The National Urban League released its annual “State of Black America” report on April 18. This year’s title is “Democracy in Peril: Confronting the Threat Within.” To shed light on the report, the National Urban League held a town hall at Morehouse College.
During the keynote address, National Urban League’s president/CEO Marc H. Morial took aim at domestic hate is infiltrating institutions of government, education, law enforcement and national security.
“We have to stand up against hate and extremism and we must stand when it is expressed through hateful language that dehumanizes, encourage and justifies political and physical violence,” Morial said. “That vile language is not just coming from the leaders of white supremacist groups, groups like the proud boys, or other conspiracy theorists. We now see that hateful language in tolerance. We see it daily on cable news channels and we see it openly embraced by too many elected officials. And by some of the highest ranking political officers in this nation.”
Morial said that’s it’s important to call out and confront hatred that is often shared on public platforms.
“We must have the courage to call it out,” he said. “And it is a movement wrapped in the clothing of “angertainment” and what I call political performance artistry, designed to entertain and mock and ridicule.”
He also addressed the expulsions of Tennessee lawmakers, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson.
“It manifests itself when we see two duly elected officeholders in Tennessee, removed from office for lack of a violation of decorum in a manner that one person told me reminds them of the old plantation justice system,” Morial said. “Now instead of repelling Justin Jones, Justice Pearson, the Tennessee legislature propelled Justin Jones and Justin Pearson into global champions for human rights. They stood up and because they stand up, we must stand up.”
He also discussed how laws are being impacted by domestic extremism and hate.
“It is a movement that manipulates and weaponized public attitudes to drive regressive and divisive public policy lawmaking,” he said. “It is impacting the laws that are written and being passed in too many state legislatures. It is a movement that seeks to justify voter suppression, gerrymandering, and bogus claims of stolen elections and voter fraud.”
Along with the keynote address, the National Urban League held two student forums entitled, “Breathing While Black,” and “A Change Is Coming.”