Like many Black folk around the world, I find myself puzzled by what happened at Trump Towers this week. We want to know how did so many Black clergymen and women find themselves willingly meeting with Donald Trump in support of his bid for president? And furthermore, what was the purpose of mingling with a man who represents the very opposite of Christ’s principles? I’ve been watching videos and reading reports all over the web in a search for answers, and I have to admit that so far, nothing is making any real sense.
Rev. Darrell Scott, senior pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights and ardent Trump supporter said that those in the Trump boardroom “made history” that day. I watched as his face contorted with angst and indignation as he recounted the many wrongs and “mis-characterizations” that the liberal media had levied against Donald Trump, whom they have portrayed as someone that he personally knows not to be. If you were looking for a real life example of a Stephen-Massa Candy relationship, you’ve found it. The good reverend is clearly enamored with Mr. Trump’s wealth and ego. Not all historic events are to be lauded. The Holocaust was historic. The trans-Atlantic slave trade was historic. The first time anyone put ketchup on eggs, it was historic. It doesn’t make it right or beneficial to the rest of humanity.
Roland Martin conducted an interview with Dr. Steve Parson, pastor of Richmond Christian Center. The dialogue was difficult to follow because the self-important doctor either didn’t have the decency or the wherewithal to silence his phone while he was on Skype with Roland. Audio interruptions aside, the entire conversation was a disaster, and if the rest of the world were to judge all Blacks and/or all Christians by Dr. Parson’s performance, we’d rightfully earn the moniker clueless. He was terribly unprepared to answers questions dispassionately or factually, but he did give an insight as to what may have motivated the attendance of these men and women of the cloth.
When asked by Roland about Trump’s proposals or ideas about education in the inner city, Dr. Parson smugly (and ramblingly) replied:
“Donald Trump isn’t talking about education where you sit in a classroom to go get a job to go work for someone else. He’s talking about an education where you create your own wealth and then create jobs for other people.”
And that’s all dandy. But you can’t create jobs for other people if you can’t read or add, and you certainly can’t hire people to work in your business if they come from socially depressed areas with schools that didn’t prepare them to read or add or speak eloquently or think critically or or or. If these postulations represent the meat of the meeting, then they are indeed the epitome of out of touch, pie-in-the-sky rhetoric. I have no problem if Donald Trump the civilian billionaire wants to build an academy teaching entrepreneurship to low income earners. That would be admirable and much needed. But for all of these Black men and women to clamor and flock at his polished Kenneth Cole soles in hopes that he would/could do something to change Black economic circumstance in the office of president is just foolhardy. For one thing, that kind of dependency is dangerous. If a president can give us those opportunities, a president can take them away. The Jews have changed their fortunes on their own, and so must we. Secondly, we see that the president has very little power (or interest) when it comes to Black/local affairs. Who has shown us that better than our current POTUS himself?
I will always recall with great disappointment and grief President Obama’s response to a query about what he would do to change the economic fortunes of African Americans – specifically – in this country. He said he wouldn’t do anything specific for African Americans because he believed “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Now, whether he was saying that to pander to broad based sympathies or if he actually believed it to be true, the point is that he is on record as having said it and has held true that philosophy. I only WISH President Obama had acknowledged that while this may be true, it is not feasible if one’s boat has had its engine repeatedly sabotaged, a hole blown in its hull and its repair crew members routinely slaughtered. Such a boat will always be destined to settle on the ocean’s floor, not matter the height of the tide. You’d have to be acquainted with the workings of boats to grasp this – and I DO believe that is what President Obama and these Trump sycophants have in common: they are ignorant of the Black condition in America.
In a Periscope event, Pastor Jamal Bryant called out a number of clergymen and women who were anticipated to endorse Donald Trump for president at this meeting, and I have to admit I watched the video with a racing heart and my breath caught in my chest. Yes, I was afraid my pastor’s name would be called; and though it would not have surprised me, it would have sent me scurrying over the toilet in a sick fury. The pastors/deacons/ministers in my church are good people, and are very much focused on racial reconciliation. However, because they’ve preached racial reconciliation for so long, they have found themselves completely distanced from the Black experience…or at least distanced in a meaningful way. This is why one of our pastors referred to inner city youth and minimum wage workers struggling to get by as “the lowly” and not “our brothers and sisters”. It is also why another pastor found herself in knots as she blamed President Obama for a woman for found her death at the hands of an ex-com whom he had pardoned earlier this year. I tried to be as patient as I could as I explained what probably happened.
“The truth is, though that guy may have gone in for a non-violent crime, there was no way he wasn’t going to emerge from prison as a violent individual. Everything in our prisons is solved by violence, from the way you’re fed, to how hierarchies work, to how you resolve the most minute issues.”
Of course, she and other pastors (like the 50-100 individuals who locked themselves in the room with Trump) wouldn’t know this because they expense more time praying for the “lowly” – at a safe distance – than listening to their real struggles in face to face conversation.
I don’t know why any pastor would endorse Donald Trump. Mr. Trump needs prayers, no doubt, but he is a petulant, self-absorbed, egoistical, unrepentant man who endorses violence and racial disharmony. Donald Trump is his own god. Have you ever heard him give honor to Christ for anything in his life? No. No you have not…at least not publicly. What could reside in this man that resonates with you as a pastor? The only thing I can conclude is that it must be his money – because the fact is, Donald Trump could NOT draw the type of crowds he’s been doing while earning $35K a year. He couldn’t say and do the things he’s done and continue to prosper. His wealth is the frequency that this lot have tuned in to. We all know that where there is a coin, you can find a group of Black people to sell the rest of us down the river.
Nothing else makes sense.
However, make no mistake: not ONE of these pastors represents the broad based needs of the Black community. Half of them are philanderers, adulterers and puffed with pride and barely represent Christ. As for this one, they will nevah prospah!
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