Monday, September 17, 2018




by Cash Michaels
contributing writer

            Saying. “We’ve always had to fight to maintain a proper sense of self,” Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach, and co-chairman of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call to Revival, called on all elected officials, activists an people of good conscious, to stand strong for the poor and powerless, against the mounting oppression they have top face everyday.
“What we do has been baptized in blood,” the former president of the NCNAACP told hundreds gathered in Washington, D.C. Saturday for the 48thAnnual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 2018 Phoenix Awards Dinner.
“So we are here, my sisters and brothers, to cry out on behalf of those who have not yet been heard…because America ha always struggled with who she is.”            
The event has gained notoriety in recent years when the keynoters were President Barack Obama, and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.
Barber recounted how historically, poor white people have been given a steady diet of “Jim Crow” rhetoric by powerful whites, having them to believe that as downtrodden as they were, “at least they weren’t black.” Poor whites “fed” that to their children through the years.
The result – poor whites being exploited by the powerful, so much so that they vote against their own interests, and do not realize that they should be partnering with African-Americans and other communities of color in coalition “fusion” politics, in order to electorally seize control of the nation’s direction.
Rev. Barber warned that to “focus on [Pres.] Trump alone, is to miss what’s happening in America.”
Don’t you think that if Trump were gone, and [Vice Pres.] Pence got in, that things would be better,” Barber admonished.
The civil rights leaders also noted that systematic racism is rarely discussed or examined during election year debates, and yet it is at the root of what keeps America divided.
“Racism and white supremacy is not just about hate; it’s about power,” Rev. Barber exclaimed. “White nationalism is about policies, like voter suppression.”
And when we see US Supreme Court-nominee Brett Kavanaugh “breeze through his Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, that’s racism,” Barber continued. “When we see Trump get away with doing and saying things that Obama couldn’t get away with even half of, that’s racism!”
Given the stark economic and racial disparities in the areas of health care, education, affordable housing and environmental justice, Barber said. “Our problem in America isn’t that we don’t have enough money. Our problem is we don’t have enough moral capacity.”
“Until we change the moral narrative [of America], we’re subject to get a Trump over and over again.”
Rev. Barber, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, also criticized “religionist” ministers who have rallied around Pres. Trump, saying that he was sent by God.
“We face a challenge that is more fundamental, and more potentially transformative than either party has yet recognized,” Barber said. “This moment is not about whether a [political] party is possible. This moment is about “Is America possible?!!!”
“America needs a national moral revival. [African-Americans] are once again being called upon to be the conscience of this nation.”
Rev. Barber called for a multi-racial coalition, similar to what he created as NCNAACP president with Moral Mondays.
“It’s movement time,” Barber declared.            
            When he began his remarks, Rev. Barber told those gathered that he was coming “…fresh from the hurricane,” indicating that he drove from his home in Goldsboro, North Carolina to deliver the keynote address, as Hurricane Florence was pummeling the North Carolina coast and eastern region.
            “I ask that we keep people in your prayers who are under water, fighting to survive in North and South Carolina.”

By Cash Michaels
Staff writer

            Even though it was downgraded to a Category One storm by the time it made landfall last week, the devastating impact of Hurricane Florence are certainly still being felt here in Wilmington, and throughout southeastern North Carolina.
            So in the midst of horrific destruction to thousands of homes and businesses – due to  flooding and high winds – what should you do afterwards if you’ve been directly impacted?
            Especially now if you’re just able to return home after being evacuated?
According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes [FLASH]:

-      Continue to monitor broadcast news and/or social media for the latest information and government instructions about flooding conditions, road closures affecting where you live.
-      Be as patient as possible if you have trouble. Many of your neighbors may have the same flooding and damage problems that you do. Emergency personnel will be tied up, so do what you can until they get to you, but make sure they know you’re in need.
-      Make sure you have current picture ID to be able to get through various checkpoints during an emergency.
-      If you are able to drive with your vehicle, DO NOT remove barriers in order to get through on blocked roads. Those barriers were put there because the roads beyond are deemed not safe for any travel. Even if you see others doing it, YOU DON’T! The risk to your life is NOT worth it!
-      You are NOT a looter. You are NOT a sightseer, however, you can be mistaken for both by authorities if you are on someone else’s property when you have no real business there.
-      Hopefully you collected all of your important papers and documents in something waterproof and took them with you before the storm. Make sure you hold on to them, especially your homeowners insurance policies.
-      AVOID downed power lines, even if you think there’s no current running through them.
-      AVOID touching metal fencing or other metal objects.
-      Try NOT to use matches or lighters. There may be a ruptured gas line close by, and it could cause an explosion.
-      Have a professional check your flooded home BEFORE you try to turn on the electricity, especially if it’s still flooded.
-      Take still pictures or video of your damaged property for insurance purposes.
-      Flood waters are polluted, and not safe to be in because of harmful bacteria. Make sure you thoroughly wash those areas on your body that have been exposed to it.
-      FINALLY, follow all directions of emergency personnel. They are there to make sure that you, and everyone in your area/neighborhood, are safe until normalcy returns.

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