Representative and civil rights icon John Lewis endorsed U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Massachusetts, over his challenger Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley this weekend at the Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury. Lewis is another in the growing number of black politicians who have endorsed Capuano over Pressley, the first black woman to be elected to the council in its 108 years.
In addition to Lewis, the Congressional Black Caucus, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, have endorsed Capuano. Lewis cited Capuano’s experience and seniority as a few of the reasons for his endorsement. Capuano, a white man, has not faced any serious competition for his seat during his 10 terms in Congress. His district, the 7th Congressional District, which includes Dorchester and Roxbury, is the only district in Massachusetts where the majority is non-white.
The Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett Price joined Boston Public Radio Monday to express their disappointment in the many black leaders who have endorsed Capuano instead of Pressley. Both Price and Monroe have worked with and know Pressley personally. They believe that she would provide a necessary voice for the 7th Congressional District in Congress.
Price said that Pressley’s record should speak for itself, despite the many endorsements for Capuano. “She has done phenomenal work,” he said. “She has a high integrity. It is unfortunate when you take a national politic and you allow it to influence a local body of folks who need some help, who need some support. My saving grace is that the CBC and all these folks on the national [stage] can’t vote.”
Monroe was trouble by Lewis’ endorsement and Capuano’s use of a prominent black church to further his political agenda. “It dissuades women and particularly women of color, who have come out in particular in this Trump administration,” she said. "It says you still can’t fight old white men no matter how you look at it. It bothers me. I’m just so disappointed."
The Rev. Irene Monroe is a syndicated columnist for The Huffington Post and Bay Windows, and the Rev. Emmett Price is a Professor of Worship, Church & Culture and Founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. To hear All Revved Up in its entirety, click on the audio link above.