Across That Bridge with Congressman John Lewis

Monday, May 21, 2012

United States Congressman John Lewis discusses how his experience as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement can offer guidance on how to live virtuously and work to change the world. In Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, Lewis revisits the lessons of the 1960s to help the electorate once again confront questions of social inequality.


John Lewis

Comments [37]

Jennifer S. of East Harlem from East Harlem

A thoroughly sincere interview--I am looking forward to reading Representative Lewis's book. And I was actually moved by his description of preaching to the chickens in his care as a child, it was reminiscent of Jane Goodall's descriptions of her own childhood. That this gentleman was respectful of these birds as a child speaks volumes about the depths of his compassion.

May. 22 2012 08:54 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I don't know if it's in the air we breathe, but it's certainly in the atmosphere.

May. 22 2012 12:48 AM
anna from new york

OK, enough, Horse. Talk to "Truth."

May. 21 2012 07:45 PM

More drivel. Risibly condescending, blasphemously contemptible secular inhumanity. Ayn Rand and Christopher Hitchens snicker at you. Where have you discerned Dale Carnegie to be the "American Bible"? Are you mesmerized still by the Lala land Hollywood psychobabble from which this juvenilia emanates, enthralling the less than cerebral "huddled masses yearning to breath free"?

May. 21 2012 07:33 PM
anna from new york

I was thinking, Horse. I think you are confusing Dale Carnegie with Jesus.

May. 21 2012 07:05 PM
anna from new york

Well, Horse, I don't play "Scrabble," (definitely below me) but I've half read the American Bible which has been translated into countless languages, usually as: "How to Use Friends and Manipulate Other People?" Its "principles" starts with something like that: 1. Don't argue 2. SMILE 3. Similar to 1.

May. 21 2012 06:54 PM

... immunity to drivel!
typos appear to contagious as well

May. 21 2012 06:15 PM


‘carnegian’ has been looked up 7 times, and is not a valid Scrabble word.
Should we read 'smiles' as similes and decipher your cryptic esoterica as coming from one polyglot in serious want of a Funk & Wagnall's? Typographic error is no way to go about "making friends and influencing people" The snark is contagious, immunity to drive remains strong. C'est la vie.

May. 21 2012 05:48 PM
anna from new york

"The coarsening of our contentious political dialogue eludes solutions to our current state of economic stagnation"
Yeah, sure, "this" coarsening is a problem. Not enough of Carnegian smiles.
It just shows which forces are diverting and distracting.

May. 21 2012 05:17 PM
anna from new york

"The coarsening of our contentious political dialogue eludes solutions"
Clearly, you didn't have an hour of history in your life. Why don't you check how "fine" political dialogue was in the past.
BTW, I am compelled to provide some only slightly related information. FYI, English isn't the only language in the world. I know this for sure, since it's my 7th language (in order of acquisition). I'll ignore the rest.

May. 21 2012 04:56 PM

a. from nyc, Perhaps you meant babbling? Again, your reference to Bismarck, betrays a certain alienation from the topic to which Leonard and Congressman Lewis conducted the interview. The discussion centered around the deterioration of civility and the ethical standards of acceptable civil discourse, here in the United States of America. The coarsening of our contentious political dialogue eludes solutions to our current state of economic stagnation. Your evident disdain for religious metaphor and tradition bespeaks an unschooled antagonism to Western thought and process, akin to Bismarck's Kulturkampf over 150 years past. Re-join the twenty-first century, won't you.

May. 21 2012 03:16 PM
anna from new york

There is a problem with "American experience" if in the 21st century (some 150 years after Bismarck's suggestion) there is no universal health care, practically no 40 workweek and no vacations, but you and your representative (who has good health care) are bubbling about Jesus.

May. 21 2012 02:47 PM

dr Anna,
It's like Jesus talking to the Pharisees. Like Mittens, you just don't seem to get it, the means are the ends. Social justice and civility are the whole point of society, and non-violent civil disobedience heralds the peace and Agape(Gk), of ideal, I would urge you to read Congressman Lewis's book, as a primer for you to begin to understand the arc of social justice that defines the American experience.

May. 21 2012 02:39 PM
anna from new york

Yes, "Truth," I am interested in your reply.

May. 21 2012 02:33 PM
The Truth from Becky

Right. That is why you and I are checking back here for the reply? Have a good day sweetie....last post fyi. lol

May. 21 2012 02:22 PM
anna from new york

"Truth," you and I don't function on the same level.

May. 21 2012 02:18 PM
The Truth from Becky

Ahhh I hit a nerve huh anna?, I love it, it always brings out the truth.

May. 21 2012 02:12 PM
anna from new york

What you are saying is important, however, the fact is his talk was unacceptable and damaging like most talks about love and embrace are when there are serious systemic problems. Maybe he or someone close to him should realize that sometimes it's time to rest if evolution/modification isn't possible.

May. 21 2012 02:02 PM

Sophie, Anna, perhaps you are unaware of Congressman Lewis's personage & his stark association with the epic momentous traversing of the Wilbur Pettus bridge. You may either be too young or at the very least too ill-informed to know that he was one who sustained Traumatic Brain Injury in the struggle to attain Civil Rights for all Americans; and via peaceful non-violence in the face of scurrilously vicious state sanctioned military affrontive assault. He is forever a hero in the firmament of authentic American and World-wide proponents of Human Rights But; you probably would have to be an astute student of modern American history, or a relic of the 60's, to fully appreciate his life-long impact, significance and present day relevance. Your snark is totally irreverent and pointedly wrong-headed as regards the sweep and direction of the American experience. Good day, sir.

May. 21 2012 01:55 PM
anna from new york

"Wow. A real pacifist. And a Christian who actually remembers what Jesus was trying to teach. Very moving. He's one in a million, unfortunately."
Wow, why nobody told our Estelle how many millions perished because of the "pacifists"
Send Americans to school.

May. 21 2012 01:52 PM
anna from new york

"Alex, made perfect sense to me. Sophie, perhaps if you listened more than you spoke(typed) you would learn something, Anna, so go listen to a program broadcast from your country and remove the "from NYC" from your name."
So typical and yes, absolutely barbaric.
BTW, Becky, I can assure that I will decide what to do with my life.
But, I em tempted to exchange suggestions.
Becky, why don't you go to school (much, much, much preferable non-American) - you know a place where they teach ... "things."
dr anna

May. 21 2012 01:23 PM
The Truth from Becky

Alex, made perfect sense to me. Sophie, perhaps if you listened more than you spoke(typed) you would learn something, Anna, so go listen to a program broadcast from your country and remove the "from NYC" from your name.

May. 21 2012 01:16 PM
Alex from Brooklyn

And let me save you the trouble of gutting me for it: the last sentence of my previous post was completely garbled. I hit "post" too soon. Not worth correcting, given the present state of things. At least it makes my attempt to contribute something easier to dismiss. Enjoy...

May. 21 2012 01:12 PM
Alex from Brooklyn

I find all the condescension toward Congressperson (both here online and on the air) John Lewis very disturbing. Most inappropriate of all is the bizarrely corrective, qualifying tone taken by Brian Lehrer (at the end, for example). As with the lack of a full outcry about Joe Wilson's "You lie" outburst during the State of the Union, it seems there is *something*, whether in the soul, the brain, the mind, the water, or the air, of our culture that is causing an increased insensitivity to the basic regard for the dignity of other humans that once seemed to be part of a direction toward which we might once have been evolving.

May. 21 2012 01:08 PM

Wow. A real pacifist. And a Christian who actually remembers what Jesus was trying to teach. Very moving. He's one in a million, unfortunately.

May. 21 2012 01:08 PM
sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

@fuva from Harlemworld

Perhaps I do, but I always marvel at how eloquent you are.

In any case I'm still entitled to my opinion. Just like you. Good day.

May. 21 2012 01:07 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

Sophie, I think you require a lesson on language.

May. 21 2012 12:59 PM
vincenzo from NJ

Nice to hear from someone in Congress who actually sounds like he believes what he speaks. Of course, human nature being what it is, some of his desires are pie in the sky...but then again, isn't that where heaven is supposed to be? Much respect to this man; in fact, if there was more respect in the world we'd be closer to his desire...

May. 21 2012 12:58 PM
john from office

How do you deal with a Stalin or a Hitler?? This sounds like utopian values.

May. 21 2012 12:57 PM
Margaret H Baker from Manhattan

Wow! I'm loving this program. Thank you John! I totally agree, and can't wait to read your book! We definately need to move and evolve by becoming leaders for change by propogating tolerance and peace for all people. I am a bald white woman in my thirties and Rosa Parks has been my role model since I was an eight year old girl. Thank you for your service, and your important work! Sincerely, Margaret H Baker (NYC)

May. 21 2012 12:53 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

Much respect to Congressman Lewis. But he is embodying the troubling trend of so called black leadership not advancing race analysis and discourse for the times. Ongoing, debilitating challenges today require new/updated insight and solutions, and no one is supplying them. Though, perhaps, his generation shouldn't be on the line for this.

Also, with respect to gay marriage, to say that "if a man wanna marry a man" etc. sounds too much like describing it as a choice...

May. 21 2012 12:50 PM
eric from LIC

John Lewis seems to be advocating a religious or psuedo-religious solution via the word "love" in opposition to the present culture of hate. Can you ask him to elaborate on his relationship to religion? And, by extension, what is he advocating for his readers when it comes to specifying a source or definition of this "love' he keeps talking about?

May. 21 2012 12:49 PM
anna from new york

I am trying to listen to the conversation with congressman Lewis and I can't. I didn't now that a person can use so many cliches and slogans in such a short time. Can someone explain to our "representative" where American problems are. Teach him about workers' rights, exploitation,
sensible socio-economic systems and how unhealthy economic polarization is. I am all for human dignity (in the workplace too), but the concept of dignity of office seems to be beyond comical, etc. No, Obama doesn't deserve my respect as a person and he won't get one because of his office. Yes, clearly I am not American born (I mean of course, not Americanly brainwashed)
dr anna

May. 21 2012 12:49 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

NOW, I got it! HE's used to talking to chickens!

May. 21 2012 12:48 PM
Rita from manhattan

the congressman just lost me when he proclaimed that the presidents campaign ads are not negative but the other sides are. Get real, please. There are no good guys in politics

May. 21 2012 12:48 PM
sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Our congressman uses too many platitudes. What makes us so mean? Why can't we get along? Women are 1/2 of the country...

May. 21 2012 12:46 PM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

I hope his book is more eloquent than his speaking style. So far, not a very good interview.

May. 21 2012 12:42 PM

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