If Barack Obama weren’t black, would most black voters really have reason to support him?
Rev. C.L. Bryant, a former chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, is boldly challenging whether the expanding government programs and progressive ideals espoused by Obama and his allies are actually helpful to black people or whether “the sons and daughters of former slaves traded one form of slavery for yet another.”
“Black people are very uninformed,” Bryant told WND, one of the key reasons he has made “Runaway Slave,” a powerful new movie blowing the lid off racial politics.
Bryant is a descendent of American slaves and Choctaw Indians. He’s also a Baptist minister who resigned from NAACP leadership when they required him to host an event directly violating the commandments of Christ. In Bryant’s film, leaving the NAACP was just one step on his journey away from the slavery of anger and one step towards the truth setting him free.
What, then, is the reaction of blacks who’ve seen “Runaway Slave”?
Bryant told WND: “I have not yet had an encounter with anyone black who has been confrontational.”
He said that at screenings most tell him they didn’t know a lot of facts in the film. Still others get choked up and want to hug him. And he’s got video to prove it. Audience reactions to the Atlanta screening of “Runaway Slave” can be seen in the video above.
Yet as Bryant’s film shows, there is black-on-black bigotry towards those who defy the Democratic Party’s agenda.
“There have been some black pastors who have not seen the film at all and told their congregations not to support it,” Bryant told WND. “In essence, they wanted to boycott it, and the odd thing is they hadn’t seen it. And that’s the foolishness of it. But everyone who has seen the film, even if you’re a white liberal, it’s not nearly what they anticipated. In fact, you come out with somewhat of an epiphany.”
In “Runaway Slave,” Bryant travels to historic civil rights cities, including Washington, Atlanta, Birmingham and Philadelphia, interviewing high profile leaders and fellow citizens, urging everyone to “run harder” from “tyranny to liberty.” He questions the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, NAACP President Ben Jealous, radio host Joe Madison and Black Panthers.
But this isn’t a story of Bryant against the world. “Runaway Slave” also features a growing base of black leaders working to restore everyone’s constitutional rights. There are men and women, young people and civil rights veterans, grassroots and national leaders. Bryant interviews Timothy Johnson of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson of BOND and the South Central L.A. Tea Party, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans and WND columnist Star Parker – to name a few.
“Runaway Slave” opens juxtaposing Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally with Al Sharpton’s counter-protest. Bryant and his fellow filmmakers documented both events, and Sharpton was outraged that Beck had scheduled his event on the anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech (WND covered Beck’s rally here and here). In the film, we see Sharpton urging some 200 followers to “sucker punch” the allegedly racist hundreds of thousands of tea-party types attending Beck’s rally.
Ironically, Martin Luther King’s niece Alveda King and numerous other black leaders took the stage at Beck’s 2010 event – and in “Runaway Slave,” King tells Bryant the priorities for honoring her family’s legacy.
There are many surprises on Bryant’s journey. For example, a black African tells Bryant why he and other people from his continent don’t care to associate with black Americans.
Another surprise occurs as Bryant stands on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, scene of the historic Bloody Sunday, where some 600 Americans attempted to complete their Selma-to-Montgomery March for black voting rights. On Bloody Sunday, marchers were merely six blocks away from their destination when state and local officers attacked them with tear gas and billy clubs. In “Runaway Slave,” as Bryant stands on the bridge, along comes a man who had marched with his mother on that day back in 1965.
“And the odd thing about him is this: When we finished interviewing him, he pushed his shopping cart away – and we feel there was no time for him to get off the bridge, yet we don’t know where he came from and we don’t know where he went,” said Bryant. “Now, I don’t read anything into it or out of it, but many people have told me his story is a very touching thing, and the last thing he said to us was: ‘Out of all the things that have happened, this country is the greatest country in the world.’
“I think it was a God thing, personally,” said Bryant.
Barack Obama isn’t once named in “Runaway Slave.” But considering most black voters helped to elect him in 2008, Bryant told WND: “You take away the color of this president – let’s look at his white side. All of a sudden, he’s not black. Then the question to any black person should be: ‘Why would I then vote for him?’ You take away his skin color and there is absolutely no reason for a black person to vote for him.”
Rev. Bryant is a fellow of the Washington-based FreedomWorks, which co-produced “Runaway Slave” with Ground Floor Video of greater Atlanta.
Bryant’s documentary is showing in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Louisiana and now is expanding to the Dallas area and St. Louis. Later this month, it’s scheduled to open in Charlotte, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Obama’s hometown, Chicago. Like most independent films, wide release of “Runaway Slave” depends on the box office returns in its premier markets. Click here to follow “Runaway Slave” and get movie tickets.
A trailer for the film can be seen below: