Commenter Summer sent me a wonderful (short) video of the Moral Monday protests. Mistermix tells me I can’t embed it, so you’ll have to follow the link to watch but it’s worth it.
Thousands marched from Halifax Mall to Fayetteville Street to hear a fiery speech delivered by N.C. NAACP President William Barber II during the final Moral Monday demonstration of the N.C. legislative session. See a highlight video by N&O staff photojournalist Travis Long who covered the majority of Moral Monday and related demonstrations for the The News & Observer.
In the video, Barber speaks about how social issues have been used as a a wedge to divide us on economic issues. He had his own struggle with this, and in my view it’s one of the big victories of the Moral Monday protests – the fact that they was able to mobilize such a diverse coalition. In the video you’ll see religious folks joining with advocates for marriage equality, public education, women’s rights, voting rights, and health care.
Rev. Dr. William Barber is the president of the NAACP’s North Carolina chapter, and the pastor of the 120-year-old Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Barber also serves as an adjunct professor in the Masters of Divinity program at North Carolina Central University.
Barber first attracted national attention in April 2012, when he joined other black clergy in North Carolina in opposing that state’s Amendment One, which would bar same-sex marriage, along with civil unions and domestic partnerships in the state.
Is it correct that when people get on buses to go to the Moral Monday protests that they are asked to sit with people they don’t know to build bridges with other groups? Thought I read that somewhere and it’s a great idea. Excellent way to help people who might never have met each other, but who have shared interest in justice, develop a relationship that can be very useful going forward.
Villago Delenda Est
Finally, we’ve got people looking past the wedges, and concentrating on the things that matter most to their lives…the material underpinnings that make all the rest possible.
Great topic, and beyond great tags.
If Moral Mondays and their organizers can help turn back North Carolina’s ascendant wingnut tendencies, we will have a template to follow.
@Elizabelle: Ha! I always forget to look at the tags. Those are great. Thanks for the heads up!
With liberty and justice for ALL. /Proposed Tag
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
Thanks Kay! The Moral Mondays news – oddly unmentioned in the MSM! – is heartening, as is the fabulous labor community support in Milwaukee. I appreciate that you bring us good news.
Kay, tyvm for following this story and giving us more insight into how passionate people with causes are making a difference, makes me ashamed to have a life and being limited physically, so I’ll probably tap the wallet later to some organizations I believe in.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I asked this in a previous thread but no one responded–has anyone seen any coverage of Moral Mondays in the national media? I have not. I don’t watch cable news often, but when I’ve been at the gym or in a waiting room where CNN is playing I haven’t seen it. Not on the nightly network news either, if I happen to catch any of that. Haven’t noticed any headlines on Google or Yahoo news. In fact, were it not for posts on liberal blogs, I’d probably not be aware of it at all.
@Violet: Some on Melissa Harris-Perry and MSNBC generally and a tiny blip on CNN. Since CNN seems determined to become faux lite I consider that a big step. But overall, it’s pretty limited.
Love me this Moral Mondays movement! Good to see some actual Christians acting like actual Christians and creating alliances with others who also want social and economic justice. Between this and the fast food organizers, I’m beginning to feel some hope for this country. First time in decades.
What are “crab bucket politics”? Do they involve pit bulls? If not, shouldn’t they?
Honestly, I don’t think it matters. We’re going to get some “both sides do it” roundtable on abstract theories that takes it to 30,000 feet anyway. They can’t cover it properly because they’re not there.
I believe they’re pushing “libertarian populism” this month, so we won’t have time for actual news.
Local coverage will get them where they want to go.
@Kay: I’m not sure it matters either, it was really just a question and probably more of one about the sad state of our media than anything else. The Moral Mondays protests have been going on for awhile now, right? Months? Seems like that kind of dedication, and the fact that the protests are growing, would catch the eye of some national news producer. I guess since it’s not a bunch of old white people in costumes and on scooters, it’s not news-worthy.
Tee hee. You don’t even want to start that in this thread.
I’m bitter. It’s a good question. Sorry.
If it’s not another way to say “Republican” (Tea Party, ‘libertarian populist’) they’re not interested, so screw them.
Wait. You want me to watch network news and CNN?
Can I get a pit bull to do it for me?
PS: but for Balloon Juice, would never have heard of Moral Mondays. And we are the next state north.
I’m bitter, too. If the Koch brothers funded moral mondays you can bet it would be on the teevee.
Honestly I can remember being a part of a 700 person pro health care rally and the media would interview the three tea party protesters.
@Kay: Yeah, seriously. I guess the good news is, the younger generation seems to be getting their news elsewhere. The market in fear isn’t withstanding the jeering of those who grew up with the interwebs.
@Elizabelle: Ha! No, don’t want you to watch anything you don’t want to watch. But some people do for various reasons and maybe they’ve seen MMs reported on. Not surprised you’re not hearing about it in an adjacent state. They probably don’t want it to spread.
Villago Delenda Est
Not “for all who can afford it”. Which is pretty much what “libertarians” are all about.
Which is why I will continue to hound Obama to put those FEMA camps to good use.
8 posts since midnight…you guys can take the rest of the week off.
Are the “moral monday” protests over?
And if anyone has doubts about the thuggery of right-wing ‘populism’:
Sad to say– I’m not, at this point, surprised.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Elizabelle: I didn’t even wander into that thread. I have opinions, strongly held of course, that do not coincide with those of many others – including the author of the post. And no one is going to be persuaded.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I stayed out of them as well. Lots of noise and zip is going to happen.
@Violet: It’s a media blackout, like with early days of Occupy a few years ago, or the Dia de los Immigrantes protests a few years befor that. Our Glibertarian Corporate Overlords are hoping this whole thing blows over or gets shut down by the cops before they have to cover it.
@Punchy: Crab bucket politics is propaganda attempting to make people angry at and jealous of their peers, and motivated to knock them down, instead of emulating their peers and pulling themselves up. It’s called that because crabs captured in a bucket will pull any crab trying to leave the bucket back in rather than following them out– who the hell are they thinking they get to leave! It’s used in for example propaganda trying to make non-union workers jealous of union workers who have good medical benefits and retirement funds, so that workers don’t instead organize and demand those benefits for themselves instead. Can’t have that.
Yeah, because the legislative session is over. They probably all break in August.
@Violet: Hell, forget nationwide, it doesn’t get that far out of the Triangle. While Moral Mondays are great and I appreciate what the folks are doing, I wonder about the scope and staying power. The big demonstrations have been in Raleigh, which is in the bluest part of the state (the Triangle), and it gets a lot of attention in the media there. The highlighting of issues may help a bit getting enthusiasm up for unseating some suburban Republicans in Wake County, but I’m not sure it will go further than that unless some kind of statewide efforts come out of it, e.g., the demonstrations move to the districts of GOPers who not from the Triangle. For example, it might be more effective if the action moves from Raleigh to Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville, etc., especially with the legislature now out of session. NC is a very fragmented state as far as politics and media are concerned because NC really does not have a city, e.g., an Atlanta, that dominates most, or at least a big chunk, of the state. Some parts of the state bear close to outright hostility towards the Triangle, especially when the Triangle is doing better than the rest of the state economically. Moral Mondays are no substitute for a strong state Democratic Party, which has been a basket case for the last several years, rocked by scandal and incompetence. The dems really fell asleep at the wheel when they let the GOP get control of the redistricting process here in 2010. It will be really hard to unravel.
@raven: The protests have ended while the legislature is out of session in August.
I love this video. It really captures the emotional heft of the events, even if it doesn’t quite capture the size of the latter ones, or the power of the intellectual framework.
And all the red? Those are the teachers.
Reminder! The NC BJ brigade is meeting Monday at Geer St. Garden in Durham. 7 p.m.!
c u n d gulag
When I was helping organize anti-war/torture/rendition rallies in NC in the 00’s – mostly around the Fayetteville area – if he didn’t have a prior commitment, Rev. Barber gladly came to speak at almost all of them.
And what a great speaker he is!!!
He truly is a great man, and someone who we Liberals can proudly say carries on the great work of Martin Luther King Jr.
There’s no sex, black people aren’t rioting, hippies aren’t behaving in a dirty and primitive way, it suggests that the average American may NOT agree with rich Beltway pundits, and it raises the possibility that political and economic policy can be important to people’s lives rather than a game between aristocrats. No, the national journalist class is not going to want to cover it if they can find any way to duck out.
The Moar You Know
We all hang together or we shall assuredly all hang separately.
Love the “Meth Labs of Democracy” tag. That’s about the sum of it.
Our corporate press overlords. Bringing you the news it’s in their interests for you to hear.
I can cover “libertarian populism” in three minutes – look up Ron Paul on the Internet, look up the number of times he’s won a nomination (0), look up the number of days he’s even spent any time as the front runner in a presidential campaign, Herman Cain or Rick Perry style (0), look up the number of times he’s ever inspired enough people to break off from the two parties to influence an election (0). And then you end up concluding that Ralph fucking Nader has had more impact on our politics than Ron Paul, which gives you a pretty good idea of just how little traction “libertarian populism” has with voters.
(So, naturally the media would be covering it like the event of the century).
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@c u n d gulag: Rev. Barbour was instrumental in reshaping the Wake County School Board after the teabagger takeover. And I know quite a few people who took it personally that a black radio preacher here endorsed Romney because of the gay. Lots off head shaking and “getting in bed with the devil because you’re scared of gays?”
He’s been building this from a pretty small start. Only in the bluest part of the State? Yeah, in 2010. It’s burst out into other cities within the last few weeks. And I expect will see more cookies sent to the Governor in the upcoming months.
pseudonymous in nc
Seriously. Look at the Charlotte paper, and the amount of space devoted to state politics — apart from on issues that directly affect the metro area, like the confiscation of the airport — is minimal.
One reason why state politics in the US is fucked is because even state media don’t want to cover it. And as Hoodie says, NC is a state that doesn’t really have a coherent political identity to begin with, so it’s very easy to treat what happens in Raleigh as if it only affects the Triangle, not the entire state.
Addendum: “crack bucket politics” is also a popular analogy on the right (actually, that’s where I’ve heard it the most), with the assertion that “jealous” and “envious” liberals trying to “tear down successful people” are just like the crabs pulling the escapee crab back into the bucket, and that it’s all an analogy for why socialism doesn’t work and so we shouldn’t vote Obama.
I tend to think it applies far better the way you said it, but I don’t hear it in that context much outside of this blog.
(Also, does anyone know if crabs actually do this in real life?)
I think I had a comment eaten! I wanted to note that Barber is holding a Moral Monday in Asheville tomorrow and on the coast sometime this month while the legislature is out of session.
Opinion is easier and cheaper than news.
I followed Rand Paul’s Senate race closely, watched debates, ect. because it was a really fundamental race about the role of government, which he adroidtly dodged. I think he’s deepy unpleasant, entitled and arrogant as a person, and that will come thru loud and clear when he’s on a national stage without a pundit “buffer”
Well, they know the actual grassroots American movement CAN’T be about wanting the government to help people, and they hear a lot of their Republican friends in Washington talk about how principled ‘small government’ is…
Yes, they do. Crabs and lobsters and to a lesser extent shrimp under stress grab whatever they can reach with their claws and hang on tight. This turns a crab bucket into a tangle unable to move. They’re not trying to hold each other back, but that’s how it works out.
Crabs are sea bugs. They don’t have the cognitive ability to figure out jealousy. But if you put them in a bucket and one gets close to escape, the ones below try to use the successful one as leverage for their own and end up pulling the winner back down.
Here is what progressives in other states need to understand:
NC is not a wing nut state. IT IS A PURPLE STATE. Always divided D/R senators, blue cities, and always Dem govs except Holshouser who was a Lincoln Republican (for real). THE new craziness in N.C. is NOT A CASE OF A BACKWARD SOUTHERN STATE BEING BACKWARDS. Rather, Citizens United opened the door in this purple state for our own native Koch type, Art Pope, to buy our elections with 2.2 million of strategically deployed cash and now we have this. JUST LIKE WISCONSIN, JUST LIKE OHIO.
ALEC and unified objectives from national front groups are at work in each state in almost identical fashion.
Sorry for the all caps, but I feel it is most important for progressives to understand what is really happening here, because it is linked to the takeovers at the state level across the nation. Please, at our peril do we say “stupid southerners, always doing stupid things, they should rot and secede, who cares.” — Something one hears all the time on liberal blogs!
This is not SC or Alabama, it’s a purple state that has had a wingnut tea takeover courtesy of 1% cash and Citizens United. This tells us a lot about what we need to focus on. Thanks for listening.
P.S. I heart Rev. Barber. He knows the solution is fusion politics — progressive populism. Follow that vision!!!
Tea Party coverage on 4/15/2009 had more to do with Fox “News” making a decision to give the protests 24/7 attention and thus the rest of the MSM followed didn’t want to miss the foxy action.
The money behind promoting and publicizing the Tea Party crap was really unprecedented in terms of “spontaneous grass roots” movements, yet the rest of the non-Fox “News” media decided to follow the Fox “New” narrative, without stopping to ask “would they normally give this much attention to a few hundred (at best) protestors claiming they’re taxes are too high?” and chugged right a long pretending these guys were organizing major protests.
Hell, the anti-Iraq War protests pulled 100,000 out in some places and got roundly ignored.
I’m going to stop ranting now because I’m making myself angry thinking about the sad state of media in this country…
Oh, definitely. I think the old question “why are there no socialist movements in the United States?” has gone from being a question to a statement of blind faith, that there cannot be socialism or anything like it in the United States because the good, honest, hard-working, salt-of-the-earth American People simply would never be interested in such a vile, fancy-schmancy, funny-sounding, European intellectual elitist concept. Especially among the people who for ideological reasons like to believe that in the first place.
Thanks to all for the crab explanations, too.
I can cover it in less: IGMFY. That’s it. That’s all that libertarianism has to offer.
@Summer: and Kay
Good rant. Needs to be said.
The million dollar question in NC is can the state Democratic Party rid itself of the Easley-era taint and capitalize on the backlash to the current government in Raleigh?
c u n d gulag
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
That’s why we valued him coming to Fayetteville, since, being the city around Fort Bragg, it wasn’t part of the more Liberal areas like the Triangle, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, or Asheville scenes.
I had my life threatened more than once in Fayetteville by Freeper’s and other Conservative freaks.
Brendan in NC
@Hoodie: There are plans to “take the show on the road” as it were. According to an article in the Huffington Post: “Organizers with the NAACP and other groups said they plan to continue the Moral Monday tradition, even though the legislative session is over.
“We are not ending Moral Monday,” North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber said. “We are suspending it here and taking it on the road.”
A tour of all of North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts is set to begin next week in Asheville.
So I guess 3 questions I have after seeing NC degenerate into Wisconsin/Ohio/Michigan on steroids with McCrory getting elected:
a) Do the Democrats have an actual chance of retaking one of the legislative chambers in 2014, or did we get fucked real hard on the gerrymander that was done after 2010 statewide?
b) Is Kay Hagan in better shape to get reelected to the Senate? She hasn’t really distinguished herself much, but IIRC, her main opponent as of now is the state House speaker, which should pretty much be easy target practice given the shit they’ve been passing
c) Who’s going to take that faux-moderate McCrory out in 2016? I don’t get the sense there’s a huge bench in NC statewide, even though they had loads of Democratic governors for the longest time.
OT, this is quite a good report about payday lender lobbying against community activists pushing a ballot initiative for legal reform.
@Elizabelle: Rachel Maddow’s been covering it since it started.
And yes, as @Brendan says, they’re taking it out to all the districts in the state.
So if the rest of NC doesn’t know about this, they soon will.
pseudonymous in nc
a) The redistricting was done with an eye on making the legislature resistant to a decently-sized Dem swing — and voter ID will, of course, play a part in the broader voter suppression that’s bound to happen in 2014. It’s not landslide-resistant, but the campaign to kick out the nutcases has to begin early, hit hard, and be funded in ways that ALEC and Crossroads and Art Pope can’t counter.
b) Tillis and Berger aren’t covering themselves with glory, and there’s no reason to think they won’t continue in that vein. Hagen should have her re-election campaign already drafted, but again, it’s a mid-term and voter
IDsuppression will likely be in force to some extent.
c) Too soon to tell. Roy Cooper is probably the highest-profile state-pol Dem. He sat out the 2008 race, perhaps because he thought it was a losing battle, but it’d be hard for him to finish his term as AG while running against a sitting governor. McCrony is a long-term concern, though: he’s a largely ceremonial governor, given how the GA has veto-proof GOP majorities. The one thing he does control is executive team picks, which are looking increasingly bad: the boss of the DPS (state law enforcement, prisons, probation) just resigned after seven months because he’s a millionaire lawyer and the job wasn’t paying enough. Whatever happens in 2016 depends upon what happens in 2014. If there’s a sufficient backlash against the GOP nutcases and McCrony vetoes any attempt to reverse course, then he’s a sitting duck.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
“They’ve drank all the Tea Party they could drink and sniffed all the Koch they could sniff,” Barber says.
@pseudonymous in nc: There’s more to it than that. The DPS COO abruptly resigned the same day.
@raven: Great question! answer, no. Altho the legislature has concluded the session and gone home, the protests will continue, taking it to the road and to the districts of the state where the damage came from or is being done.
Tomorrow’s Moral Monday is in Asheville.
@Kay: I don’t think that is quite correct. (Repeating myself, sorry, please see above)
@pseudonymous in nc: very informative analysis, thanks!
Sorry,and thanks for weighing in.
FWIW, I never say “it’s the south, so they should all secede” or whatever. I agree with you. I live in a county where 45-40% of people vote for Democrats. It’s crazy to ignore all those people.
@pseudonymous in nc: I wouldn’t bet on Roy Cooper. He’s spent 12 years as AG steadfastly refusing to take an issue one anything except “Meth is Bad” and “the Duke lacrosse players are 100% innocent.” Maybe he’s been playing a longer game, but it’s been a nightmare for anyone who’s actually had to work in NC policy making for his tenure. I think he’s happy where he is, and I have never seen anything that shows that he has the tenacity to actually run a successful statewide campaign for Governor (AG, like all Council of State positions in NC are statewide elections, So Cooper has actually won statewide election 3 times. But usually only the Governor race is a high-profile and hotly contested).
I’d say the next obvious choices are either Grier Martin or Josh Stein. Both are currently in the General Assembly. Martin in the house and Stein in the Senate. They both have some baggage. Stein is the more liberal (and I think smarter) of the two, but Martin has the ambition. I think either would be a better Governor than Cooper.
@John 2.0: I like Josh Stein, but no way he wins a governor’s race. Martin is an unknown outside of the Triangle. Cooper is the only one who stands a chance but, as you point out, he never pulls the trigger and, from what I’ve seen, is a bit lacking in the charisma department. Dems might have a better chance running a candidate like Anthony Fox, who probably can’t win, but would at least boost AA turnout and thus help with legislative races in close areas.
… And Kay, thank you and Summer so very much for front-paging this!
I’m heartened by the response of the African American clergy. There used to be many primarily AA North Carolina congregations in the United Church of Christ, but some years back, when the denomination officially approved gay clergy and promoted open and affirming attitudes, many of these congregations disaffiliated with the UCC in protest. It’s good to see everyone working on the same team.