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Jul 08 2020
John Lewis Shares Mug Shots From Racist Arrest Comments (0)

John-lewis-boycultureArresting images (Image via John Lewis)

Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) took to Twitter today to share his mug shot from his 1961 arrest for using a whites-only bathroom in Jackson, Mississippi, during the Freedom Rides. He was released — after about six weeks behind bars — on this day 59 years ago:

59 years ago today I was released from Parchman Farm Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson, MS for using a so-called "white" restroom during the Freedom Rides of 1961.

Interesting thing about this sort of flashback: It's a reminder that open, virulent, unapologetic, systemic racism was alive and well within the lifetimes of so many current U.S. citizens, Black people who lived it, white people who enforced and enjoyed it. So when someone claims there is no systemic racism a mere 59 years later, or when someone claims they're color-blind, or when someone bitches that not everything has to be about race, those sentiments all help keep the system afloat.