On Dec. 13th, Jews all over the world lit the first candle of Chanukkah, Christians celebrated the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Alabama voters cast their ballots in favor of moral justice over political expediency. Two weeks ago, Muslims around the world celebrated Mohammed’s birth. Two weeks from now, Christians will celebrate the birth of Jesus. This season of Advent inspires us to look forward with hope, as does the result of Alabama’s special election. Chanukkah commands the bringing of light into the darkest days. Last night at midnight, shortly after Pope Francis told hundreds of thousands in Rome to “defend our people from an ideological colonization that cancels out the richest thing about them…so that no one may feel sterile and infertile, so that no one feels ashamed or worthless,”the arc of justice brought a powerful ray of light into the hate-based campaigns that our nation continues to endure.
The instrument chosen to perform the Alabama Miracle was the prosecutor who convicted Ku Klux Klan members for dynamiting of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963, which killed 14-year-old girls climbing the stairs to attend worship. The defeated was another prosecutor and judge, who had been suspended from the bench twice for violating court orders, including violating an order to remove a 10 Commandments monument, a document which–based on Moore’s actions–one might wonder if he has ever read. While Senator Al Franken and Representative John Conyers honorably announced their resignation and retirement, Roy Moore maintained it was acceptable for a 32-year-old Judge and District Attorney to secretly take a 14-year-old girl he had just met to his backwoods cabin, lay her on a pallet, fondle her, and force her to fondle him. Yesterday was a day of vindication for 14-year-old girls of Alabama across the decades.
The NAACP cannot, will not, and shall not compromise women’s rights, black rights, brown rights, poor people’s rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental rights, civil rights, or human rights—particularly in the name of political expediency. In the tradition of the Exodus, the Maccabees, the victory over the sin and system of slavery, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments which followed, the 19th Amendment which formally included women in that promise, under the blood-stained banners of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, and emboldened the Power of Hope that brought the first African-American to our White House, we continue to push the rock uphill with steady feet and a steady beat, fueled by the twin declarations of Equal Justice for All, and a Government Of the People, By the People, and For the People.
When we join forces with our morally-committed sisters and brothers of all races and religions to combat the corrupt and immoral words and actions of disgruntled remnants of Jim Crow who refuse to acknowledge that every human being is equally created in the image of God, we will prevail. When we carry the message of the International Civil Rights Center of Greensboro to the halls of the legislature in Raleigh for the Fair Courts Citizen Action Day on January 10th, when we hold our Equipping the Resistors Conference and Humanitarian Awards Banquet on January 27th, and when we take over Raleigh for our 11th Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Moral March and People’s Assembly on February 10, we shall move Forward Together against the extremist forces who have hijacked North Carolina’s once proud Republican Party. We refuse to take even One Step Back.
Yesterday’s victory reminds us it ultimately comes down to the Number One Civil Right–the Right to Vote. But this right is not self-enforcing. We must vigilantly defend it and then exercise it. The Black turnout in Alabama was the difference. The Moral Fusion Electorate in Alabama turned out in unprecedented numbers to cast their ballot against the politically-motivated blasphemous insults to the teachings of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. The Alabama voters are solid empirical proof that Morally-Fused voters, inspired by a new vision of God’s Human Family and voting in non-gerrymandered, issue-based election embody the vision of the Blessed Virgin, shine light into the darkest places and achieve miracles.