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Howard Zinn, "The Battle-Scarred Youngsters"
The Nation, October 5, 1963

Standing at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, John Lewis turned his wrath, not at the easy target, the Dixiecrats, but against the Administrationà

To many, the March had been presented as a gigantic lobby for the Administration's Civil Rights Bill, but Lewis pointed quickly, unerringly, to the weaknesses in the bill. Furthermore, by sponsoring a new civil-rights bill, the Administration had skillfully turned attention to Congress, and deflected the erratic spotlight of the civil-rights movement from possibly focusing on inadequacies of the Executive.

The straight, crass fact at which John Lewis was aiming is this: the national government, without any new legislation, has the power to protect Negro voters and demonstrators from policemen's clubs, hoses and jails—and it has not used that power.

Selected from the Library of America anthology.  See  Reporting  Civil  Rights:  American Journalism 1963-1973.