 2012, Lewis gave a speech in which he accused Republicans of seeking to bring back the days of Jim Crow segregation. After extensively describing the racism and violence that he personally had encountered during his own activist days in the South during the 1950 and ’60s, Lewis told the raucous crowd of some 20,000: “I’ve seen this before, I lived this before. We were met by an angry mob that beat us and left us lying in a pool of blood. Brothers and sisters, do you want to go back? Or do you want to keep America moving forward?”
In December 2015, Lewis completely misrepresented the meaning of some remarks that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had made during oral arguments in the contentious affirmative action case of Fisher v. University of Texas, where Scalia had said: “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to [use affirmative action to] get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school … a slower-track school where they do well.” Adding that he was “just not impressed” by contentions that minority enrollment at that university’s Austin campus was lower that it should have been, Scalia said: “I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit [merely for purposes of diversity] as many blacks as possible.” (Hoover Institution scholar Thomas Sowell has pointed out the great harm that is done to black students when they are admitted, under affirmative action, to schools whose normal admissions criteria they do not even come close to fulfilling.) In response to Scalia’s remarks, Lewis — lamenting that Scalia’s “evident bias is very troubling” — said in a statement: “His suggestion that African Americans would fare better at schools that are ‘less advanced’ or on a ‘slow-track’ reminds me of the kind of prejudice that led to separate and unequal school systems — a policy the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional decades ago.”
In a January 2016 interview, Lewis said that Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump reminded him of the racist governors and police officers of the old Jim Crow South: “I’ve been around a while and Trump reminds me so much of a lot of the things that George Wallace said and did … Sometimes I feel like I am reliving part of my past. I heard it so much growing up in the South…I heard it so much during the days of the civil rights movement. As a people, I just think we could do much better.”
On November 6, 2018, Lewis told CNN “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota: “[T]he scars and stains of racism are still deeply embedded in American society.”
In January 2017, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) sent a letter asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Michael Collins for serving simultaneously as chief of staff in Lewis’s Washington office and as treasurer of the congressman’s 2016 reelection campaign (a role in which Collins earned $27,495). As the Washington Free Beacon reports, “Ethics rules bar senior House staff from serving in any fiduciary role for a political organization, and specifically mentio[n] campaign treasurers as a prohibited position for such staffers.” The complaint by FACT also targeted Lewis himself, stating: “In this case, not only did Collins directly violate these rules, but Representative Lewis also violated the ethics rules because his own campaign employed Collins in a prohibited position and paid him a prohibited salary.”
……In July 2019, Lewis and fellow Democrat Rashida Tlaib co-sponsored a House Resolution supporting the pro-Hamas, anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany. Introduced by Ilhan Omar, the Resolution called on House members to oppose “unconstitutional legislative efforts to limit the use of boycotts to further civil rights at home and abroad,” a reference to resolutions that had been passed in several states to prohibit the granting of government contracts to companies that backed BDS.
……in 1989 Lewis was a founding member of the Institute for Southern Studies—a North Carolina-based spinoff of the Institute for Policy Studies—in light of the fact that the IPS was described in 1983 by then-Secretary of State George Shultz as an organization “which has for 20 years consistently supported foreign policy objectives that serve the interests of the Soviet Union”.
Lewis was a vile, malevolent, huckster with a tent flap for a mouth. He based his career on exploiting race; using civil rights as a ruse for political and monetary gain. He was in the same league as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.