Protests at the North Carolina state capitol may be growing steadily, but that's not enough to make one Republican lawmaker take the weekly acts of civil disobedience known as "Moral Mondays" seriously.
State senator Thom Goolsby, whose New Hanover County district includes the city of Wilmington, wrote an op-ed in the Chatham Journal deriding the demonstrations, even going so far as to suggest the "Loony Left" coalition of civil rights leaders, clergy, and North Carolinians of all ages, races, and class backgrounds should have named the action "Moron Monday."
After he touted Republican policies that have decimated public education funding, health care, and voting rights, Goolsby dismissed the protesters as part of a radical fringe.
"The old hippies have found a new hobby and have once again fallen in love with the sound of their own voices," Goolsby wrote.
Reverend William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP and a leader of the protests, says that the protests, at which more than 300 people have been arrested over six weeks, will continue. "The issue here is [the far right] policies are so extreme and immoral that when exposed it makes them respond in a frenzy of vitriolic words," Barber wrote in an email. The power of Moral Monday is that it shines a light on attitudes and actions that mighy have otherwise gone on without the public knowing."
This week activists have planned both "Moral Monday" and "Witness Wednesday" actions.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that State Senator Thom Goolsby's district included Charlotte. In fact, the New Hanover County district that he represents includes the city of Wilmington.