Make ‘our votes sound like thunder’

On Sunday, Oct. 28 the Repairers of the Breach, Union Baptist Church and the NAACP hosted a National Moral Revival and Get-Out-The-Vote-Rally.

Make ‘our votes sound like thunder’
November 01
04:00 2018

With the countdown to Election Day at just over a week, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II urged hundreds of citizens at Union Baptist Church last Sunday evening to make their votes sound like thunder in order to bring about change here in North Carloina and across the country.

“It’s time to make our voice and our votes sound like thunder; 107 million can’t stay home, 50 percent of black folks can’t stay home. We have to raise our voice and our votes like thunder,” said Barber. “It’s time to march to the polls and bring the thunder until racism is ended; thunder until everybody has health care; thunder until we have a living wage; thunder until immigrants are taken care of. It’s time to put some control on Trump. It’s time to thunder.  

“… if we ever needed to vote, we need to vote right now. I’m a witness that if we do our part, God will bless our efforts.” 

Barber’s visit to the Twin City was part of a National Moral Revival and Get-Out-The -Vote Rally hosted by the Repairers of the Breach – a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c) (3) tax exempt social justice organization that seeks to build a moral agenda rooted in a framework that uplifts our deepest moral and constitutional values – Union Baptist Church, and the NAACP. 

Barber started a three-state get-out-the-vote tour that will take him to North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, The Associated Press reported. The tour started last Friday in Flat Rock and will go to four other North Carolina locations besides Winston-Salem: Henderson, Dunn, Warsaw, and two stops in Greensboro. On Nov. 3, Barber goes to Atlanta and then Cuthbert, Georgia. The tour ends Nov. 4 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Barber is known as the architect of the “Moral Monday” movement in North Carolina, where he also was president of the state chapter of the NAACP. He is doing the get-out-the-vote effort through his role as president of Repairers of the Breach, an organization focused on several groups, including communities of color, workers and immigrants.

The goal of the Winston-Salem event was to galvanize citizens ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6, and shine a light on the issues that could sway voters and votes a certain way. Speakers during the event touched on a number of topics, including voter suppression, gerrymandering and the myth of voter fraud. 

As he stood before the hundreds of citizens and candidates in attendance, Barber said that in 2016, in North Carolina alone 500,000 black voters stayed home instead of going to the polls. [Donald Trump won the state by 173,315.] He said this year black voters can’t afford to stay at home.

“Voter suppression is wrong, and voter apathy is wrong, too.” Barber said. 

Other speakers at the event included Attorney Caitlin Swain-McSurely, director of Blueprint NC Erin Byrd; national NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson; and award-winning national journalist Roland Martin. 

Martin, who is most known as the host of “News One Now,” formerly on the TV One network, brought the crowd to its feet when he said, when you look at everything that has been put in the way to keep black people from voting, North Carolina is the Alabama of the 21st century. 

“North Carolina has operated in the exact same vein as Alabama and Mississippi, and you might as well say Republicans in this state are walking in the same vein as Ross Barnett in Mississipppi and George Wallace in Alabama,” Martin said. 

Johnson said, “Our vote is like currency and in this democracy, if we don’t exercise that collective currency, we’re going to get what we deserve. But I do believe with strategy and inspiration, we’re going to get what we need because we’re going to show up in North Carolina. We’re going to show up in Georgia. We’re going to show up in Florida. We’re going to show everywhere we need to show up.”

Following the event, several citizens said they were moved by the powerful messages delivered by Barber, Martin and others. While making her way to her car, Janice Robinson said, “If that didn’t make you want to go out and vote nothing will.” 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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