The Reverend William J. Barber II brought the crowd to its feet with his rousing speech last night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. His impassioned call for a moral awakening to combat divide-and-conquer politics with justice illustrates the foundation of Moral Mondays, the fusion movement he helped start to bridge America’s racial and economic divide. He writes movingly about how he laid the groundwork for this diverse movement in his book The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement. This appearance is part of Rev. Barber’s fifteen-state Revival Tour, launched in April to imbue love, mercy, and morality into politics.
Here are some of last night’s highlights:
“When religion is used to camouflage meanness, we know that we have a heart problem in America.”
“Some issues are not left vs. right or liberal vs. conservative, they are right vs. wrong.”
“When we fight for 15 and a union, and universal healthcare, and public education, and immigrant rights, and LGBTQ rights, we are reviving the heart of our democracy.”
“When we love the Jewish child and the Palestinian child, the Muslim and the Christian and the Hindu and the Buddhist and those that have no faith, but they love this nation. We are reviving the heart of our democracy.”
“When we stand against the anti-democratic stronghold of the NRA, we are reviving the heart of our democracy.”
“In this season, when some want to harden and stop the heart of our democracy, we are being called like our foremothers and fathers to be the moral defibrillators of our time.”
“We must shock this nation with the power of love. We must shock this nation with the power of mercy. We must shock this nation and fight for justice for all. We can’t give up on the heart of our democracy. Not now, not ever!”
About The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II
The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II is president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and founder of Repairers of the Breach. He is the author ofForward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation. Follow him on Twitter at @.