Brendan Whitt

WHEN BRENDAN WHITT THINKS...

Blought #26: Why Did Trump Meet With Black Pastors Anyway?

Trump (Center) accompanied by Dr. Darrell Scott (right)
Courtesy of: USAToday.com
 A few days ago Donald Trump shook up the media and news world when he announced that he had gained the support of 100 Black pastors and religious leaders from all over the country. Not long after that the facts became clear. Only about 50 or so pastors showed up to his meeting at Trump Towers with several of them signing endorsement cards for Trump‘s campaign.

What caught my attention was the fact that two pastors from Ohio were in attendance and here’s why. Ohio is usually a battleground state. Dividing the black vote has become a key strategy for the right wing with gerrymandering. Dr. Darrell Scott of New Spirit Revival Center Ministries Inc. based in Cleveland Heights, Oh was vocal in his support of Trump’s campaign.

He even made several phone calls to Senior Pastor Corletta J. Vaughn of Holy Ghost Cathedral in Detroit to get her on board. Pastor Vaughn declined stating that she felt “uncomfortable” with the meeting at Trump Towers. She said she would be open to meeting with Trump but on her own terms probably in her church so that the presidential candidate can hear her community’s concerns.

Jamal Bryant of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore tweeted "Prostitutes for Trump...don't let black pulpit become a pole". Pastor Scott responded with "If Trump called Black Preachers ‘Prostitutes on a Pole’, the entire nation would be in an uproar! #BlackPreachersMatter" and "For respectable Preachers to be called ‘Prostitutes on a pole’ is very insulting, demeaning, and misogynistic, to say the least." The divide and conquer rule definitely applies here.
Promotional flier for Trump's meeting

Bishop Victor Couzens of Forrest Park, Ohio near Cincinnati also attended the event. He voiced his concern for an apology towards his Black Lives Matter comments and incident at his rally where protester and activist Mercutio Southall was attacked and beaten. Trump stood by his earlier comments and said that he would not issue an apology.

Personally I don’t think Trump owes him an apology. Would you show up to a KKK meeting in a Black Panther uniform? I didn’t think so. Why go to a rival hood and cause disruption? It was sad that he was assaulted but Mr. Southall could have made better judgment.

On Tuesday Roland Martin host of  TV One’s News One Now spoke to Steve Parson PhD and former pastor of the Richmond Christian Center in Richmond, VA. Parson who is a supporter of Trump was on the show to discuss Trump’s plan for the black community. He talked in circles about the tax code until Martin hit him with the facts.

Martin, who recalled on his time as a city hall and county government reporter brought up the statistics that in 2008 black owned small businesses received 8.2% of all small business loans. By 2013 that number had dropped to 1.8% due to the foreclosure crisis that wiped out  53% of black wealth. Martin simply stated “no home, no loan, no collateral” as a cardinal rule of small business loans. Parson was never able to give Martin any straight answers on how a real estate mogul (Trump) couldn’t answer those questions himself.
Martin and Parson squaring off Courtesy of:
RolandMartinReports.com

The main point to be taken away isn’t the fact that Trump’s camp spun a story about 100 black pastors meeting with him. It’s the fact that the Black Churches are not the go to leaders of the black community. Black millennials like most millennials don’t cling to faith and religion. Most of our parents are the same way, why do you think we feel the way that we feel?

It reminds me of the South Park episode “With Apologies to Jesse Jackson” where Stan’s dad Randy Marsh went onto the popular game show wheel of fortune. The clue was “People who complain too much.” The spots were N_GGERS. Randy hesitantly shouted “Niggers!” when the answer was actually “Naggers”.

Randy then had to go apologize to Reverend Jesse Jackson. Stan attempted to make peace with his friend and only black kid in School Token who responded with “Jesse Jackson isn’t the emperor of black people.” The same can be said about most religious leaders.

Let’s be honest, black pastors are always caught up in scandal about stealing money from the church. Steve Parson ran his ministry into bankruptcy and lost two luxury cars that he and his son leased with the church’s money. Trump is playing this game as smart as he can. With Rubio rising and Carson fading away it’s getting closer to do or die time for Trump.

Sources:
http://www.npr.org/2015/12/01/457930597/black-pastor-calls-trump-meeting-a-get-played-moment

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/22/politics/donald-trump-black-lives-matter-protester-confrontation/

http://richmondfreepress.com/news/2015/feb/26/pastor-gets-boot/