port of harlem magazine
 
sweeter hue
 
William Barber Recalls Jesus Christ, MLK, and Coretta Scott, When Awarded
 
May 9 – May 22, 2019
 
Features

william barber



After receiving the first Award for Civic and Intellectual Courage, Reverend William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign explained his positions in the simplest of terms as he compared segments of America as keys on a piano. “You want to make sure all the keys work,” as he called for polices that assist, not hurt the poor.

The former head of the North Carolina NAACP reminded people that “this is not the first time we have had a racist in the White House. This is not the era of Donald Trump.  Donald Trump is the symptom.”

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Marcus Raskin Family awarded Barber the award. The late Marc Raskin founded ISP with Richard Barnet in 1963, and it continues to serve as a progressive think tank and as the research arm for the Poor People’s Campaign.

Before introducing Barber, Congresswoman Barbara Lee recalled the late Raskin’s work with the late progressive Congressperson Ron Dellums. When Lee was elected to take Dellum’s seat, “he continued to mentor and counsel me,” she said. Lee continued by praising Barber for furthering the progressive movement and being “unapologetic” for his work. Raskin’s son, Representative Jamie Raskin, called Barber an “exemplary prophet.”

As in previous talks, Barber refused to dissect legislation and political views as simple “left or right” positions. Quoting Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, and Coretta Scott King, he believes Americans should evaluate policies by asking “does it establish justice?”
 
 
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