We have neither read nor heard anyone so succinctly and passionately eviscerate the idea of putting civil rights to a popular vote than the Reverend Dr. William J. Barber of North Carolina. Sadly, the state did not heed his eloquent speech laden with facts, history, and literary allusions. Mercifully, however, other states have.
“The question would have been all along,” Reverend Barber said. “not ‘how do you feel about same-sex marriage’ but ‘do you believe that a majority, by popular vote, should get to decide the rights of a minority?'”
But it’s beginning at 4:47 that the reverend puts a fire to the kettle a la Martin Luther King Jr. by way of Atticus Finch:
“Do you believe in the South — with all of our ugly issues — in the South — where if we had had to vote on the laws that protect us today in the South … some of them, if we put them up for a popular vote today [wouldn’t pass]. If we put the Voting Rights Act up for a vote today in the South — if we put the Civil Rights Act of ’64 up for a vote today in the South — the Fair Housing vote today in the South — it would probably be defeated.
“Do you believe that in the South we ought be putting people’s rights up for a vote? In the South for a popular vote?
We believe everyone should hear this brilliant diatribe and we ask that you share this with your friends via social media if you’re so inclined. Post it to your wall, tweet it, pin it, and link it in. And while you’re at it, throw in a “My, my!” and a “Yes, Lord” because the right reverend is about to take us all to the Church of the Most Righteous Mind.