Rev. Barber: We are witnessing the birth pangs of a Third Reconstruction

We need a moral movement to create change.

Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter of the NAACP and architect of the protests known as “Moral Monday, speaks during a Bible study at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. CREDIT: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

by William Barber

On election night I felt a great sadness for America — not a Democratic or Republican sadness, but a sadness for the heart and soul of the nation. It is impossible to react to the election of Donald Trump with anything less than moral outrage. Trump is, as David Remnick wrote for The New Yorker, “vulgarity unbounded,” and his election has not only struck fear in the hearts of the vulnerable but also given rise to hundreds of documented cases of harassment and intimidation.

Trump ran his campaign sensing the feeling of dispossession and anxiety among millions of voters — white voters, in the main. And many of those voters — not all, but many — followed Trump because he was willing to trumpet their fury and affirm their sense, deeply rooted in this nation’s history of race and class, that a new world had conspired against their interests. Trump offered no answers to their fears. He merely said, “You are right to be afraid and very afraid. Obama is the bogeyman of coming diversity that will undo the world you grew up knowing, and I alone can save you.”

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