12-11-2017  10:41 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

'Santaland' on Display at Oregon Historical Society

New exhibit features Santa’s throne, Rudolph, and elves from original Meier and Frank’s Santaland ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

Why We Need More Black Men in Early Childhood Education

Royston Maxwell Lyttle discusses the importance of Black male teachers in early childhood education for the NNPA ESSA Media Campaign ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Julianne Malveaux
By Julianne Malveaux NNPA Columnist

The North Carolina NAACP President, Rev. William Barber, tore it up and then threw down in a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention on July 28th. He called on those assembled to be a “moral defibrillator of our time,” to shock our nation with the power of love and morality. Rev. Barber did not use the word “endorse,” but urged delegates to “embrace” Clinton, and his rousing rhetoric was challenging and inspirational

Rev. Barber is a committed and tenacious activist. He founded the “Forward Together Moral Movement”, and has organized “Moral Mondays” in North Carolina. For the past three years, Moral Monday activists have gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina, and used protest and civil disobedience to shine light on the many ways North Carolina has attempted to erode voting rights, and move the state backwards on economic justice issues.

“When I hear Hillary’s voice and positions,” Barber said, “I hear and I know she is working to embrace our deepest moral values, and we should embrace her,” he said. “She nor any person can do it alone. The watchword of this democracy is ‘we.’”

What are we, the people going to do in the aftermath of the political conventions? Some have said they will stay home, but watching the difference between the gathering of Democrats and that of Republicans should remind us that staying home should not be an option. Stay home, and leave our choice of leadership to others? Stay home and co-sign the hateful comments Mr. Trump made during his convention? Rev.

Barber has called the democratic watchword “we,” and Hillary Clinton talked about Democratic inclusiveness, which contrasts with that we observed with Republicans. What are “we” going to do?

President Barack Obama set Secretary Clinton up nicely with his Wednesday evening speech, singing her praises and passing the baton. She caught the baton handily, offering a speech that exceeded my every expectation. The speech was full of grit and grace, humor and humility, respect and reaching out to the Bernie folks. Not only could I hear the glass ceiling shattering, but also I hoped that the world could see this woman as Commander-in-Chief.

Rev. Barber reminds us, though, that we are all part of the “we the people.” He reminds us that we are only committed to democracy when we are actively involved in it. It’s not just about a convention, or a vote. It is about an imperative to transform a system that is flawed. Rev. Barber talked about the “Fight for Fifteen,” the Black Lives Matter movement, and the missing morality in our nation now. Even as he urged us to embrace Hillary, he also urged us to embrace justice.

President Obama reminds us that democracy can be frustrating and messy. Rev. Barber reminded us that it can also be moral and loving, if we make the collective decision to rally around key principles and to engage in the process of compromise. We also have to remember that democracy is practiced with more frequency than every four years.

Voting is not the most we can do. It is the least we can do. Real democracy exists when people like Rev. William Barber gather people weekly to fight for voting rights, when he speaks up with regularity on the need for political and economic transformation. We exhibit our commitment to democracy when we hold our leaders accountable, when we pressure them to do the right thing, when we remind them of their campaign promises.

Those Bernie Sanders supporters who choose to remain engaged in the political process have the responsibility to continue to push their progressive agenda at the national, state, and local levels. Indeed, they honor their movement and their struggle by continuing to feel a burning desire for social and economic justice. If Sanders’ supporters decide to pick up their marbles and go home, because their candidate did not win, it suggests that they are committed to personality, not democracy.

Our system is far from perfect, but it’s the system we have. We can change it if we are committed to democracy. Or, we can accept imperfections, if we eschew activism.

Thank you, Hillary Clinton for reminding us of your service. Thank you, Rev. Barber for reminding us that Secretary Clinton won’t be able to achieve much, unless we work with her. If you can listen to William Barber and fail to get fired up, you have truly embraced apathy. Barber is a role model, because of his fierce commitment to democracy.

 

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via www.Amazon.com for more information visit www.juliannemakveaux.com.

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

MLK breakfast 2018 300x100

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Family Care Health