NEW HAVEN, Conn. – “Do we have the courage to build a democracy that has a heart and cares for everyone?” asks Rev. Dr. William Barber, founder of the national Moral Monday movement. His question is a profound challenge to every voter.
As part of his 22-state tour across the country, Rev. Barber came to Connecticut where he delivered a passionate call to action to a thousand union and community leaders from across the state.
Quoting Martin Luther King’s 1967 Riverside Church speech, “Time to Break the Silence,” Barber called for a “radical revolution of values,” saying “I am worried about a country that puts more money to weapons of war than to the war against poverty.”
Repeating the refrain “America has a heart problem,” Barber decried tax cuts and bailouts for the rich, police killings of black youth, and championed the need for universal healthcare, gender equality and much more.
In a scathing indictment of Donald Trump, Barber called out the Republican presidential candidate for using “dog whistle politics,” fanning the flames of racism. Barber declared, “working poor black and white people ought to be on the same side.”
White supremacists and corporate interests are pouring millions into this election to create divisions and disrupt the process. Their goal is to capture control by discouraging people who would vote Democrat from casting their ballots.
At the same time courageous anti-racist, pro-worker and women’s rights movements are emerging in our country. They are deep in the trenches to elect Hillary Clinton and progressive candidates to Congress and down ballot. Their goal is to create a political climate where it is possible to carry on the fight and win a transformation of priorities for economic, racial, social and environmental justice.
This election is about pulling out a record vote to repudiate the Trump-Republican agenda and raise up these new democratic movements for social change.
The Moral Monday movement is laying the foundations in North Carolina and all across the South challenging unjust election laws and undemocratic policies.
The Fight for $15 has expanded far beyond fast food workers and has joined with Black Lives Matter, gender equality and youth organizations to win a living wage and the right to a union that will benefit all workers.
The AFL CIO and Working America are going door to door to speak with their sisters and brothers about how Donald Trump says the minimum wage is too high, opposes unions, and is against their interests.
Women’s organizations are working hard to make sure the Supreme Court will not be stacked by the next president to overturn Roe v. Wade, and to move forward for such basic issues as equal pay for equal work and paid family and medical leave.
Latino youth are registering to vote in record numbers and changing the political climate from Arizona to Iowa and across the country demanding comprehensive immigration reform.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is putting their lives on the line to protect their sacred ground and the water in the face of militarized police.
Our Revolution, formed by supporters of Bernie Sanders, is continuing the fight for an economy that benefits everyone, not just the 1%. They are door knocking and raising funds to elect progressives to Congress like Pramila Jayapal and Zephyr Teachout
Young people flocked to Bernie Sanders in the primary because they want to be able to start their lives unencumbered by huge student debt, racial profiling, an endangered planet and lack of living wage jobs. They know that it will take a progressive political transformation in our country to change priorities and fix America’s heart problem.
“We need a movement with power,” Rev. Barber concluded to cheers and a standing ovation in Connecticut. “We need a movement with courage. We need a movement with understanding of love and justice that cares for the soul and heart of this democracy….Clear away the racism and hatred. Bring our heart back to life.”
Rev. Barber’s seven month national tour will conclude on Sunday, November 6 at Riverside Church in New York. Themed “The Moral Revival: Time for a Revolution of Values” the events featured testimonies of people impacted by racism, xenophobia, homophobia, the lack of health care, the suppression of voting rights, poverty, low wages, immigrant discrimination, detention and deportation, predatory lending, and police brutality and mass incarceration.
Tens of thousands of people have signed on to the “Higher Ground Moral Declaration,” The final revival, “a national call to prayer, healing, action and to vote!” will be live-streamed at http://www.moralrevival.org/therevivals/nyc.
This election is about being in position to continue building that transformation from the grass roots up. A resounding defeat for Trump and the Republicans and the hate, division and bigotry they personify will create that climate.
This election is about the right to organize, the right to vote, the right to build a democracy that has a heart and cares for everyone. This election must be the start, not the end, of involvement in the struggle. Don’t miss out!