‘Righteous Restlessness’ – NAACP Official Says It’s Time To Take Action
By Mike Barnhardt
FORK – The day started with singing and clapping, rejoicing and praising the Lord. It ended the same way.
In between, those attending the Davie NAACP’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration Sunday at Cedar Grove Baptist Church, got plenty of advice – spiritual, personal and political.
The Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, third vice president of the state NAACP, said he will not adjust himself to discrimination and segregation.
“Love your enemies, then wear them out with their own consciousness,” he said. “I’m so glad you stand up and take notice. I’ll be even gladder when you stand up and take action. We have to be possessed by a righteous restlessness.”
Ending poverty, Spearman said, should be a top concern.
“People of color are still living in poverty,” he said. Spearman talked about touring poor communities in the state. “Poverty is the largest crisis facing North Carolina today, but our political leaders aren’t saying anything about it.
“This nation should be gripped by Constitutional, religious and moral outrage … yet we remain untroubled by what ought to be infuriating.”
Living in poverty leads to further problems – a higher chance of going to prison, not getting an education, malnutrition … “Poverty tears up our families. If you want to make the dream work, dismantle poverty by any means necessary.”
King, Spearman said, was just beginning a fight against poverty when he was killed in 1968.
Spearman said the prison system the “new Jim Crow” and racial profiling is the “new method of lynching.”
“America has yet to live out the true meaning of its creation … that all men are created equal.”
Spearman gave a brief history lesson, from Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights Act to now. Africans were brought here against their will and held against their will. The slaves, Spearman said, were a more precious economic resource to the South than tobacco or cotton.
A hundred years later, blacks were still crippled by segregation and discrimination, he said. “Though we had been emancipated … we had yet to be emancipated.”
Spearman said that …