It’s our actions that bend the moral arc towards justice, equality, and fairness.
Each one of us — student or teacher, pastor or politician, business owner or community organizer — has the opportunity to bend the arc. But some of us, because of timing or fate, will be tested publicly, to be judged by our peers and history by our actions.
Looking back, it’s sometimes easy to know the right thing to do. But, I assure you from experience, most of the time, in that moment, it’s not easy.
It takes conviction, faith, and courage.
I’m asking you today to judge Governor Charlie Crist by his actions.
Charlie has been tested, more than once.
Before he was elected Governor, Charlie — a Republican at the time — was asked about restoring civil right for non-violent ex-offenders. This is a policy that, if he supported, would virtually disqualify him from ever being nominated again by his then party.
He said yes. He won. And then he convinced the Florida Cabinet to make it happen for thousands of Floridians.
In 2008, when Floridians were waiting in hours-long lines, on the verge of not being allowed to vote for Barack Obama, Governor Crist declared an emergency to extend voting hours.
During the recession, when Republicans were tearing down President Obama, Governor Crist embraced him, forever ending any chance of being re-elected as a Republican. He embraced President Obama and the stimulus because it would save thousands of jobs, and it was the right thing to do.
And when even some Democrats turned their back, or pretended to not be aligned with President Obama during the last election, Governor Crist stood with the president.
Some folks say it cost him the election, but he did it because it was the right thing to do.
All of these actions helped bend the arc in Florida.
Unfortunately, doing the right thing by history doesn’t always play well in the present. But fortunately, through our votes, we can make it right in 2016.
I encourage you to judge Governor Crist by his actions, and vote for Governor Crist for Congress because we need his voice in Washington. Believe me, a Clinton administration will need every single vote we can get during the next four years. You know how this works.
Congressman John Lewis
And, to Governor Crist, I thank you for what you’ve done, and what you’ve continued to do, even as a candidate for Congress. I appreciate you drawing attention to and already making an impact on the residents of Jordan Park, on the “failure factory” schools, and your commitment to black-owned small businesses.
Like President Obama, I’m proud to stand on the right side of history with Governor Charlie Crist.