Transcript: David Goodman’s Speech at the 12th Annual Moral March on Raleigh, NC
The following is a transcript of David Goodman’s speech from the 12th annual Moral March on Raleigh, North Carolina:
Dear Brothers, Sisters, and Fellow Americans:
Thank you North Carolina NAACP, Rev. Dr. William Barber, Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, and all the associates and partners in organizing this important day.
Fifty-four years ago, on June 21, 1964, the Mississippi White Knights of Ku Klux Klan murdered my brother Andrew Goodman and his two Civil Rights co-workers, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, in Neshoba County, Mississippi: Had black lives mattered to these radical, terrorist and extremist KKK Americans and their sympathizers, then my white brother would still be alive today. It was because they were registering black citizens to vote and believed that democracy should work for ALL people, not just white Americans, that these White Supremacists killed Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner.
Although we’ve seen a lot of progress made over the past 54 years, much still remains the same. It is hard to accept that once again we are witness to the rise of White Supremacy, perpetuated by hatred, intolerance, nativism, and xenophobia. The racist practices that kept voters of color from the polls in Mississippi in 1964, continue to threaten our democracy today.
Since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, nearly half the states in America have passed restrictive voting laws that cut back early voting, overcomplicate voter registration, and now require in some states restrictive and new voter ID requirements all under the falsehood of protecting voter integrity. These are laws enacted by extremist legislatures with the intention blocking young people (which includes students) and black and brown folks from voting!. And all of whom should have equal rights to vote.
We must do better!
The time has come to stand up and say, “enough.”
The Goodman Family stands with the Moral March in this fight. We formed The Andrew Goodman Foundation 52 years ago to continue Andrew’s legacy of standing up for the rights of all Americans. Today, The Andrew Goodman Foundation empowers young voices to defend our democracy. Our Vote Everywhere Program trains and supports young leaders who work with a Millennial population of about 1,000,000 potential voting students at 54 colleges in 23 states and Washington D.C.
I’d like to recognize the Vote Everywhere Ambassadors from our colleges in North Carolina who are here with us today: East Carolina University, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and Western Carolina University. These young leaders are roughly the same age as my brother was when his life was taken from him. They are registering voters, removing voting barriers, and organizing their peers to advocate for a fair and equitable society.
BUT THEY NEED YOUR HELP!
The Moral March brings the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement into the 21st century. By showing up and speaking out, we remind America of our higher calling – of the promise of freedom and equality that democracy holds for ordinary people. Today we will register to vote and on Election Day, WE WILL VOTE–so that our voices will be part of building the American dream into one that finally delivers on the promise that ALL men and women are created equal.
Thank you….and God bless all for working in North Carolina to make Moral March an American success, and God bless America!
About the Author
David Goodman is the brother of Andrew Goodman, the President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation, and a member of its Board of Trustees.