For me, one of the highlights of last week’s Netroots Nation conference was the powerful, riveting speech by Rev. William Barber, the charismatic leader of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays movement. He spoke about “a moral movement for a moral crisis as the only way to higher ground” and what he calls the “moral fusion movement”. There have been several times in the history of the USA when our country faced a catastrophic moral crisis — slavery and the civil rights era, for example — and a movement rose up to meet and defeat it.
Today, Rev. Barber told us, we face a similar crisis and a new movement must rise up to meet it.
He also told us about the “snake line”. “My son is an environmental physicist,” Rev. Barber said, “and he told me, ‘Daddy, if you ever get lost in mountainous territory … don’t walk out through the valley but climb up the mountain to higher ground. Reptiles,” he said, “are cold-blooded. They can’t survive up there. In America, we’ve got to get our policies above the snake line! We’ve got to get to higher ground.”
“There are some snakes out here!” Barber boomed. “There are some low-down policies out here! There’s some poison out here! Going backwards on voting rights, that’s below the snake line! Going backwards on civil rights, that’s below the snake line! Hurting people just because they have a different sexuality, that’s below the snake line! Stomping on poor people just because you’ve got power, that’s below the snake line! Denying health care to the sick and keeping children from opportunity, that’s below the snake line!”
Set aside an hour to watch this incredible speech and prepare to be knocked out of your seat.