Rev. William Barber, President of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, took time to speak with Politic365.com. The North Carolina chapter is the largest in the south and Barber is also the chair of the NAACP’s National Political Action committee.
Barber is also Pastor at the Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, NC. The 120 year old congregation has over 400 members and 30 active ministries. He begins,
“Why is it that on the way to South Carolina, Santorum made his comment about not wanting to give Black people on welfare other folks money? Why on the way to a southern primary did Newt Gingrich begin referring to Obama as a welfare president with his facts wrong and his numbers wrong? Why do they race bait like that? The south has always struggled with these issues.”
More on racism in the south:
Barber goes on to explain how today’s political climate mirrors that of the post-reconstructive era in which white supremacy took a foothole, rolled back progress made right after the Civil War and effectively held minority communities hostage for 90 years thereafter.
“We must understand language used in one era and then translated to another era… we can’t ever as a nation forget history… many times the philosophies we see today is rooted in a philosophy of the past and how all of it is connected to a racialized understanding of America.”
More on history repeating itself:
Barber warns that the Tea Party Party is responsible for the regressive racial policies popping up in legislatures all over the nation. He says it’s very present in North Carolina and it’s dangerous to voting rights, education, poverty and labor laws.
More on the Tea Party’s influence on voting rights:
More on the Tea Party’s influence on education:
More on the Tea Party’s influence on poverty:
More on the Tea Party’s influence on labor laws:
Rev. Barber shares that North Carolina is a political battleground where the majority is fighting tooth and nail to rule the minority. He uses same-sex marriage as an example. While the NAACP doesn’t take a position on same-sex marriage, he points out that by North Carolina allowing a private, religious matter to go to popular vote, the majority is setting a precedence that by popular vote the majority can decide for a minority. He says, “which minority is next?”:
Barber says the only way to change the tide of politics is to focus on coalition building.
“You have to hold race and class together. You can’t allow either of those to be disjointed if you expect progress.”
February 12th the NAACP came together with hundreds of other groups and thousands of demonstrators for a rally on Raleigh known as the Historic Thousand on Jones Street. The rally put Barber’s words of coalition building in action as all gathered to protest state budget cuts, a stagnant economy, a threat to voting rights, and Amendment One.
State budget cuts, a stagnant economy, a threat to voting rights, and Amendment One brought thousands of North Carolinians to downtown Raleigh Saturday, Feb. 11th for the 6th Annual Historic Thousand on Jones Street or “HK on J”. Rev. Barber delivered an awe-inspiring speech thousands about coalition building.
For more on the work Barber and the NAACP of North Carolina are doing check out their website: www.naacpnc.org