By Jesse Wood
Oct. 23, 2014. A light, yet enthusiastic crowd turned out to hear N.C. NAACP President Rev. William Barber, who is well known as the leader of the “Moral Monday” movement, speak on the Jones House lawn on Wednesday morning.
With early voting starting tomorrow and Election Day less than two weeks away, the event sponsored by the N.C. NAACP and the Forward Together Movement was intended to mobilize voters across the state.
The “Moral March to the Polls Rally” called for voters to march to polling sites on the first day of early voting.
In a release prior to the event, the Watauga NAACP said the event was being held because of the passage of a “massive voter suppression bill, and [with] the avalanche of extreme and immoral legislation that was passed during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, North Carolinians know now more than ever the importance of the vote.”
Barber spoke for about 15 minutes on Wednesday before heading to other counties in Western North Carolina.
His talk veered from the lack of Medicaid expansion and injustices in the criminal justice system to education. He even referenced a controversial political ad funded by the N.C. Republican Party that shows an angry-looking Barber next to Sue Counts, who is running against Rep. Jonathan Jordan, with text that says, “Reverend Barber and Sue Counts Plan for North Carolina: Raise Taxes by $7 Billion.”
“I’ve had people put me in ads and I am not even running,” Barber said to laughter. “So that means they must be very afraid. Whenever you have to put somebody who is not even running in your ads to try to race bait and make the Forward Together Movement about black people. Look at all the black people here. It seems that they just can’t handle the fact that we are black, we are white, we are young, we are old, we are gay, we are straight, we are Republican, we are Democrat, we are North Carolina and we aren’t going anywhere.”
Watch the entire speech in the video above.