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Video: Every Politician in Virginia – and Anyone Who Takes $$$ From Dominion – Needs to Watch This Speech by Rev. Dr. William Barber. NOW.


Superb speech last night by Rev. Dr. William Barber…I already posted about the overall event, but I wanted to drill down more on Barber’s speech, because it’s so awesome (note: I will try to get to Al Gore’s also excellent speech later). See below for video and some transcribed highlights. And yes, every single politician in Virginia needs to watch this and take it to heart. NOW.

  • “We don’t believe in helicopter leadership. We didn’t come here to lead the folk, we just came here to say y’all fight like you never fought before.”
  • “We have a  moral problem in this country and in this county when it comes to…environmental injustice.”
  • “As far back as the Torah…God’s vision was for us to take care of the land the water and the air – and not to destroy it. Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 26 says…’let them have dominion over the fish and the sea.’ And the Lord was not talking about a company, he wasn’t talking about Dominion or Duke Power.”
  • “In fact, in the Hebrew, ‘dominion’ does not mean ‘destruction.’ In Hebrew the word ‘dominion’ means responsibility, and it is not a company’s business plan for profit. Dominion is God’s instruction for community and taking care of the land and all that is in it.”
  • “The correct understanding is one is to have dominion in terms of service, responsibility and stewardship over the land and the water…”
  • “…any time a community or a king violated the covenant of constructive well-being dominion, they were in fact engaged in defiling the land. Morally speaking, any time a corporation for mere profit poisons the land, the atmosphere, the water, and then spends money to divide the community with laws, that is a violation of covenant…and it is sin. As a preacher tonight, I want to tell you that Dominion is practicing sin. And anybody that’s joined up with them is practicing sin.”
  • Not only is what Dominion doing sin, it’s systematic, it’s systemic…[the pipeline people are] doing it to poor white folk in Appalachia, poor black folk in Union Hill and Northampton Count, poor Native Americans. It’s poor poor poor poor. Everybody that tells you to be alright – especially the politicians –  be alright with it being in your community, ask them why it isn’t coming through theirs…Poor communities like Union Hill…are chosen…They never go through affluent communities…”
  • “‘Locally Undesirable Environmental Land Uses’ – it’s a term called LULUs…LULUs are places where companies decide that….where they think they can put it and get away with it… hazardous waste facilities, solid waste disposal sites, contaminated industrial sites, and now pipelines and compressors. They are disproportionately placed in poor communities and black communities, because they think are LULUs.  But if they thought they were going to get away with it in Union Hill, they are out of luck. This ain’t no LULU, this is holy ground…This is where the slaves re buried who believed in freedom.”
  • “It’s [also] scandalous…Any governor or legislator, Democrat or Republican, or even if you’re black, that has chosen Dominion over this community, is scandalous
  • “In order to show that [Gov. Northam] seriously doesn’t believe what the blackface said from 30 years ago, you can’t just say ‘I’m sorry’ and address cultural racism, no matter how grotesque cultural racism [is]…The real racism you must prove you are against is systemic racism. And Gov. Northam, if you want to be a great governor…the first thing you ought to do is stop by Union Hill and tell…Dominion ‘I was wrong, but I’m going to do right now.’ Don’t let mammon, governor, cause you to miss your opportunity.”
  • “Now, however, any Republican that wants to tell the governor he ought to resign, well you ought to too if you supported Dominion, because that’s racism too. Don’t think you get a pass just because you don’t have a picture.  If you are against voting rights, if you support environmental racism, if you are against health care for everybody that disproportionately helps African Americans and brown people, all of that is racism.”
  • “And Democrats, don’t you think you get a pass just because as soon as the picture came out you called on the governor to resign. If you haven’t been down there and stood with Union Hill, then you’re just as guilty too Democrats.”
  • “If you’re black – black! – and you’re wavering. Black! And you’re supporting the pipeline and the compressor, knowing what the facts say,  then you’re just as part of the racism as anyone else here.”
  • “Some things are just wrong, and to ignore the impact of this pipeline on poor folk and black folk is just scandalous.”
  • “If [the pipeline] is so good governor, request it to be in your backyard.”
  • Dominion would listen “if you politicians would stop backing them up.”
  • “Dominion is not these people’s neighbor…Dominion will make billions.”
  • “Don’t play games with this community…When you [Dominion] are putting something in my community that could kill my children, you don’t have respect for me…You are taking meaningful steps to protect your bottom line, and it’s time you’re called out for it, and it’s scandalous.”
  • “When the governor kicks people off of a commission just because they don’t agree with him, that’s not due process…that’s a rigged game.”
  • “Every black member of the black state caucus ought to be here, and if they aren’t, we ought to be checking why they can’t stand with this community.”
  • “Change on the pipeline…It’s time for the governor, the legislature, Republican and Democrat, whoever you are – to stop being scandalous and start being good, good to the people. Everyone who’s taken money from Dominion…ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

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