More About NC’s “Moral Mondays”

Re-running this, because it kinda got overlooked early this morning, and I owe commentor Betsy:

Looks like the big Moral Monday will be June 23. Legislature is about to finish its dirty business and wrap up the session, so it would be worth publicizing what will probably be the big finale to the weekly protests.

I can’t stress this enough: People in other states should be interested in the Moral Monday movement.

My elevator pitch version is this — This is a purple state. And what happened here can happen in any purple state — just as it did in Ohio and Wisconsin. The statehouse got bought after Citizens United opened the floodgate to corporate / richie-rich cash, and red gerrymandering skewed the Congressional districts, so that even though a majority of NC voters voted for Democrats, 9 out of 13 reps sent to DC were Republicans. “Your state is next” is what I tell people who think “oh well that’s just the stupid south” — North Carolina hasn’t been the “stupid south” for a long time … it’s more like Ohio and this can happen in any purple state thanks to our Citizens United overlords.

The national media has ALMOST totally whiffed on this story…

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33 replies
  1. 1
    Poopyman says:

    You say “almost totally whiffed” like it was an accident. It’s not.

  2. 2
    GRANDPA john says:

    @Poopyman: they are simply doing what they are paid to do.

  3. 3
    PJ says:

    I read this post, and I at the end of it, I had no idea what a “Moral Monday” was. (Is there an immoral Tuesday the day after?) Perhaps the media is ignoring it because people in support of it, whatever it is, have some difficulty in articulating their message.

  4. 4
    RepubAnon says:

    Now if there were 3 people wearing tricorner hats and playing the “Open Carry” game, the media would be on it like rats on cheese.

  5. 5
    Long Tooth says:

    @Poopyman: That sounds about right to me. “Help us before we vote again”.

  6. 6
    Bostondreams says:

    I work in the Department of Public Instruction, and the rally is right outside my buikding. It was huggggggge and loud today. Great to see.

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    The NC state treasurer scandal should be included. They are trying to replace a transparency bill(on private equity disclosure and fund costs) with a pseudo-transparency bill.

  8. 8
    Cassidy says:

    Eh. It’s not about HRC and her current opinion on something asinine. Who cares?

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    This state is totally in the pocket of a wingnut homophobic billionaire named Art Pope. He owns the governor and the legislature, and in turn is owned by the Koch brothers. They’re looking to flip the US Senate to the GOP with millions of dollars of disinformation here and in a few other swing states.

    But you mostly knew that.

  10. 10
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    My NC sisters tell me the popular name for Gov. McCrory is Gov. McCrony.
    @Bostondreams: So glad to hear that .. wish I could have been there.

  11. 11
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @PJ:

    Perhaps the media is ignoring it because people in support of it, whatever it is, have some difficulty in articulating their message.

    Or they’re not rich and/or white and/or right wing bathroom tile scuzz.

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    Maddow, Rev.Al, Ed Schultz, MHP, Larry O, Hayes- they have consistently reported on this story.

  13. 13
    sharl says:

    Actually, a guest post from someone on the ground in NC who could explain this movement from the inside would be something I’d read the heck out of. If not, say, commenter Betsy, maybe someone from Tarheel Country who knows all about this would be willing to write something up?

    In the meantime, here’s the Wikipedia entry for Moral Mondays. And from the always good* Jane Mayer, here is information about rich dude Art Pope who is behind so much of the rightwing destructive shenanigans going on there. And here’s a 2013 Washington Post article that covers the hard rightward turn that took place in NC politics, which gave rise to Moral Mondays as an organized protest movement.

    *Well, at least post-Big Dawg

  14. 14
    mainmata says:

    Yep, did mostly know that. Have a sister in Charlotte and a bunch of friends in Raleigh. And there’s progressives in the RTI complex. But I guess the rurals have been chomping at the bit to reverse the slow liberal trend that started in the 1960s and sounds like it is working. Wake up NC!

  15. 15
    Kay says:

    Reverend Barber isn’t allowed on the second floor, although he may be allowed on the first and third floors:

    Lieutenant Marvin Brock of the General Assembly police said he began removing demonstrators from the second-floor rotunda area after officers received noise complaints.
    Though Brock was not certain who lodged all the complaints, at least one lawmaker complained during a Senate discussion about a charter school bill.
    “Mr. President, it’s hard to hear Sen. McKissick,” Republican Sen. Jerry Tillman, a Republican representing Montgomery and Randolph counties, said to the chamber’s leader.
    The Rev. William J. Barber II, head of the state NAACP and an organizer of the “Moral Monday movement” spreading across the South, was asked to leave the second floor or risk arrest.
    Barber was arrested in 2013 and his criminal case is still active in Wake County Superior Court. Because of that, Barber has been barred from the second floor. But many times since his arrest, he has been permitted to gather there with demonstrators until the civil disobedience began.
    On Monday night, Brock told the NAACP president he would have to leave and cited the judge’s order as his reason.
    Though Barber disagreed with the assessment, he left the building briefly while other protesters stayed and continued singing.
    Barber returned later to the third floor and spoke to the demonstrators from there.

  16. 16
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    Kay, Rev. Barber is the REAL DEAL. They are so scared of him. But. He will NOT be silenced.

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    I’m guessing that one of the reasons Rev. Barber temporarily left was to call his lawyer and let him/her know he might be arrested that night. Civil rights lawyers like to know those things about their clients. ;-)

  18. 18
    Summer says:

    It’s worth pointing out again that more North Carolinians voted for Democrats than Republicans in the last election, but the state is so gerrymandered that Republicans control both state houses.

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They were so funny last year, because a group of them wouldn’t plead and insisted on trials. It went on for months. They probably haven’t gotten to Reverend Barber’s pending case yet :)

    Each case is fact-driven, he said, and “out of all of these protests, each day is going to be different.”

    Yes, it certainly is!

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Kay: The same thing is working in Madison. During Crim Pro in law school, the professor pointed out that the defense bar could bring the court system to its knees in a matter of days if every defendant demanded a jury trial.

  21. 21
    MattR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I assume you heard about the judge in Florida who got into a physical fight with a public defender who refused to waive his client’s right to a speedy trial.

  22. 22
    James E. Powell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I think that’s true in every big city. Back when I lived & practiced in my beloved hometown of Cleveland, it was believed that if the prosecutors’ office became disenchanted with a judge, the prosecutors would show their displeasure by refusing to offer any deals on cases pending before that judge.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    Speaking of morality and ethics, auditions are being held for “Rob Ford the Musical.”

    Kevin Jollimore strolls into the audition, a pillow stuffed down the front of his shirt, his blond hair spiked, suit jacket tightly buttoned. For a few minutes, he is Mayor Rob Ford.

    Jollimore is the last in a long line of seasoned thespians — and more than a few amateurs — desperately trying to channel Toronto’s crack-smoking chief magistrate.

    He sings, he dances and he performs a monologue at Second City’s training room Monday afternoon. He does it all without mentioning taxpayers, subways or the gravy train. Rather than busting out some patented Ford cliches, Jollimore wants to show off his acting chops in a bid to land the lead role in Rob Ford The Musical: The Birth of Ford Nation.

    It’s opening September 16th.

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @MattR: Yes, I did.

    @James E. Powell: The defense bar will never do it since their obligation is to their client and that often means a deal.

  25. 25
    opiejeanne says:

    @Kay: We were visiting a friend in Charlotte last year, end of June through July 3, and all three of us were going to go to the Moral Monday event on the one Monday were there, but we had a torrential rainstorm so he cancelled it. There was flooding in our area, but he was also concerned that if we got arrested we might not be able to attend the Discworld Convention in Baltimore on the 5th. We were fine with being arrested if it came right down to it, but he insisted on not getting us into trouble.

    I was surprised and more than a little proud when my husband said he was fine with getting arrested for attending Moral Monday.

  26. 26
    Mike in NC says:

    >Legislature is about to finish its dirty business and wrap up the session, so it would be worth publicizing what will probably be the big finale to the weekly protests.<

    This will no doubt include banning abortions under all circumstances and declaring that the world is flat. Well played, North Carolina!

  27. 27
    Arclite says:

    The national media has ALMOST totally whiffed on this story…

    That’s a feature, not a bug.

  28. 28
    Arclite says:

    I’m glad there are large protests. Americans have been so docile for decades.

  29. 29
    Elizabelle says:

    @sharl:

    Why, thank you. Some excellent research.

  30. 30
    Kathleen says:

    @A Humble Lurker: Maybe if they carried confederate flags and assault weapons they would not only be covered but slobbered over by the mainslime media.

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    @Kathleen:

    I think the protests should get media coverage, but Reverend Barber is different. He’s a civil rights leader, not a pundit or think-tanker. It’s what sets him apart.

    If he gets absorbed into the general chatter he’s both less effective and less credible.

    “Here’s Ed Rendell on the deficit and then that preacher from North Carolina -square off!”

  32. 32
    Betsy says:

    Thank you from the heart, Anne Laurie and Kay, for helping to bring this takeover and the movement fighting it more attention.

  33. 33
    merrinc says:

    I was at yesterday’s Moral Monday with some folks from our North Mecklenburg Progressives group. It’s always so inspiring and invigorating to be part of a large group of like-minded people. I’ve still got an ear worm from one of the chants we did inside the legislative building. “Tell me what democracy looks like… THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” The Raleigh News and Observer has provided stellar coverage of the events.

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