NC HEAT will be joining with thousands of other students, young people, parents, civil rights activists, members of the faith community, and other community organizations this Tuesday, July 20 at 10am at the Raleigh Convention Center for the mass demonstration against re-segregation being organized by the NAACP. Two members of NC HEAT will speak from the main stage, and we’ll be out in full force to stop the plans to take our schools back to the days of Jim Crow segregation. Later that day, we’ll join with other folks at the school board meeting to make our voices against the Re-segregationist 5 heard loud and clear! The following is a message from Rev Barber, president of the NC NAACP, urging everyone to come out to the march! NO TO RESEGREGATION!
Why We Must Mass Mobilize Against Resegregation In Wake County NC-A Local, State, And National Issue
By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
Over the weekend I have spent some time reflecting on the moral philosophy contained in so much of our nations written ideals. Beautiful Words like “We The People….” Strong Commitments like, ‘indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Righteous hope for change, found in the words to our second national anthem, America the Beautiful, “America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law”.
I spent a moment with Justice Marshall’s writings. All last week, I watched the right wing Senators malign him during Ms. Kagan’s confirmation hearings. And I reflected on what Justice Marshall said at the U.S. Constitution’s 200th birth day, in 1987:
“The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendant of an African slave. “We the People” no longer enslave. But the credit does not belong to the Framers. It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of “liberty,” “justice,” and “equality,” and who strived to better them”.
I considered how my own mother, who still works in the public education system and my father who is now deceased were apart of those who refused to acquiesce who worked to end segregation in this state.
And then I thought about the great call of my faith tradition in regards to community, as found in the King James Bible Galatians chapter 3: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
After this time of reflection, I felt a fresh sense of urgency as to why we must stand in unity and Mass Mobilize against what the anti- diversity, right-wing, tea-party sympathizing, resegregationist caucus is doing in Wake County. In the face of overwhelming opposition, these five people-I don’t care where they are from . . .I care about how they are hurting our children-are marching forward to the ideology of their right-wing sponsors. Tearing us apart; using our children as pawns in their cynical aim to destroy public education and socio-economic diversity. Our children are being used as tools of division.
We must see this as a state and national issue. They are trying to create a false dichotomy by suggesting, without an ounce of empirical research. . . without a drop of moral underpinnings. . . that Wake County’s commitment to socio-economic diversity is the enemy of school excellence. The truth, and the research both say the opposite: socio-economic diversity is the friend of school excellence.
Their concept of ‘Neighborhood’ is too narrow. They want private schools with public dollars for those who can afford to move to rich neighborhoods in the suburbs. And they want pools of misery in high-poverty, racially-identifiable schools for the poor, who have been jammed into certain sections of Raleigh by red-lining, discriminatory lending and zoning policies and practices, and other legacies which had their genesis in the profane rational for slavery and not-so-long ago racist practices in our society. Continue reading