For another good example of how civil rights “icons” like John Lewis use racial scare-tactics for political purposes, listen to this audio recording sent to me by a friend in Atlanta in reaction to Mark Steyn’s note in The Corner. This political ad was run in a county commission race in Fulton County, Georgia in 2006 the day before the election. John Eaves, an inexperienced political newcomer and nephew of a former commissioner who served time in prison for corruption, was running against former Atlanta city councilman, Lee Morris, a moderate Republican who was even endorsed by the very liberal Atlanta Journal- Constitution.
Lewis (along with former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young) recorded this shameful ad to support Eaves. In it, Lewis claims that the election is “the most dangerous situation we have ever faced.” He literally equates the possible election of “right-wing Republicans” to the county commission with “fighting off dogs and water hoses in the ’60s.” Young claims that voters have to vote for Eaves “unless you want to turn back the clock on equal rights, human rights, and economic opportunity.” Lewis concludes by warning voters that they have to act because “your very life may depend on it.”
To compare the election of a Republican to a county commission to the civil rights abuses of Jim Crow and scare voters by telling them their very life may be in danger was absolutely outrageous. It was inflammatory, false, and seemingly malicious — but Lewis got what he wanted politically: Eaves was elected with 55 percent of the vote.