As a leading voice for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is working on overdrive - always, but especially now.
On June 20, Barber will guide the nation's first digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington. The goal, in his words, is to change the narrative about America's poor and interlocking issues like racial inequality, the lack of police accountability and voter suppression.
And his new book, We Are Called to Be a Movement, was published by Workman Publishing earlier this month.
"America is going to really have to wrestle with two questions: One, what does it say when a black man can be downtown and end up choked to death by a cop? The second thing is, that in this moment, while racism is certainly [tied] to George Floyd, and his death, we cannot forget the policies that kill people every day as well.
What I mean by that is, there are thousands who die from the lack of health care. Thousands who die from poverty. Thousands who die from ecological destruction. Many of them are African American and brown people. They die just the same. They just die slower [than George Floyd] and we don't see the crushing [weight] of policy violence on their necks. If we're going to deal with racism, we cannot be a society that just talks about racism when somebody is shot or somebody has a knee on their neck. Then we talk about it a little while and it goes on. We must look at racism and classism. Somebody asked me, 'Is it race or class?' I said, 'It is.'"