You might say a handcuffed Rev. William Barber being led away from the Wake County School Board meeting room by security officers is just the picture the Reverend wanted. And, if you scan the local paper and TV stations, it looks like most of the media cooperated. But that’s where the good part ends for Rev. Barber.
While the press is trying its hardest to infuse drama and moral significance into this story, it fails. One of the problems is simple: Barber’s quest lacks followers. The N&O article says Barbers supporters numbered about 20. Sorry, I was there and I counted about half that number. Yes, four people were arrested, but also telling is the conspicuous absence of minority supporters. Moral outrage? Hard to find it. At one point while Barber and three others were occupying the chairs of school board members, there must have been about 25-30 people in the room, about a third of those were media and about half of those remaining were , not participants, but observers.
Rev. Barber is skilled at seeking — and getting — publicity. However his tired and faulty message of viewing all issues through the prism of race is falling on deaf ears. It’s time to turn the page.