“Fellow white people, please do not embarrass yourselves today by confusing Rep. Elijah Cummings with Rep. John Lewis.” That was the message in a tweet by comedic actor Bill Corbett on October 17 when news broke of Cummings’ death.
The tweet seemed like it was in good jest but it was also an important reminder to people who were already confusing the two men.
Black people in the US are used to being mixed up in identification by white people. The frequency with which it happens means that some victims of these mix-ups do not take kindly to it.
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Overall, the subject has, however, given fodder to stand-up comedy, TV shows and films.
Corbett’s tweet was accompanied by a screenshot of another tweet. The photo in the tweet Corbett showed featured a scene from a civil rights march that involved John Lewis.
The veteran Democratic congressman Cummings died at the age of 68. He died on Thursday due to “complications concerning longstanding health challenges” his office said.
Cummings, a son of sharecropper represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996 and was heavily involved with the Trump impeachment inquiry.