It was a celebratory time. I really enjoyed attending two caucuses, the one for people of faith (Unitarian Universalist, in case you're wondering about affiliation), and one for voting rights.
By the way, this diary was originally posted as a comment to ExPatGirl's live feed of the speech of the Rev. Dr. William Barber -
Thanks so much to ExPatGirl for the quote which I added to a picture I found...
The voting rights caucus was riveting. Led by Melissa Harris-Perry, (UU btw), the keynote speaker was Rep. John Lewis. I had just finishing his stirring account of his days in the civil rights movement, "Walking With The Wind." I had also started a Facebook group at that time concerning the PA Voter ID bill. It quickly had over 100 members.
Listening to Rep. Lewis was both inspiring and heartbreaking. Inspiring for his message of one who marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. In 1965, Rep. Lewis suffered a fractured skull as the troopers advanced on the marchers at the Edmund Pettus bridge. Heartbreaking, because after all that Rep. Lewis and many others had endured fighting for the right to vote, some paying with their lives, 47 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we still had to be informed about this new wholesale attack on voting rights in many states.
This was a battle that, seemingly won with the VRA, was now entering a new phase of discrimination - threatening to once again deprive citizens of their right to vote, but using new language to disguise the true intentions of these laws, many of which were also coupled with changes or complete elimination of long standing voting practices, like early voting.
A "voter ID" law sounds so innocuous and rational. The arguments were neatly packaged and injected into the right wing echo chamber - "you need an ID to board a plane, apply for a job, drive a car, so why not have one so you can prove your identity before voting?"
When the facts of actual voter fraud are presented to supporters of these laws, they basically clamp their hands over their ears and reply "but voter fraud!"
Let's save our breath. I will not persuade these fearful people that voter ID laws are morally wrong.
The enemies of equality and justice for all have changed. But I still recognize them. They no longer don white robes and ride through the night, but instead are broadcasting their message of hate on AM radio stations, on Fox News, and yes, even through some pulpits. I know this sounds harsh, but no holy book would ever preach these words. I do not hate them. I cannot hate them. I can only hope that they will see that moving backwards in time will be resisted by the good people of this country.
And so I joined the Moral March in Raleigh, NC, because the brutal rollback of progressive laws in the state of North Carolina, including the restriction of voting, must be stopped. The intersection of social justice and politics was on the streets of Raleigh on Saturday. February 8, 2014.
My hope is that this moral march will become a movement everywhere in this country, where the politics of fear and hate have begun to creep back, under the guise of voter ID, and other ALEC initiatives, like Stand Your Ground laws.
Let this march roll down through this country, in every state, washing away the new Jim Crow laws, the new Poll Tax laws, and ANY law that was sponsored by ALEC. We the People will make the laws, not we the corporations.
I was proud to attend this march as a member of the UUFP - www.uupoconos.org - I would like to thank the board president, who is also my wonderful wife, Susan, for allowing me to go. I was proud to be Standing (and marching) On the Side of Love.