What do you do when your political party has rammed so many controversial — and downright senseless and cruel — laws through the legislature that only 20% of voters now approve of your state’s government? Apparently, if you’re a North Carolina Republican, you’ll ignore the recent abysmal Public Policy Polling numbers and growing crowds of weekly, faith-led Moral Monday protesters at the State Capitol, to double down on your mean-spirited racism, sexism, and classism. Since the North Carolina NAACP President Reverend Dr. William Barber II began leading Moral Monday at the end of April, more than 480 religious leaders and concerned citizens have been arrested for demonstrating peacefully against the onslaught of ultra-conservative GOP policies and legislation (click here to see the list we’ve compiled).
So, how do the Powers-That-Be — mainly Governor Pat McCrory, State Senate Pro Tem Leader Phil Berger, State House Speaker Thom Tillis, and North Carolina’s State Budget Director Art Pope — respond? By trying to change the subject, of course. And apparently, there’s no limit to how low these southern conservatives are willing to go. Last week, a conservative website with the high-falutin’ sounding name, Civitas Institute, launched an attack on the Moral Mondays protesters. Civitas’ new section, “The Moral Mondays Protesters,” includes statistics, a complete list of names, ages, occupations, affiliations, and dates of arrest for all of those who were arrested, and an utterly tasteless “game” called “pick the protester” featuring mug shots and trivia questions. All the better for all those
Ku Klux Klan members North Carolina Republican Party leaders who want to intimidate folks who don’t like their recent policy innovations. This dubious new website feature is so outrageously insulting and amateurishly low-minded, this writer didn’t know whether to respond with harsh invective, derisory laughter, or both.
Fortunately, Reverend Barber came up with an effective response to this blatant attempt to discredit Moral Mondays and scare off supporters: An 18 minute 22 second video entitled “Civitas: Diverting From Issues That Matter | Moral Monday” that scolds them for trying to change the conversation. Barber’s video also points out that the Civitas Insitute gets 94% — 94%! — of its funding from a rich conservative guy named Art Pope, who just happens to be McCrory’s Budget Director. In his video — taken during a recent sermon while flanked by religious and community leaders of various genders and ethnicities — Barber declares:
“I want the media to hear me, because some folk are trying to play a trick on y’all. They don’t want us to be talking about what Mayor B [Raleigh, NC Mayor Paul B. Woodson] was talking about. How they’re hurting unemployed workers, and how they’re raising taxes.”
Barber goes on to defend his and his supporters’ liberal stance against today’s conservative assumptions — as he recently encountered from a journalist:
“Somebody asked me yesterday in an interview, ‘What do you think about … you mean you support taking from the government, and giving to people?’ I say ‘what do you mean?’ And they were suggesting that we support taking from some people and giving to others who don’t deserve … I said, ‘Well, the reality is, that’s what’s happening now. The wealthy are taking resources that they don’t need from the government, and from us tax payers, to put more in their pocket, out of greed, no matter how how much grief it causes other people.'”
Then he embraces the blonde woman and a brunette woman standing next to him on the podium, grins at the camera, and crows triumphantly:
“See, they don’t want this picture in North Carolina. This doesn’t fit the picture of ‘the old South.’ And they know if THIS gets together, and all this BEHIND me gets together, and Oh! It’s a new day.”
FINALLY, someone comes out and states the obvious about today’s conservatives. That they’re basically all about keeping women, people of color, and the masses down, so wealthy white men can have the cheap, docile labor force they enjoyed back in the South’s glory days of slavery.
“So what they keep doing, is they keep trying to change the subject. Their polls are in the tank. They’ve dropped to what, 20%, under 20%? Public opinion is against them [...] The good people in North Carolina just don’t want to go backwards to this regressive, immoral public policy [...] They thought they controlled the moral ground. They thought we’d limit moral discussion to gender, sex, prayer in the schools, and abortion. [...] They didn’t expect people to stand up and begin to expose, and draw the the contrast between love and justice, and extremism. So, now what we we see them doing, is grabbing old propaganda tactics, that failed in the past, and it’s really pitiful.”
“Regressive,” “immoral,” and “pitiful?” Yep, that pretty much describes today’s Republican Party in a nutshell. And although Barber points out that the vile new material on Civitas’ site is designed to distract from the conversation, Barber vows “we’re not going to stop talking about” the North Carolina GOP’s agenda, which includes the 13 items on this list [all items quoted from Barber's video]:
- How they killed the Earned Income Tax Credit, and raised taxes on 900,000 poor people.
- How they’re trying to rewrite the tax code to cut corporate tax and personal income tax that will benefit 5% of North Carolinians so they can raise taxes on 95% of North Carolinians.
- How they pushed 70,000 people off unemployment who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
- How they’re robbing our desperate local economies of much-needed infusion of cash.
- How they denied $8 billion of our tax dollars to 500,000 North Carolinian black, white, Latino, Republican, Democrat, disabled, children and women, our most vulnerable citizens …
- The fact that they reauthorized Medicaid in the budget, but now they’re denying Medicaid expansion, [and] they’re actually going to cost tax payers more.
- How they’re inviting corporations to play fracking for dollars with our ground water.
- How they’re dismantling our public schools, defunding public schools in order to hand them over to private companies.
- How they’re attacking the cornerstone of our Democracy, which is voting.
- How they’re allowing racism to exist unchecked in our judicial system.
- How [they're] going to sell judgeships to the highest bidder.
- How they’re infringing on the rights of local governors to govern themselves.
- How they have passed more than 20 bills written by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council
Here’s the video:
Related articles from Addicting Info:
- 480 Religious Leaders Arrested On ‘Moral Monday’ For Protesting UnChristian GOP Policies (VIDEO)
- North Carolina Police Arrest Black Preachers For Praying In Protest Of Extreme GOP Agenda (VIDEO)
- Multiple Arrests Of Liberal Activists In North Carolina (You Read That Right) Breed More Protests