John Lewis rocks the vote—Gangnam style
John Lewis’s fearless acts of nonviolent protest earned him icon status in the civil rights movement. Now, the septuagenarian Georgia congressman—who was beaten on the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma and attacked during the Freedom Rides—has taken on a new tactic in his ongoing crusade for voting rights: perfecting “Gangnam Style” dance moves.
Lewis appears in a get-out-the-vote video produced by the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, Inc. (AALAC) of Georgia. His sprightly steps have garnered plenty of media attention over the past couple days, picking up mentions by the Huffington Post, the Daily Caller, and everywhere on the political spectrum in between.
“It wouldn’t have gone viral without civil rights legend John Lewis being part of it,” said Helen Kim Ho, executive director of AALAC, who nonetheless was “surprised by the response.” Calls have come in from around the country and overseas since the video was posted last week.
The Lewis clip is a teaser for a longer video on civic engagement and voting rights, said Ho. The goal is to “celebrate” the opportunity to vote. “We thought that something fun and joyful would stress that voting is not a chore, but something we are lucky to be able to do, and that message would break through partisanship of the election,” she said.
The video follows AALAC's earlier billboard-driven voter registration campaign. The organization, which registered 1,400 new voters, is hosting a candidate forum on Thursday.
AALAC is a nonpartisan group and the video is not an endorsement of Lewis or any party, said Ho. Indeed, in bipartisan spirit, the producers asked Nathan Deal to take part in the Gangnam parody. Alas, we will not see the governor’s fancy footwork.