Rev. William Barber II fired up the crowd at Netroots Nation Thursday by giving liberals a moral high ground to stand on.
Barber repeatedly validated the group’s beliefs by calling any differing opinions “extreme and immoral.”
“It’s extreme and immoral to deny Medicaid to millions of poor people, especially people who have been elected to office and then get insurance simply because they have been elected,” Barber said. “It’s extreme and immoral to raise taxes on the working poor while cutting income…It’s extreme and immoral to use your power to cut off poor people’s water in Detroit. It’s just immoral. What we need to cut off is that kind of abusive power.”
Barber has made national headlines for organizing the Moral Monday protests in North Carolina that are designed to protest “Republican overreach” in the South. His “morality” argument is the basis for most of his work.
Barber also proclaimed that he was sick of “freedom” being the basis of conservative policy.
“We need to recover the first moral principle of our constitution. It’s not freedom…The first moral principle of the constitution is the establishment of justice,” Barber said.
On its website, Netroots Nation, the progressive conference that met this week in Detroit, said Barber’s speech “set the tone” for the rest of the conference. If that’s the case, I’m not sure I could have stomached what followed.
Watch his full speech below: