I Stand with Reverend Dr. Barber

Me and Reverend Barber, May 2017

Perhaps you’ve seen by now the photos of evangelical religious leaders praying with their hands upon President Trump. Rev. Barber called it “theological malpractice” to pray for a man preying on the weak, which apparently really got some people’s (I’ll let you decide which groups they belong to as I am not willing to label them) red up.

You’re under no obligation to agree with Reverend Barber and you’re welcome to quote Timothy all you like and pray for the POTUS. But that’s not the whole story.

What really happened is Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore of the NC General Assembly, posted this message above and received over 1600 comments, many racist, abusive and threatening, in under 8 hours. I’m not friends with Berger, so based only on the legislation he’s proposed and passed, I’m going to say he used this article as a political stunt, and used the words “inflammatory” specifically to be inflammatory while being able to claim he wasn’t.

Why? Because the NCGA has refused to redraw its unconstitutional districts, despite court and executive orders. It was just announced an hour ago that the NCGA Select Committee will have a hearing on gerrymandering 7/26. So I contacted a representative on that committee (a Democrat) who told me he just received the same public notice with no head’s up or information whatsoever. That hearing July 26 is just one day before the Courts will be taking the gerrymandered districts case back up. And what does this have to do with Reverend Barber?

Reverend Barber is the most vocal civil rights leader and critic of gerrymandering. I believe this Facebook stunt was designed to discredit the opposition leader, just before the hearing, the court date and the NCGA special session starting 8/3, because Reverend Barber has been at the center of the fight against gerrymandering and has pooled the largest coalition of all kinds of people together to demand fair and independent redistricting.

It’s easy to get distracted, completely and totally nauseated by the hateful rhetoric spilled by over 1600 of Berger’s followers. But it isn’t about Barber. The real hope is that if Barber is discredited, he will not be able to bring people together, out en-masse, to protest racial gerrymandering. This point is to keep the people at home, and allow the legislature to continue to ignore us.

The irony of course is that many of these same people receive Medicaid, Medicare, Unemployment, WIC, etc. While they suggest LYNCHING Rev Barber, he’s standing up for them too on Capital Hill again today.

That’s why I stand with Reverend Barber. No matter who you are, Reverend Barber is out there fighting for us all.