Editorial: Will people follow the movement?

Editorial: Will people follow the movement?
May 28
00:00 2015

In photo above: The Rev. Curtis Gatewood of the N.C. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. (Photo by Erin Mizelle for the Winston-Salem Chronicle.)

An N.C. NAACP official was in town last week [May 21] for a program designed to rally supporters of the moral movement the organization is leading. The push for supporters is in advance of the hearing of N.C. NAACP v. McCrory, the voting rights lawsuit against North Carolina, at the federal courthouse in Winston-Salem on July 13.

The lawsuit covers several areas called repressive to voting rights, including:
It requires voters to show government-issued ID cards, shortens early voting by a week; ends same-day registration; increases the number of poll observers who can challenge a voter’s eligibility; and eliminates preregistration for high school students.
The law also ends the practice of voting for every candidate of a single party with a simple stroke, called straight-ticket voting.

The Rev. Curtis Gatewood, an N.C. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People official who is working with the movement, said the movement will hold educational workshops on voting rights and other issues pertaining to injustice in the morning and a rally in the afternoon of July 13 as the case is being heard in Winston-Salem.

With such a momentous event coming, the N.C. NAACP is wise to start organizing. The question is, will the people follow?
Gatewood spoke to a small crowd of people on Thursday, May 21, the 150th anniversary to the day that the Emancipation Proclamation was read in the forerunner of St. Philips Moravian Church in Old Salem.

St. Philips celebrated the anniversary of the announcement of freedom for slaves with a program called “Ever Forward to Freedom.” The organizers of the program contend that African-Americans and others are not yet free because of the laws that attack equal rights, such as regressive voting rights laws and laws against equal pay for women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“We’re an inclusive movement because we believe every human being deserves justice,” Gatewood said. He said the moral movement is a coalition of various races and interests who want justice.

The program at St. Philips featured several ministers and speakers who referred to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus and the moral obligation people have to fight injustice. Most of the speakers were African-American, but most of those who attended the program were white. Local ministers, including one who works with youth, said they support the moral movement, which has been visible as Moral Mondays, the HKonJ Coalition and the Forward Together Moral Movement. They say they will start organizing for the July 13 rally.

The hope is that this program will start the momentum toward a large presence on July 13 as the moral movement comes to Winston-Salem.

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