50 Years Later – Rev. William Barber Will Take Up MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign

The good Reverend is one of the best speakers on the firmament and a worthy torch bearer for MLK’s great unfulfilled movement on behalf of human rights for the poor. He’s announced that he’s leaving his post as head of the NC NAACP to take up the mantle of MLK’s challenge to capitalist economics and lead a national moral revival.

In this time, it’s all the more important to agitate on state levels – grass roots movements.

“Extremism is at work in other states and has gained power in all three branches of our federal government, much as it did here four years ago,” Barber said Monday in North Carolina. “We know that the way to change the nation is to nationalize state movements. We have to do it with a state-up model.”

I think it’s worth noting the reaction of the head of the NC GOP (effectively the NAACP’s opposition in the state):

At hearing news that Barber will leave the NAACP to advance the Poor People’s Campaign, the chair of the state GOP told The News & Observer, “I think it would have helped him and his causes had he been more of a negotiator than an agitator.” Responding to this characterization Monday, the Rev. Nancy Petty, a colleague and supporter of Barber argued that his approach had worked in the state and said, “Reverend Barber, we’re sending you into the world to be an agitator.”

The difference between negotiating and agitating is a fundamental one and often the rhetorical/philosophical conflict between Democrats as well as Republicans.  Rev. Barber (like MLK before him and Gandhi before him) knows that there is no negotiating for human rights, equality and the moral treatment of people – you agitate until they grant you in human law what natural law demands.  Anything less, any compromise in this regard is a collaboration with immorality.  This is fundamentally not a political issue where compromise is mother’s milk, it’s just fought over in the political arena due to the massive ongoing failure of our humanity.

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