Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Bishop William Barber receives MacArthur "Genius" award

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Shining a light in the darkness of social injustice:

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on Thursday named 25 people, including academics, activists, artists, scholars and scientists, who will receive $625,000 over five years to use as they please.

Rev. William Barber, former president of the North Carolina NAACP, was among the 2018 winners, honored for his work to build coalitions to fight racial and economic injustice. Barber, the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, oversaw the Forward Together Movement, which held weekly "Moral Monday" marches and sit-ins while the General Assembly was in session for several years to protest laws passed by the Republican-controlled legislature on issues from voting rights to Medicaid.

I'm not usually one of those people who demand protocol be followed, and Barber himself would probably rebuke me for pushing the issue, but: He should no longer be referred to simply as "Reverend" Barber. In addition to his PhD which should be acknowledged, he has also been elevated to Bishop. And it's not just an honorary title or North Carolina-specific, it's the real deal:

Republicans lose their minds over Reverend Barber's comment about praying for Trump

Better break out the smelling salts:

Religious leaders gathered in the Oval Office laid hands on President Donald Trump to pray that God gives him guidance, wisdom and protection. On MSNBC’s “AM Joy” on Saturday morning, Barber called the prayer “theological malpractice bordering on heresy.” “It is a form of theological malpractice that borders on heresy when you can p-r-a-y for a president and others when they are p-r-e-y, preying on the most vulnerable,” Barber said. “You’re violating the most sacred principles of religion.”

Barber’s comments set the North Carolina Republican Party ablaze. In a news release on Sunday, the party said it was “shocked and outraged” over Barber’s “claim that it’s a sin to pray for President Trump.”

Barber's right. I've never seen such a level of religious hypocrisy than that which surrounds Trump. He not only violates the Ten Commandments on a daily (if not hourly) basis, he doesn't even remotely resemble what the New Testament outlines as a good Christian, let alone a leader of such. And where is the GOP's outrage when televangelists describe Trump as some sort of Prophet, divinely inspired by God? Crickets. Make no mistake, Trump's embrace of religious dogma has a lot more to do about coldly calculating the number of Christians out there than it does any sort of heart-felt beliefs:

Magistrate ignores 2013 court finding with ban on Reverend Barber

Refusing to acknowledge dictates from judges is becoming a habit with Republicans:

The ban also applies to 31 other protesters arrested that day during a health-care sit-in after they refused to clear the hallways outside legislative leaders’ office. The ban was a condition of the protesters’ release from jail, set by Wake County magistrate Jeffrey L. Godwin as he charged them with second-degree trespassing. General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock said Friday that his agency didn’t ask the magistrate to set those conditions, but he said he plans to make the request for future arrests of protesters.

Geeta Kapur, an attorney for Barber and the NAACP, says the ban is unconstitutional. She points to the provision in the state constitution that says “the people have a right to assemble together ... to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances.” She pointed to a 2013 decision by a judge to throw out a similar ban on arrested protesters. Since then, most arrests at “Moral Monday” protest events have not included a ban on entering the Legislative Building as a condition of release.

The GOP is notorious for resurrecting bad ideas and questionable legal practices every few years or so, just to see if they will stick, and this ban is no different. And if another judge throws it out, they'll do it again next year or the year after. Precedent? We don't need no stinking precedent, we make this shit up as we go.

HKonJ and Moral March happening right now

Once again, taking to the streets for justice:

The North Carolina NAACP’s biggest march of the year returns Saturday amid a bitter political climate that’s resulted in large protests almost weekly. The Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People’s Assembly is now in its 11th year, and if the crowds at the recent Women’s March and other events are any indication, it could draw a record crowd.

On the agenda: Rallying support for the Affordable Care Act amid Republican efforts to repeal the health law known as Obamacare, as well as opposition to President Donald Trump’s plans to build a Mexican border wall and his immigration order – which the president of the state NAACP, the Rev. William Barber II, says is “nothing more than a Muslim ban.”

It's unfortunate (and by "unfortunate" I mean piss-poor planning) the NCDP SEC meeting and HKonJ were scheduled to coincide, because fusion simply can't happen when elements are separated from each other. Not to put too fine a point on it, but timing is an integral facet of strategic thinking, and opportunities lost are just that. Lost. Sermon over, here's some pictures:

Demonstrators march in Bladenboro for Lennon Lacy

Too many questions still remain:

Hundreds of protesters joined with the state chapter of the NAACP in a march in Bladenboro to call for a thorough federal investigation of a black teen whose death was ruled a suicide.

Lacy was found last summer hanging from a noose fashioned from two belts and tied to a swing set in Bladenboro. Family members and NAACP officials have called his death a "possible race-based homicide" and said local authorities rushed to reach a conclusion and didn't fully investigate the case.

Pretty sure it was a belt and a dog leash, neither of which belonged to the victim. It's inconsistencies in the media coverage like that which scream for a much more detailed investigation, and any embarrassment on the part of local law enforcement falls on their shoulders alone.

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