AP NEWS

Reverend urges Lee to act during Nashville MLK Day event

January 22, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A civil rights leader gave an impassioned speech in front of thousands as he urged Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee and others in attendance to not just love Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy but act.

The Tennessean reports the Rev. William Barber II delivered a fiery and sometimes adversarial speech Monday in Nashville at an event honoring King. Barber is the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Turning to directly address Lee and other elected officials, he said “it is time to put down the partisanship and do what is right.”

Among other issues, Barber called for universal health care and a living wage for the poor. Lee is against expanding Medicaid in Tennessee and raising the minimum wage.

A Lee spokesman says, “Freedom allows for different opinions, and that is what makes this country the special place it is.”