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Trump trolls attacked a teacher because he has the same name as Rep. John Lewis

He may be the most patient man on the internet.


David Gilmour


Posted on Jan 16, 2017   Updated on May 25, 2021, 4:57 am CDT

John Lewis from Virginia, a computer science teacher and father of four, was subjected to a deluge of racist abuse on Twitter Saturday when infuriated Donald Trump supporters confused him for the civil rights icon and Democratic congressman of the same name.

Lewis, whose Twitter account is @johnlewis, found himself in the crossfire after President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) over comments made in an NBC interview.

The congressman said that he did not believe in the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency, citing the allegations of Russian election interference. He also promised to skip Friday’s inauguration ceremony. True to fashion, the President-elect reacted with an explosive rant:

The series of posts kickstarted a fevered tweetstorm, in which dozens of accounts targeted the wrong John Lewis (the congressman is @repjohnlewis).

It wasn’t fun for the teacher. 

While the intensity and nature of abuse was clearly disturbing, Lewis appears to be used to receiving misdirected communications. He has the secondary misfortune of sharing his name with a large retail chain and summarily finds himself dealing with customer service and product queries.

Still, he manages to deal with the constant bombardment with grace, humor, and patience—an extraordinary character trait that has not gone unnoticed by other users.

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*First Published: Jan 16, 2017, 9:48 am CST