Home National Politics Video: Rev. William Barber on the “snake line” and U.S. politics

Video: Rev. William Barber on the “snake line” and U.S. politics

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Speaking at Netroots Nation Thursday night, is this guy – the driving force behind the “Moral Mondays’ movement (note: this has been covered extremely well by Annabel Park and Eric Byler) in North Carolina – amazing or what? Here’s a partial transcript of the conclusion to his powerful, hour-plus speech/sermon. Preach it, brother!

…don’t walk out through the valley but climb up the mountain to higher ground…Snakes live in the lowland, but if you go up the mountain there’s something…called a “snake line;” snakes can’t live above it…they’re cold-blooded animals and they die.

Well, in America, we’ve gotta get our politics above the snake line…There are some snakes out here. There are some low-down policies out here. There’s some poison out here. Going backwards on voting rights, that’s below the snake line. Going backwards on civil rights, that’s below the snake line. Hurting people just because they have a different sexuality, that’s below the snake line. Stomping on poor people just because you’ve got power, that’s below the snake line. Denying health care to the sick and keeping children from opportunity, that’s below the snake line.

But I stopped by to tell you, there’s got to be somebody that’s willing to go to higher ground, higher ground, where every child is educated; higher ground, where the sick receive health care; higher ground, where the poor are lifted; higher ground, where voting rights are secured…Neighbor, we’ve got to take America above the snake line…America is better than this. It’s time to go above the snake line…

When I go up in the spirit and I listen to the Lord sometimes…I heard the Lord say…Tea Party may endure for a night, Koch brothers may endure for a night, oppression may endure for a night, but hang in there, make your way to higher ground

Great speech, very powerful…now if only everyone would listen to this. Speaking of which, why was the room only half-full for Rev. Barber? That’s seriously screwed up (of course, scheduling Rev. Barber for 9 pm on Thursday night, when people presumably were just arriving, might have something to do with it).

P.S. Note to “Bishop” EW Jackson: this is what Christianity really teaches, and this is what a real Christian – one actually channeling the message of peace, compassion, common good and brotherhood preached by Jesus – really sounds like.

  • glennbear

    I watched the whole speech, it was quite moving. I especially like the way he framed the battle in NC as not a battle against a particular political party but rather against “extremists” who just happen to be GOP. Redefining Art Pope et al as extremists this way might enable those who traditionally vote “R” no matter what to justify switching sides. The “fusion” of groups he speaks of reminds me of the Occupy movement.