NC NAACP President: It's more important to attack policies that promote white supremacy
Posted August 19
Durham, N.C. — The president of the North Carolina NAACP called a news conference Saturday in light of recent events, saying it's not enough for activists to just remove Confederate statues.
Reverend Dr. William Barber said it's more important that politicians topple laws that promote white supremacy.
"You test politicians by the policies they pursue," he said.
Standing before a crowd at the Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, Barber said there's nothing courageous about condemning racist extremists.
"Question is, will these same political leaders renounce mean-spirited, race-driven and socially violent policies, the policies and agenda of white supremacy?" Barber said.
Barber has rallied against policies he feels are discriminatory against the black community for years with regular marches and protests.
In Saturday's conference, he attacked state laws he claims suppress the black vote, and he demanded a full restoration of the federal Voting Rights Act.
Barber also rebuked the state legislature for a law requiring local governments to get its approval before removing statues of historical figures, including those of the Confederacy. But he said just taking down statues is not enough.
"If you just pull down the statues, you don't pull down the statutes, the laws, the general statutes, we still have issues," he said.
Barber said he's not endorsing crowds to remove Confederate statues on their own, as happened Monday at the old Durham courthouse. But he applauded the peaceful demonstration in Durham on Friday.
"If you're going to march and fight for the statues to come down, let's march to the voting booths so we can take the policies down." he said.
Barber said any community that takes down a Confederate statue also has a responsibility to remove other barriers that still exist for the black community