America needs a “moral revolution of values” to remedy a crisis in the country’s democracy, Rev. William Barber II told delegates of the IAM’s 39th Grand Lodge Convention in Chicago Wednesday.
And it’s the IAM and unions that need to be at the center of that revolution, said Barber, the leader of North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement sweeping through the state.
“We have a moral crisis at the heart of American body politic,” said Barber. “And this election season is revealing it clearer than ever before in recent history.”
The Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, has adopted a twisted version of the Barry Goldwater-era Southern Strategy, Barber told delegates.
Trump is attempting to turn working people against each other because of differences in race, religion or immigration status, Barber said.
The challenges of falling wages, mass incarceration, continuous discrimination and more are too serious to remain divided, said Barber.
“I want to suggest a political Pentecost in America, and maybe the Machinists are the ones to teach us how to do it,” said Barber. “It’s time for us to come together—black and white and Latino and Native and old and young and Democrat and Republican and union and civil rights. Whoever you are, if you believe in a just society, it’s time for us to come together for a moral society.”