Denouncing Trump as 'Vulgarity Unbounded,' Rev. Barber Says Election Must Fuel Work for Justice
'It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than profound anxiety and revulsion'
The election of Donald Trump—whom he calls "vulgarity unbounded"—must be a charge to redouble efforts to work towards "truth, love, and justice," said the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.
The Moral Monday Movement architect made the remarks Sunday evening in a special post-election service entitled "Revival and Resiliency After Rejection."
Speaking to hundreds gathered at the Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., Barber said that the nation "must be honest about the depth of racism and the psychic sickness of our country," and said "it is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than profound anxiety and revulsion."
"This moment in America is ultimately not about Trump and [Hillary] Clinton. But it really is about the rejection of some things much deeper," he said.
Trump's win, he argues, "shows that we have rejected in some ways moral statesmanship for buffoonery and gamesmanship." For some, it also "reveals a rejection of answers to real issues" and a rejection of "some very serious principles." The president-elect, he said, "articulated fears rooted in racism and classism. He offered no answers but merely said, 'You are right to be afraid, very afraid.'"
"To elect a president whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact—to say nothing of simple decency"—shows "that we are rejecting something much deeper, which is why Trump is vulgarity unbounded."
His "election strikes fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and above all the many varieties of 'other' whom he has so deeply insulted. The African American 'other.' The Hispanic 'other.' The female 'other.' The Jewish 'other.' And the Muslim 'other.'"
In January, a "man of integrity" will leave the White House, he said, "and then we will witness the inauguration of a con."
"How sad it is that somewhere around his inauguration, the band will begin to play 'America, America, God shed His grace on thee' and then we will inaugurate a president that does not want to give grace to immigrants—of which he is one, from his family."
"We must challenge this nation until the day comes that we are one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," he concluded.
Speaking at the Democratic National Convention in July, Barber, who's also president of the North Carolina NAACP, brought most of the crowd to its feet with a speech in which he said, "We will not give up on the heart of our democracy, not now, not ever."