On Christmas Day, December 25, 2015, one year old Maleah Williams was killed during a drive-by shooting in Chapel Hill. The Chapel Hill NAACP & Ministerial Alliance are holding an Emancipation Day Service in her honor on January 1st at 1:00pm at St. Joseph CME Church, 510 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill.
In the hour of our deepest need, OUR children die so needlessly. There is a prophetic mourning that demands that we be neither comfortable nor cynical in the face of violent death. They are our children, whether it is a baby shot amid a senseless crime in Chapel Hill or a child shot in 2 seconds by a trigger happy cop in Cleveland. We must mourn over it and stand against it. Pope Francis in his Laudato Si, challenged each of us "to become painfully aware; to dare to turn what is happening in the world into our own personal suffering; and thus to discover what each of us can do about it." So today we mourn. Tomorrow we work to transform crucifixion into resurrection; to become what the prophet Isaiah calls "repairers of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
Abolishing Local Liberty Bills...Just Another Regressive Setback to the Progress Made in the Battle Against Discrimination
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
Senate Bill 279 was introduced in the late hours of Monday night. It is being considered in the Legislature today. Click here to call or send an email to Senate Leader Berger and Speaker Moore to let them know you oppose SB 279, "Restricting Municipalities from Protecting All People"
September 29, 2015
Regression seems to be the only familiar ideal for this general assembly. In the last 48 hours, this general assembly has engaged in three last minute sneak attacks against the people of the state of North Carolina: HB 318, the anti-immigration bill; HB 539, the charter school funding bill, and the most recent SB 279 anti-LGBT bill. This last bill could prevent local governments from protecting individuals against discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity in public accommodations and fair housing.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
September 24, 2015
Note: These were the fully scheduled remarks but were shortened due to time restraints in advance of the Pope Francis' speech
We gather here today as one human family to raise our moral voices and to welcome Pope Francis and his message that true faith is not a disengagement from the challenges of the world but an embrace of those very challenges.
Truth is, there is no gospel that is not social; no gospel that relieves us of our call to love our neighbors as ourselves; no gospel that lives outside God’s admonition to serve the least of these. Pope Francis has made this clear, and for that we thank him.
In this history of the United States, a moral critique has been always been at the center of any challenge to the structural sins of society—slavery, the denial of women’s rights, the denial of labor rights, the denial of equal protection under the law, the denial of voting rights, and the promulgation of unchecked militarism. We have never overcome any of these evils without a moral critique that challenged their grip on the heart and imagination of our society.
A moral critique is still needed today.Read more
Statement by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II at America's Journey For Justice News Conference in Raleigh, NC on August 18, 2015.
Let me first thank Rep. Mickey Michaux who is here with us this morning. During the trial in Winston Salem, Rep Michaux was more than brilliant in his telling of the story of voting rights in this country. He along with Ms. Rosa Nell Eaton were featured recently in a major article published by the NY Times on the “Undoing of America.”
This morning, let me also honor the memory and legacy of Mr. Julian Bond. He was the Fredrick Douglass of our times, who said, ‘those who say race is history have it wrong, history is race.” He also told us in a speech last year that, “those who want us to believe that 250 years of slavery and 100 years of jim crow have all been wiped out by 50 years of reluctant and modest implementation of laws to address historic and unprecedented racism are sadly mistaken.” He was a deep and passionate supporter of the Forward Together Movement from the very beginning.
Mr. Bond was a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. which led the effort to inaugurate freedom summer. Freedom summer led the organization to Selma, and on August 6, 1965, 50 years and 12 days ago, the events of freedom summer lead to the passage of the voting rights act.
It is on the foundation of this history and the extreme regressivism we are seeing today that I, along with the national board and president of the NAACP, Attorney Cornelle Brooks, are engaging in an 880 mile journey for justice declaring that our votes, our lives, our schools, and our jobs matter.Read more
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II: "Today, the General Assembly is more committed to protecting monuments -- symbols of a pro-slavery, white supremacist, segregationist past -- than they are to protecting people who are living right now."
DURHAM, NC - Last night, Gov. Pat McCrory signed the "Historic Artifact Management and Patriotism Act," which prevents local officials from removing Confederate monuments and gives that authority to the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor.
This morning, the NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement challenged Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly's decision to prioritize the protection of Confederate monuments over the protection of North Carolinians. NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II's statement is below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2015
NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement Respond to NC House's Passage of "Historical Artifact and Patriotism Act" and Call for Governor's VetoRALEIGH, NC - This afternoon, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to pass the “Historical Artifact and Patriotism Act,” which makes it virtually impossible for local communities to move Confederate monuments. The measure, which came out of the House Homeland Security Committee, was fast-tracked to Gov. McCrory’s desk to be signed.
The NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement call on Gov. McCrory to veto this bill. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II has issued the following statement on their behalf:
An Updated Statement on the
Anti-Greensboro Democracy *Law*
The North Carolina NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement stand in strong opposition to the race-based overreaching undertaken by the General Assembly last Thursday. In a prime example of anti-democratic actions and bully politics, the NC General Assembly pushed forward an atrocious, race-based state bill disguised as a local redistricting bill that will have a detrimental impact on the city of Greensboro for years to come.Read more
NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II's Statement in Support of the Non-Violent Direct Action this Morning in Columbia
COLUMBIA, SC - Sister Bree Newsome, in an act of prayerful non-violent civil disobedience, scaled the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol, disengaged the flag of the Confederate States of America, and then prayed as she descended the pole and was arrested.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP, said: "Our sister from North Carolina, Bree Newsome, is a committed, trained, non-violent messenger of the truth. She stands in a long tradition. The Hebrew midwives who stood up to Pharoah; Jeremiah who put on an iron yoke in defiance of a king and unfit practices; Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and more recently hundreds of protesters in Moral Monday who were all considered, at first, criminals for their acts of conscience. We stand in solidarity with her, and the deep commitment which she has to justice, love, and true inter-racial community. We stand with her as she is our family."
Ms. Newsome said from jail: "We removed the flag today because we can't wait any longer. It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality."
"She is clear and sober," Rev. Dr. Barber said. "The flag is vulgar. Its removal is not only a small step, but an important symbolic one. Its vulgarity and representation of the racist, immoral defense of all slavery and Jim Crow not only should come down but should have never been put up. Many around the country are so hurt and disturbed that the American flag and the state flag could be lowered to honor the Emanuel Nine, but not the Confederate war flag. Shameful. Instead of trying to criminalize her, hear what her action of conscience is saying as the old saints use to say "Waiting time is over. Let's get right now." I believe her action and that of many others is saying: If America is serious about this moment we cannot just cry ceremonial tears while at the same time refusing to support the martyred reverend and his parishioners’ stalwart fight against the racism that gave birth to the crime."
"The perpetrator has been caught, but the killers are still at large. Actions are challenging the schizophrenia of American morality that allows political leaders to condemn the crime but embrace the policies that are its genesis," Rev. Dr. Barber continued.
"I believe her action is another nonviolent action of grace that should arrest and imprison our conscience. We must see that one urgently required step toward real healing is a new comprehensive Civil Rights Act for this time and a renewal of the Voting Rights Act. We cannot wait for further martyrs, more bloodshed, the continued weight of our national grief. Legislation will not heal all trauma, prevent all pains--it never has---but it is a necessity today to place our government on the right side of history--the side that refuses to perpetuate the legacy and vestiges of white supremacy and black subjugation that is our nation's inheritance."
"We must write an omnibus bill in the name of the nine Emanuel martyrs that implements Medicaid expansion, raises public education funding, passes a living wage requirement, passes new gun control laws, and removes the Confederate flag from the state house, among other provisions. And this omnibus bill would be supported and passed by Republicans and Democrats. Further, the very seat Rev. Pinckney held is in jeopardy as long as Section 5 of the VRA remains gutted. The current bill in the U.S. House, even if passed, would leave out Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee from coverage. If we want to move toward closure, name a VRA restoration bill after the Emanuel Nine and all the other martyrs in the fight for voting rights."
"The Emanuel Nine Martyrs have set loose a spirit of non-violent action that will not stop until real policy changes are seen," said Rev. Barber.
Click HERE to watch video of Bree Newsome protesting the NC voter suppression law in the office of then-Speaker Thom Tillis.
NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement
Respond to Terrorist Massacre in Historic Charleston Church
RALEIGH, NC - The NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement have issued the following statement in response to last night's terrorist massacre at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston:
In response to the act of racial terror last night at the historic Emanuel AME Church--a beacon of light and a force for liberation and justice for nine score years in our nation's history-- the NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement call on all North Carolinians to action in prayer and fasting beginning today.
We call on people of conscience and of all faiths to pray for justice and love and against the demonizing forces of racism.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2015
NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement Induct Pitt County Legislators into the Hall of Shame for Positions on Medicaid Expansion, Economic Justice, and Voting Rights Among Others
GREENVILLE, NC: The NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement called out state legislators from Pitt County for their positions on Medicaid expansion, economic justice, and voting rights in Greenville on Monday night. They focused, in particular, on the legislative records of state representatives Brian Brown and Susan Martin and state senator Louis Pate, and inducted them into the 'Hall of Shame'.
Brown, Martin, and Pate all voted to cut the Earned Income Tax Credit, reduce unemployment assistance, and end same day registration, out-of-precinct voting, reduce the early voting period, and require a photo I.D. to vote in 2016 and after. They also voted to prohibit Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. The NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement believe that these policy positions -- and others -- are morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent, and economically insane.
During the 2012 election, for example, 62% of ballots in Pitt County were cast during the early voting period. 2,675 new voters used same-day-registration, and 5,133 registered voters did not have a North Carolina photo ID.
If North Carolina expands Medicaid, 9,865 people in Pitt County would be covered by 2017. By 2020, Medicaid expansion would create 612 jobs, $326,800,000 in new business activity, and $2,693,000 in new tax revenue for Pitt County.
As of 2012, 39,993 people in Pitt County live in poverty. Its poverty rate of 24% is higher than the state average of 18%. And as of 2012, 43.7% of Pitt County residents were designated low-income.