There is no rest for the weary as the N.C. NAACP reignites its Moral Monday movement to remind the Republican governor and GOP-controlled General Assembly that their brand of lawmaking is not only amoral but unholy.
The protests – during which droves of frustrated residents from throughout the state gather peacefully in the vestibule of the General Assembly – have reaped attention from across the nation and around the world, but, as conservatives are quick to point out, the protestors’ silent indignation hasn’t swayed any of those it’s meant to influence. None of the lawmakers responsible for last session’s reprehensible and repressive legislation have seen the error of their ways, none have sought penance for their sins.
So have the protests all been for naught? The right wants people to believe they are a headline-grabbing waste of time. We say their constant push to diminish the movement and those in it are clear signs that the impact of Moral Mondays is much more than meets the eye.
Conservative lawmakers have fought the movement from the beginning, even pushing aside the Constitution they claim to love so dearly to try to curtail the rights of protestors, who have been arrested (and convicted) for protesting in what is supposed to be the people’s house. This week, Gov. McCrory pushed to have Monday’s Moral Monday Service of Redemption moved from the grounds of the State Capitol, seemingly because the site is just a stone’s throw away from the offices of the governor and his staff. The Service of Redemption intended to extend an olive branch to McCrory and General Assembly leaders.
“I renew our request that you to call a special redemption session for the purpose of rescinding the cold-hearted immoral decision to reject federal funds for health insurance for nearly 500,000 of our North Carolina neighbors who are poor,” NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber wrote in a letter to McCrory.
Barber won’t be holding his breath until McCrory and company capitulate. Monday’s Service of Redemption – like the Moral Monday Movement – worked to shame the devil(s). Like all evil and acts of immorality, these lawmakers want to do their bidding in the dark, away from prying eyes and with little fanfare – like the drug pusher or larcenist.
The Moral Monday Movement makes it hard for them to simply pull down the shades. Knowing that someone is watching you as you do all you can to punish the poor, disenfranchise minority voters and bully teachers has to be disconcerting; knowing that these watchers are letting the world know about your nefarious deeds has to be even more unsettling.
Moral Mondays have been successful because it has forced lawmakers to be accountable for all the chaos and pain they’ve wreaked. Because of them, kids who could have health coverage are forced to go without treatment, teachers with great love for the profession are forced to seek work in careers with better economic prospects, men may unjustly die via lethal injection because one of the avenues to prove their innocence was road-blocked.
Indeed, a Moral Monday is needed for those whose work is amoral Monday through Sunday.