Saturday, November 28, 2015

African American Clergy Squabble Publicly Over Planned Endorsements of Donald Trump

As reported by Clutch, the Donald Trump campaign has been widely advertising a meeting on Monday between Trump and a group of well-known Black pastors. The meeting will be televised and streamed online live from the Trump Towers. Apparently a Trump campaign press release said that 100 African American religious leaders will appear with Trump on Monday to endorse him.  On Friday, a group of 114 other Black religious leaders and scholars published an Open Letter in Ebony strongly criticizing those who plan to meet with Trump, saying in part:
[A]s people of God, you know that our theology shapes our politics, and politics are a great indicator of our theology. What theology do you believe Mr. Trump possesses when his politics are so clearly anti-Black? He routinely engages in the kind of rhetoric that brings out the worst sorts of white racist aggression, not only toward Black people, but also toward Mexican-Americans and Muslim-Americans, too. Surely, we can agree that this kind of unloving and violent language does not reflect the politics of the Christ we profess?
In response to all of this, several of the clergy who plan to attend the Monday meeting made it clear that they have not committed to endorsing Trump.  According to the Daily Beast today, Bishop Clarence McClendon whose name leads the list of those advertised as planning to attend, said in a Facebook post:
I am not officially endorsing ANY candidate and when I do you will NOT need to hear it from pulpitting courtjesters who suffer from intellectual and spiritual myopia.
It is not clear that the 100 religious leaders who it was said will endorse Trump Monday are the same ones who are attending the advertised meeting.