Rev. Barber’s Moral Revolution Comes to Atlanta (UPDATE 1)
(APN) ATLANTA — Rev. William Barber, one of the leaders of North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement, brought his message of a Revival for a Moral Revolution of Values to Atlanta on Monday, May 23, 2016.
Rev. Barber’s ability to speak the truth so clearly and forcefully as a moral leader is comparable to that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The U.S. does not have a conservative or liberal problem but a heart problem, he said.
“Some have lost the heart of a human and have the heart of rabid wolves preying on people with their policies of survival of the fittest,” Rev. Barber told faith leaders and others at a packed church at St. Mark United Methodist Church on Peachtree Street.
The evening examined some policies hurting citizens.
More than 250,000 people die from poverty each year in the U.S. Thousands more die each year because of lack of healthcare and the denial of Medicaid expansion. Millions of children are homeless; and lack adequate food, housing, and education.
Voting rights are being eroded fifty years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In Georgia, it is easier to get a gun than to vote. Systemic racism plagues the U.S., as extremists drum up bigotry and hatred.
Mass incarceration is at epic portions with more young people in prison than graduating from high school. Statistics show that the U.S. has five percent of the population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.
“It does not matter which party is in power or who has the political majority, there are some things that must be challenged because they are wrong, extreme, and immoral,” Barber said.
Witnesses spoke about their experiences under immoral policy decisions by lawmakers.
A grandmother who works at Burger King broke down in tears, testifying about trying to live on minimum wage. She cannot pay her rent, utilities, and afford all the medications she needs to stay alive.
A young man working three jobs and without healthcare testified that he went to the Capitol and spoke with legislators about Medicaid expansion.
But, “their hatred and ignorance, masquerading as political ideology, made them impotent to change anything,” he said.
“We have extremist politicians who give tax cuts to the wealthy while raising taxes on the working poor. Don’t get hung up on Republicans versus Democrats, what we have is extremists that have hijacked both parties,” Rev. Barber said.
We live in a country where 400 families make approximately 100,000 dollars an hour, while we are arresting people who are fighting for fifteen dollars an hour.
650,000 people in Georgia don’t have health care; and for every 500,000 people denied health care, approximately 2,800 people die, according to a Harvard study.
Legislators “say they are pro-life… but four thousand people have died in Georgia since 2013, not because God called them home, but because the Governor and the General Assembly would not expand Medicaid,” Rev. Barber said.
“You have people all over the South that will vote against their own self interest because this demonization of race trumps common sense,” Rev. Barber said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article quoted Rev. Barber as stating that 400,000 Georgians had died prematurely due to lack of Medicaid. This number has been corrected to 4,000.