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Must See Sermons by Rev. Dr. WIlliam Barber

Rev. Dr. William Barber's moral critique of plutocracy is a call to arms, not just for the faithful, but for all who want to achieve the America promised to us in our founding documents. Here are 4 videos of Rev. Barber speeches and sermons, produced by Story of America: Here he breaks tradition and comments on the 2016 presidential race in each of 2 guest sermons at the All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington DC: Rev. Dr. William Barber's message of moral clarity and civic courage is spreading. The video above by Eric Preston of Fusion Films documents Rev. Barber's Palm Sunday sermon at the historic Riverside Church in New York City.  Yara Allen sings. "Walk with me, Lord" to introduce to Rev. Barber's sermon. Continue reading

Federal Trial on North Carolina's Voting Restrictions Underway

Winston-Salem, NC —  Story of America witnessed the North Carolina General Assembly's passage of what many call the most aggressive voting restrictions since the end of the Jim Crow Era.  A Federal Court challenge to determine the constitutionality of North Carolina's restrictions may well be headed to the Supreme Court. I spoke with Allison Riggs, lead counsel for the League of Women Voters, which, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and the North Carolina NAACP will argue  that House Bill 589 violates the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  [CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO PODCAST EXAMINING THE CASE] Continue reading

5 Hour Wait to Vote in Urban Centers: 2016's most cynical election strategy

This video shot on election day 2012 is the best documentation so far of the unfairness of long lines at the polls in urban centers. Subsequently, other swing states such as Ohio, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have implemented policies designed to engineer long lines at the polls in urban centers. Defenders of this strategy say election administration should be 'equal' regardless of population density, even if this means unequal access to the polls due to waiting times. Conservative lawmakers, who have accepted and implemented election law changes suggested by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heritage foundation have also accepted the argument that the constitutional right to equal justice under law does not protect things like early voting and weekend voting simply because they help to ease long lines in populated areas. Instead, they argue, the notion of equal protection can be used to justify cutting back on early voting and weekend voting because they are essential to avoid long lines where the population is dense, but less so where the population is sparse.Critics of the "long lines" electoral strategy compare it to Jim Crow practices such as poll taxes, saying that wage earners who miss time at work or have to hire child care in order to wait five or more hours to vote are facing the equivalent of a poll tax. By contrast, we shot the video below on the same day, in a more rural area of Virginia 2 hours southwest, not far from James Madison University: Continue reading

Pride Before Facts

I know most of you don't want to hear this, but I need to get this off my chest. This is not a critique of President Obama's speech; it is a request for us to hit pause during the ongoing political circus and think about premise of the entire spectacle. Why do we need to hear that we are number one from our president every year?  Even after Iraq and the financial crisis, most of us want to hear that America is #1. We are very invested in this identity, this story of us. Continue reading

Perspectives on South Carolina's Confederate Flag

Bill Starr has a South Carolina lineage that predates the Revolution, and ancestors who fought in the Civil War for the Confederate States of America. But he wants the Confederate flag flying on the state capitol grounds in Columbia, SC to come down. Annabel Park of Story of America interviewed him on June 24, 2015 moments after he had waited in line for an hour to pay respects to the murdered Civil Rights leader, Senator, and Reverend Clementa Pinckney where he lay in state in the capitol rotunda.  Continue reading