Some words I shared last night with the NC Legislature after the US Supreme Court’s unanimous judgment that our districts stand out as the most egregiously racially divided in the nation:
I don’t know if y’all heard about this, but there was a total solar eclipse yesterday!
That means the 2 celestial bodies that provide light to our world—in an incredibly rare display—worked together yesterday, and the results were life altering!
Millions of Americans—millions—stood in awe to catch just a glimpse of this magnificent phenomenon. For many people, this was a once in a lifetime event.
Yesterday, I stood in the backyard where I grew up in South Carolina, and during totality, we were able to look directly at the sun for over 2 minutes. How on earth is that possible?
It’s possible because these 2 bodies worked together—and the world was amazed at the result!
You—the NC legislature—have the same power to amaze the world—by working together!
I know. It’s as rare—sorry, it’s more rare than a solar eclipse. But for the people of NC—the people you represent…or the people you should be representing—for these people it will truly be even more life-changing.
And it will also be life-changing for you…our representatives. Because that means you will have to give up some of your power, and that is scary because you might not be the most powerful “light in the sky” anymore, but oh, what a wonderful opportunity that would open up for the people of North Carolina whom you claim to serve!
We don’t even have time to ponder how immoral it is for people “elected” by illegal racially gerrymandered maps to then be “allowed” to redraw those maps. It would be like coming home to find your child had eaten your entire birthday cake. And your reply? That was wrong!
Do you want some ice cream with that?
There are black brothers and sisters in this room today…Thank God! And how is that possible? It’s possible because of the moral courage of 4 young men at a Woolworth’s lunch counter right up the road from here.
Do we think you will have that same moral courage to do the right thing and fix this? You are fast creating a lot of cynics here, but we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t believe you can…and will repudiate racism instead of eclipsing equality.
Otherwise, it’s just about white supremacy, and you’ll be redrawing these maps not by the bright light of freedom, but by the dim wick of a tiki torch while you mutter… “We will not be replaced.”