What you missed in Columbus for July 20

Andy Downing
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., is seen in 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, died on Friday.

Representative John Lewis, a civil rights icon,died on Friday at the age of 80, a monumental loss that was met with a cavalcade of tributes (some far less successful than others). Among the best is the one penned byEsquire’s Charlie Pierce, who described Lewis as a mighty American soul, writing:

He was the bravest man I ever met. Heroes in war, most of them, know that the country will embrace them when they come home. They have that to sustain them in the worst circumstances. They already know they have a country worth fighting for. When John Lewis was riding buses, and using forbidden washrooms, and walking across the bridge, he didn’t have that on which to rely. In that violent, freighted time, he was a man without a country. His courage came from a different place. It came not from being a man without a country, but from being a man demanding a country, and he wanted this one. It was the same fire that burned in the Founders, in the 54th Massachusetts on the beach before Battery Wagner, in the Tuskegee Airmen over Europe, and in the 183rd Engineers when they walked, horrified, into Buchenwald to liberate the survivors. It was the same fire that illuminated the Civil Rights Movement when he was young, and the new one that rose in the years before his death. It is the most American of desires to demand this country for your own, and to demand it fulfill the promises it made to the world. John Lewis had the most American soul I ever saw.

Wyatt Williams also recounted the time around 2013 that he was working at an alt-weekly in Atlanta and Lewis signed on as a guest editor for an issue. When Williams asked Lewis why he had agreed to work with such a small outlet, the representative answered that it was the little newspapers that had given the civil rights movement “wings,”Williams wrote on Twitter. When asked to submit a contributor photo, Lewis handed over a mugshot from his younger years.


With the new school year fast approaching, Columbus City School administrators are still trying to determine the best course of action to take amid the growing COVID-19 spread. Initial plans called for a blended opening of grades K-8, with instruction split between the classroom and remote learning (students would attend two days and learn at home the other three). But in a Sunday phone call with reporters, Columbus City Schools Superintendent Talisa Dixon said the current uptick in coronavirus cases had given her pause. “As of now, we may not be able to reopen September 8 in a blended manner,” Dixon said, which would force a pivot to full-time distance learning. Dixon went on to say that a final decision has not been made, adding another layer of uncertainty in an already tumultuous time for students, parents and educators.


This Week Community News followed up onan earlier Alive feature that detailed a series of racist online attacks orchestrated by a small group of students at Bexley High School and Columbus Academy. In This Week, administrators said they were currently investigating the incident, in addition to detailing initiatives being developed to address issues of race.


Jon Rahm overcame hot, humid temperaturesto win the Memorial Tournament, which took place at Dublin’s Muirfield Village Golf Club over the weekend. The win moved Rahm into the No. 1 position in the world rankings. But bigger news emerged from tournament host and golf legend Jack Nicklaus,who disclosed that he and wife Barbara had contracted COVID-19 in March and have since recovered.