Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Independence Day 2016

Happy Independence Day! Normally, I post some songs and other pieces (such as a reading of the Declaration of Independence). This year, given Donald Trump's dogwhistle call to "Take America Back" and his mix of cloaked and overt appeals to bigotry, misogyny, hatred, fear and ignorance – and that he's the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States – I thought another vision of America might be welcome.

Here's Reverend Dr. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, speaking to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in 2014. Barber's a fine orator and a master of that Southern declamatory style. This speech is roughly 40 minutes long, but it's stirring and well worth a listen:

Bigots and right-wing reactionaries typically think of themselves as the only true Americans. However, although America certainly has a long history of bigotry, it also has a extensive tradition of activism. When it comes to Trump versus Barber, I know which vision I find more thought-provoking and moving.