Local News

Rev. William Barber's remarks at N.C. NAACP Winter Conference

Posted March 14, 2010 10:23 a.m. EDT

Speaking to more than 400 delegates from across North Carolina, Rev. William Barber, state conference president made the following remarks. Below are some excerpts:

“Last year we gathered in the rapture of just witnessing the inauguration of President Barak Obama, the first African American President whose election gave change a chance, but this year we gather in the reality that change is hard. This reality calls us to stay engaged because the forces of greed, division, and regression do not give up easily.

In year one hundred and one of our existence, we must hold on to the historic foundations of our organization. We are a Civil Rights organization! We are not an arm of any party, we are not afraid of any political machine, we afraid of criticism, and we are not scared to speak the truth.

So for instance, when we see school boards comprised of those who that think that having the majority of the votes on election day gives them the mandate to violate our constitution, turn back toward resegregation, and jeopardize quality education for our children, we will use every moral and legal means to fight them at the local, state, and national level ...

As a part of our resolve to fight, we amended our initial SACS complaint against the new majority caucus of the Wake County School Board in light of Dr. Burn’s removal. Furthermore, we are greatly concerned over the school board chair’s statement Thursday about dividing the school system. We fought too hard for unified school systems to go backwards, and we will not go back without using all of our moral and legal strength to fight these resegregation efforts. The policy the new board majority is planning will be bad for our community, bad for our children, and we who embrace a progressive vision must challenge their efforts."