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Notes from Reverend Barber's historic HKonJ speech in North Carolina this morning.

There is a train coming and we urge you to get on board!

Now is the time and here is the place. We are the people and we shall be heard.

8:57 AM PT: How can you say you love God...but hate your brother everyday?

NC Constitution...all power rests with the people and should be used only for the good of the whole.

8:59 AM PT: In policy and politics we face two choices: one is the low road to destruction

The ultraconservative right wing is choosing the low road. It is extreme and mighty low to cut Medicaid knowing that 2,800 will die. It is mighty low to end unemployment benefits for 170,000 people who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.

9:00 AM PT: It is mighty low after you have committed all of these low acts to then commit crimes against democracy and suppress the right to vote.

9:02 AM PT: Kicking hard working people when they are down is not just bad policy, it is against the common good.

Your actions have worked in reverse. You may have thought you were going to discourage us but instead you have encouraged us.

(Note: This man is an amazing speaker).

9:04 AM PT: This is a fight for the future of our state. It doesn't matter what the critics call us. They may call us violent, and losers, and leftists. and socialists...[we have the Constitution and Bible on our side]. We ARE NORTH CAROLINA. [wild cheering]

9:06 AM PT: We know who we are. And we know who they are. We refuse to call them 'Republican' because we know there are sensible Republicans. Abe Lincoln was a Republican (and several other historical progressives named). Republicans and Democrats alike signed off on the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. So when you make Ronald Reagan look like a liberal, we know who you are.

9:07 AM PT: We believe that the more the hijackers who have taken hold of the Republican party are exposed the more Republicans and Democrats can come together to do the best for all the people. No matter how extremists try to twist things, this is about right vs wrong.

9:11 AM PT: This is not just a moment. It is a movement.

We will move every obstacle that keeps people from voting in 2014. We do this because we refuse to accept the low road. We are clear, there is higher ground where we can pay living wages and ensure fairness on the job. We can be on higher ground when we support education and if we see the poor as our neighbor. We can be on higher ground when we reject hate.

We have been called to take this state ... to the higher ground we believe in possible. We will mobilize. We will organize. We will pray. We will speak the truth to power. We will protest. We will stand up. And we will vote like never before.

It does not matter who is in the Governor's office. We cannot settle for anything less than higher ground.

9:13 AM PT: You don't have enough political power to vote us away. You don't have enough insults to taunt us away. And you don't have enough money to buy us away.

We will not give up, NOT NOW, NOT EVER.

We will never abdicate our birth right and sell it for a bowl of porridge.

9:17 AM PT: Higher ground. That is what we deserve. And that is what we demand.

Don't you know that if you leave the low ground of extremism and go to the higher ground of justice and use your office for good then your living will not be in vain.

Too many have sacrificed their blood for us to settle for the lower ground.

North Carolina was first in flight so we know how to get to higher ground.

This land is your land and this land is my land.

We are better than meaness and domination. In America we are better than this. YES WE ARE. YES WE ARE. YES WE ARE.

Tell your neighbors it is time to dig a little deeper, work a little harder, organize a little better. It is moving time. It is moving time.

[Amazing. Preach it Reverend!]

9:30 AM PT: [Crowd estimated at 10,000+]

We've got work to do and if we work together we can turn this thing around.

[Rev calling for commitments to getting people registered to vote.]

[Text the word "forward" 90975 to donate]

Forward together, not one step back. This is why we march. This is why we mobilize. We are on our way to higher ground.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you so much ExpatGirl! Sending solidarity (14+ / 0-)

    from CA.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:18:34 AM PST

  •  I wonder if there's gonna be a full transcript? (10+ / 0-)

    Cause I want one. Just caught the last 1/3 or so of his speech on livestream.

    It would be good to spread out coverage of Moral Mondays w/things like circulating transcripts of speeches.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:37:41 AM PST

  •  Thank. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, northerntier, rubyr, davehouck

    "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change." Muhammad Ali

    by blueoregon on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:48:28 AM PST

  •  Thank you so much for this (8+ / 0-)

    I just got home from this event, and I was trying to remember a couple of things Reverend Barber had said.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:16:54 AM PST

  •  We need a history lesson - HKonJ? (6+ / 0-)

    For those of us who are not from North Carolina and are not members of the North Carolina NAACP, I'd like to see some description of HKonJ.

    Being the kinda guy that I am, I googled, but even then it took some effort. Is anyone up for creating a wikipedia page?


    In December of 2006, under the leadership of HKonJ Convener, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, who also serves as the President of the NC NAACP State Conference, HKonJ held its first organizing meeting with a diverse group of some of the state’s best organizers, political scientists, lawyers, religious leaders, and activists. Less than two months later, HKonJ kicked off its first annual “HKonJ People’s Assembly” in February of 2007 where more than 3,500 supporters attended as they sanctioned and signed the coalition’s “HKonJ 14-Point People’s Agenda (with detailed ‘Action Steps’).” The HKonJ Coalition transformed the 14-Point People’s Agenda into comprehensive reform bills that have been introduced in legislative sessions.

    I won't quote from that page, but please follow the link.

    HKonJ has been around for a few years but has never received national press coverage. That's left most of us on the dark when someone mentions HKonJ without any explanation. Please don't assume we know what you're talking about. Please don't assume we don't care if we don't know.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:47:00 AM PST

  •  It was a great march. (9+ / 0-)

    A lot of energy, very diverse - people and issues wise -, but everybody coming together to move forward was the best part. Reverend Barber's speech was powerful and all the other speakers were also great.  My wife and I are very glad we went.

    "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

    by basquebob on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:02:29 AM PST

    •  You're spreading to GA and other (4+ / 0-)

      Southern states, apparently.

      The only problem with doing things on a state level is that those in power can squash one state at a time (as they have done their best to do in WI and, much more effectively, in MI). I look forward to more and more states joining this movement.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:06:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amazing speech (9+ / 0-)

    I wrote this planning it to be a diary, but decided to post this as a comment, since I am still fired up by the words of Re. Barber.   He speaks quickly, with a sense of urgency.  He touched on something in his speech that I wrote about (this was written yesterday) - that we know who you are, when you allow cuts to Medicaid that will potentially mean death for 2800 people in NC.  

    The last time I traveled to North Carolina was in September, 2012, to the DNC, as a delegate from Monroe County, Pennsylvania.  It was the culmination of my support for President Obama, having canvassed in Des Moines, Iowa in 2007/08 for this guy with the funny name and big ears.  

    It was a celebratory time.  I really enjoyed attending two caucuses, the one for people of faith (Unitarian Universalist, in case you're wondering about affiliation), and one for voting rights.

    The voting rights caucus was riveting.  Led by Melissa Harris-Perry, (UU btw), the keynote speaker was Rep. John Lewis.  I had just finishing his stirring account of his days in the civil rights movement, "Walking With The Wind."  I had also started a Facebook group at that time concerning the PA Voter ID bill.  It quickly had over 100 members.

    Listening to Rep. Lewis was both inspiring and heartbreaking.  Inspiring for his message of one who marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.  In 1965, Rep. Lewis suffered a fractured skull as the troopers advanced on the marchers at the Edmund Pettus bridge.  Heartbreaking, because after all that Rep. Lewis and many others had endured fighting for the right to vote, some paying with their lives, 47 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we still had to be informed about this new wholesale attack on voting rights in many states.  

    This was a battle that, seemingly won with the VRA, was now entering a new phase of discrimination - threatening to once again deprive citizens of their right to vote, but using new language to disguise the true intentions of these laws, many of which were also coupled with changes or complete elimination of long standing voting practices, like early voting.  

    A "voter ID" law sounds so innocuous and rational.  The arguments were neatly packaged and injected into the right wing echo chamber - "you need an ID to board a plane, apply for a job, drive a car, so why not have one so you can prove your identity before voting?"

    When the facts of actual voter fraud are presented to supporters of these laws, they basically clamp their hands over their ears and reply "but voter fraud!"

    Let's save our breath.  I will not persuade these fearful people that voter ID laws are morally wrong.  

    The enemies of equality and justice for all have changed.  But I still recognize them.  They no longer don white robes and ride through the night, but instead are broadcasting their message of hate on AM radio stations, on Fox News, and yes, even through some pulpits.  I know this sounds harsh, but no holy book would ever preach these words.  I do not hate them.  I cannot hate them.  I can only hope that they will see that moving backwards in time will be resisted by the good people of this country.

    And so I will join the Moral March in Raleigh, NC, tomorrow, because the brutal rollback of progressive laws in the state of North Carolina, including the restriction of voting, must be stopped.  The intersection of social justice and politics will be on the streets of Raleigh tomorrow.  

    My hope is that this moral march will become a movement everywhere in this country, where the politics of fear and hate have begun to creep back, under the guise of voter ID, and other ALEC initiatives, like Stand Your Ground laws.

    Let this march roll down through this country, in every state, washing away the new Jim Crow laws, the new Poll Tax laws, and ANY law that was sponsored by ALEC.  We the People will make the laws, not we the corporations.

    I am proud to attend this march as a member of the UUFP - - I would like to thank the board president, who is also my wonderful wife, Susan, for allowing me to go.  I will be Standing (and marching) On the Side of Love.


    "I think 2008 is going to be a good year." Senator Barack Obama - Des Moines, Iowa, January 1st, 2008

    by PoconoPCDoctor on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:46:00 PM PST

    •  I was raised UU and was so pleased to see my (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gordon20024, NCJim, myboo, rubyr, davehouck

      childhood church on the list of coalition partners for this march.

      Apropos of nothing, years ago in South Africa, I was going through a soul search and tried a number of churches. One day, I decided to give the country's only weekly UU church a try and, on my way, said to the heavens "I would really appreciate a sign about whether or not this is the right home for me".

      The service was about homecoming and the people I sat next to were from Durham, NC - about 10 minutes away from my Chapel Hill home. As far as 'signs' go I was incredibly awestruck.

      •  That is very impressive (5+ / 0-)

        Btw, the minister from a UU church in Charlotte NC, (don't 't have his name handy right now ) spoke at a service at the UUFR last night.  He said he heard of the Rev. Barber and the movement, but did not want to recommend the movement to his congregation until he checked it out himself.  He went to a Moral Monday demonstration, and when some present started to confront police with an angry chant, Rev. Barber held up his hand, then brought it down, and the angry chanters stopped instantly.  He said, "these police are just doing their jobs - we have no issues with them."  He has the blessing of the NAACP of NC, and is a commanding presence.  

        Sounds like you have found a home.  B-)

        "I think 2008 is going to be a good year." Senator Barack Obama - Des Moines, Iowa, January 1st, 2008

        by PoconoPCDoctor on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 01:33:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •   I met Rev. Barber on Thursday night (8+ / 0-)

    He spoke to about 200 people in Raleigh.

    Someone handed out free books on comparative religions to everyone in attendance. I happened to leave the synagogue just as Rev. Barber approached the front door.

    He asked someone if they could get him one of the books. I told him I had an extra -- my partner also had one -- and he could have mine.

    "OK," he said, "but you have to sign my book."

    I said, "You want me to sign the book? I didn't even write it."

    He replied, "I just like to know who gives me things and where they come from."

    I told him "OK, but you have to sign our book," and we shook hands on it.

  •  Thank you ExpatGirl, for the transcript (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, Gordon20024, davehouck

    of Rev. Barber's speech.  He is amazing, is he not?

  •  "Higher Ground" Indeed! From movements like Moral (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, Gordon20024

    Mondays and the Wisconsin Uprising, from leaders like Rev. Barber and Elizabeth Warren, ordinary Americans are sending the resonating messaging that WILL bring Democratic Party victories in a wave election; yet more often than not, we keep getting fed "Republican-Lite" candidates and messaging.  

    Wave elections are caused when one party taps into simmering attitudes and emotions...the majority of Americans are ripe for tapping...the reality of their lives discredits Republican economic/political/social/cultural taking points. The way to counter the angry, petty, selfish, authoritarian, destructive tenor of TPers and ReTHUGlicans is to provide Americans will a positive, higher-purposed vision for America and her people.  We need the right tempered pitch like Reverend Barber's call to "higher ground" and candidates who deliver....Hello, Democratic Party strategists!

    Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

    by ranton on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:09:33 PM PST

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