His critics called him names, and viewed his protest movement with sarcasm and amusement. After the Republican victories in 2010 and the takeover of the General Assembly in 2011, Republicans felt all-powerful and Democrats, many of them anyway, felt hopeless. The now-minority party seemed to stumble.
The Rev. William Barber, a Goldsboro preacher, had a booming voice and a looming presence and he minced no words when attacking Republicans. Now he’s announced he’s leaving as head of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP to help organize a new “Poor People’s Campaign” out of Washington.
Barber created “Moral Mondays.” Oh, how some Republicans made fun of the people marching through the Legislative Building, which some GOP members seemed mistakenly to view as their building. Barber taught them differently, and he brought hundreds and hundreds of people to Raleigh on those Mondays, across the social and professional spectrum. People would see pictures of protesters being arrested on the front page of The News & Observer and call in to verify their identities: “But that was a doctor!” “That was my English professor last semester!”
Something was happening, and though Republicans continued to rule with disregard for those who dared to differ with them, they couldn’t ignore Moral Mondays. Or William Barber.