Editorials

Meeting of NAACP, GOP a hopeful sign

From an editorial Sunday in the Fayetteville Observer:

State Speaker of the House Tim Moore, a Kings Mountain Republican, met Wednesday with the Rev. William Barber. Rep. David Lewis, a Dunn Republican, also attended.

There’s little remarkable about legislators sitting down with the pastor of a Goldsboro Disciples of Christ congregation.

Barber isn’t just any clergyman. He’s been called the most important progressive leader in North Carolina in more than a century. Barber, head of the state’s NAACP chapter since 2006, launched the Moral Mondays protests to combat perceived injustices in 2013.

Even as the newly ascendant GOP sought to reshape state government to its liking, Barber’s movement offered a counterweight, pointing an accusatory finger at Republican policies.

Until now, GOP leaders were unwilling to meet with Barber. He says the change comes because his movement became too large to ignore. That could be, but the new atmosphere of dialogue offers hope.

Both sides said the meeting was positive. Lewis suggests they can seek compromises. That would also be a big step forward.

The people are better served when leaders engage their critics in constructive conversation.

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