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What happened on the floor of The House of Representatives on Wednesday during the day, Wednesday night and is still going on is nothing short of extraordinary.

House Democrats took over the floor and staged a sit-in disrupting the work of congress, demanding a vote be held on gun legislation.

It was a good old-fashioned civil rights style sit-in conjured up and led by none other than civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis.

He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that there was an obvious method to his and his colleague’s actions.

“By sitting down we were really standing up. So by sitting down and sitting in with my colleagues in the well of the house today we are saying to the Republican leadership, to the speaker and others it is time to bring the bills to the floor and let us pass these bills and not take a break.”

The congressman went on to say too many of our loved ones are dying by guns and they could not afford to take a break on this issue before going home for the July 4th break.

President Barack Obama supports what the congressman is doing.

The President tweeted out, “Thank you John Lewis for leading on gun violence where we need it the most.”

This debate is stirring the passions of not only those in congress but even their loved ones.

Congressman Keith Ellison was called away from a meeting by his own mother with a note delivered to him by his mother which read, “Your mom called and wants you on the floor!”

And we all know, especially as men of color, what mom says goes.

My mother would not have been so kind.

A note from her would have likely read, “Get your butt out on that floor boy!”

And guess what, I would have gotten my butt out on that floor, just like Congressman Ellison did while making sure to tweet the picture of him doing it.

Moms need to see receipts.

Earlier in the day House Republicans cut the live camera feed after House Speaker Paul Ryan called it a political stunt.

They did the same thing later in the evening after Democrats were so rowdy that they wouldn’t allow a vote on several bills.

Some Democrats took their message outside the capital where large crowds gathered in support of their efforts.

Lead by the former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, they broke into the key protest song of The Civil Rights Movement, ‘We Shall Overcome.’

I carried it live on my CNN program last night.


It was a moving if not highly unusual evening and morning in The House of Representatives.

Yet in the end House Republicans held the majority and adjourned for their long Fourth of July break without taking a vote.

The political agenda for the Fall though is set, but with no consensus on what to do about guns and background checks

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Don Lemon: Did Congress’ Old Fashioned Civil Rights Sit-In Matter One Bit?  was originally published on