For most of 2010 through 2012, I was trying to figure out answers to these questions: Why are the American people so divided, and hostile to one another? How will we meet the many challenges we face when there is conflict among the people and gridlock in Washington?
Editor's Note: Author of Blood Done Sign My Name, historian, and one of the leaders of the Moral Monday movement, Timothy B. Tyson, posted this on his facebook page. We are printing it here with his permission.
A young man wears Rhodesian and apartheid-era flags on his jacket. Both countries never existed during his lifetime. Both flags are commonly worn as in-group insignia among politically organized white supremacists. "You have to be carefully taught," as the old song from "South Pacific" puts it. He slaughtered nine African Americans in a church.
On the historic day of May 1, 2015, I had the good fortune to be with Civil Rights legend Bob Zellner. In the early 1960's, Bob was arrested and tortured by police several times for leading peaceful Civil Rights demonstrations as the first white Southerner to serve as Field Secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Below is his written statement.
Bob Zellner, May 1, 2015:
Today is May Day, an international day of solidarity among working people. On this May Day, 2015, people will take away different things from the actions of the young State’s Attorney in Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, charging six police officers with serious crimes including murder in the death of Freddie Gray.Read more
In today’s America, 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. marched on Washington and 150 years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, America faces profound divisions along political, economic and cultural lines that threaten to destabilize our nation and democracy.
America - the nation of the people, for the people and by the people - is deeply divided. The divisions are political, economic and cultural. The result is economic decline and governmental dysfunction. Moreover, the people are growing hopeless and cynical, losing faith in America's ideals.
Opinions have polarized to the point that people along both sides of the divide view the opposition with a great deal of fear and paranoia, leading to alienation and a dehumanizing view of those who don’t share our beliefs.
The Story of America is a unique project to both document the story of our divided nation in 2013, and engage those with the power to heal these divisions - the people - in the transforming power of storytelling and dialogue.
We are focusing particular attention to the Moral Monday movement and the political struggle in North Carolina for the feature documentary. The fight here involves many fundamental divisions in America including election laws/voting rights, influence of money in politics, the role of government in our lives, racial divisions, demographic shifts, and economic policies/income inequality.
We invite viewers to submit their own statements, responses, and stories in the form of essays, videos, and photos. These submissions will be uploaded to the website, and, we anticipate that some of the clips will be included in the feature documentary.
My name is Lila Little. This is my story.
I was born in Saudi Arabia in the 1950s, while my father worked for Aramco. Lila is an Arabic name. It means Night.
I am 57 now, and so many memories flow through me, and the tears flow out. I have not always been poor, but I will be poor from now on.
Everyone has a story; I believe mine is still being written. My name is Rebekah Barber and I am currently a sophomore attending North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC with hopes of becoming a civil rights attorney. I am the daughter of Rev. Dr William Barber II, the leader of the NC NAACP.
During North Carolina's 2013 legislative session, a fierce debate took place over how to change the state tax code. Because Republicans had won a super majority in the General Assembly as well as the governor's race in 2012, the real tug-of-war centered around an aggressively conservative tax reform package championed by State Senator Bob Rucho, Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. A less aggressive proposal was preferred by House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is likely to be the Republican nominee to challenge US Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat.Read more
Note: There are two videos about what happened Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at the NC General Assembly when the Senate voted on HB 695 "Faith, Family and Freedom Protection Act": One documenting what happened inside the Senate chamber and one documenting what happened outside the Senate chamber after the vote.
The Republican leaders in North Carolina are currently engaged in a power struggle over taxes and budget with one conservative leader resigning from a powerful leadership position while calling out corruption.Read more
Tim Funk is the Faith and Values Reporter for The Charlotte Observer. He was assigned to cover "Moral Monday" on June 10, when members of the clergy led hundreds of people into the North Carolina General Assembly to protest voting restrictions and other policies they say will adversely affect the poor, children, the working class, and the middle class.Read more