From the Ministers
- Last Updated on February 5, 2018
Nevertheless, We Persist in NC
by Rev. Deborah Cayer
Are you ready for this year’s HKonJ? I sure am. The acronym stands for the NC NAACP’s “Historic Thousands (Roman numeral K) on Jones (Street) in Raleigh. In a couple weeks on Saturday, February 10 we can expect to meet up on Jones with several thousand fellow North Carolinians to let our elected officials know that we are vigilant about civil rights for every person, and we’re not letting any slip away without a fight.
We’ve been here before. In blistering heat, howling wind, pouring rain, bitter cold, we’ve persistently shown up for civil rights time and again, whenever we were needed, which infuriatingly has been much too often in the past several years.
Are you tired of this? Yep; me too. I’d much prefer to spend a rare, unscheduled Saturday morning at the Farmers Market, or the Scrap Exchange, or go for a bike ride on the ATT. But here’s the thing. For all the times we’ve been to Jones Street or the Halifax Mall, I feel stronger for it. The people who would take away voting rights, impose horrifying immigration “reform”, and take away education and health care from the most vulnerable among us miscalculated badly. What they didn’t count on was that out on the streets we’d actually talk to each other. “Where are you from? My, my—Lumberton, Statesville, Franklin, Charlotte—you’ve come a long way. Glad to meet you. What issues do you care about? How are your people affected? Well, you take care.” Together we are strong and we just keep showing up. Together we are more powerful than we ever imagined. We don’t win big battles, but the little ones add up. And together we’re slowly pushing the moral arc back in the right direction, which is toward the common good.
Rev. Barber has said that “we” is the most important word in our justice vocabulary. If so, “Nevertheless, WE persisted” possibly might be the most important sentence. When we turn to the person next to us and together with the preacher say, “Neighbor…” we smile. Because we understand that we are neighbors. And we know why we’re there, and that together we’re creating a more powerful story than the one written by greed and the love of power. And if it’s true in North Carolina, maybe it could be true in other places as well. So, we go Forward Together—Not One Step Back!
I’ll look for you on Jones Street.