Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Third Reconstruction: Pushing a Moral Agenda for America

Tonight I attended a lecture by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II at the Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis) sponsored by Indiana’s Moral Mondays.

Rev.  Barber gave an inspirational and provocative lecture on the current political climate in American dealing with the political divisiveness we face now. He explains how that divisiveness is used against the struggle for moral and social justice. He places that divisiveness in a historical context that demonstrates how we are repeating the same conflict for the third time in our history.  From post-Civil War Reconstruction, to the Civil Rights Movement of the mid 20th century, to today's struggle for equality and justice, the Third Reconstruction.
The same Jim Crow-era tactics of pitting poor whites against blacks against the Irish against Catholics, etc., were repeated during the Civil Rights movement and again today. The oppressors may change their names, clothing, and rhetoric, and their targets include many of the same targets from before, but their tactics are the same. Deny rights, resources and opportunity to the ‘have nots’ by suppressing access to the ballot box, justice, and education.

I wish I had access to a recording of his lecture. I took notes but there is so much to research and wrap my head around that I will never be able to do justice to his words or rhetorical style, so I have included a video from his website, some related information and links, and a music video from about 7 years ago that relate to the spirit of his message.                      GlennDL

Each time there has been a demographic shift in America that threatens the existing balance of power, new election laws have appeared to try to insulate the electorate from the emerging population.

Rev. Dr. William Barber provides a seven minute reframing of American history that is surprisingly, even shockingly timely in the context of America's present-day battle over voting rights.
In his view, we are currently going through the third reconstruction.

The first Reconstruction took place after the Civil War. Fusion politics — a governing coalition including Lincoln Republicans, freedmen and former slaves, and populists — made it possible for former slaves to become business, community, and political leaders. But fusion politics was snuffed out by a violent backlash, and replaced by Jim Crow laws that blocked African Americans from voting through poll taxes, impossible "tests," and terrorism.
The second Reconstruction: In the 1960s, there was another attempt at reconstruction, better known as the Civil Rights Movement. The progress we made was met with another violent backlash, culminating in the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.
The Third Reconstruction: Dr. Barber identifies the possibility of a third reconstruction, one that could actually succeed, with the launch of Barack Obama's campaign for president in 2008. Once again, this attempt at fusion politics has been met with a hateful backlash.

The backlash against integration, equality, and trans-racial governing coalitions has, in all three instances, included attacks on voting rights of African Americans and other minorities. Rev. Barber believes that change is inevitable because of demographic shifts in America and the effectiveness of fusion politics.
President John F. Kennedy led our nation during the tumultuous period of violence backlash against the Civil Rights movement, and historian Carl M. Brauer argued that this era was the Second Reconstruction, a second attempt to make good on the promise of America, for all Americans, in the South as well as the North.
We traveled to Durham, NC and met with Rev. Dr. William Barber — President of the North Carolina NAACP — in early January, 2013 to ask him why he thinks America is so divided today. He offered this historical framework, in which the America that twice elected President Obama is embroiled in a Third Reconstruction, with a similar, but less violent, political backlash.

Reverend Doctor William Barber II (born August 30, 1963) is a Protestant minister and political leader in North Carolina (NC). He is a member of the national Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), for whom he is also Chair of the NAACP's Legislative Political Action Committee.
Barber has served as pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in Goldsboro, NC since 1993. He has led "Moral Mondays" civil-rights protests in NC, beginning in April 2013
Rev. William Barber, President of NAACP NC has been building a "fusion" movement of people from diverse backgrounds for many years. The strength of his movement and message go up against a North Carolina General Assembly that is dominated by conservative Republicans. For the first time since Reconstruction, the Republican Party has super majority in both state houses and the governor's House.
They are proposing and advancing laws that are aligned with the Tea Party-brand of conservatism. Small government, tax cuts for the wealthy, extreme cuts on social programs, limiting access to voting, etc.



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