There is a reason that the meeting between GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and dozens of black pastors didn’t produce the breakthrough endorsement that some were expecting, according to a prominent African-American spiritual leader in America.
It’s because the ministers, essentially, were intimidated.
By black activists.
Trump met recently at the Trump Tower with dozens of black pastors in a widely promoted meeting. However, there was significant opposition to the fact that the meeting even was held, and Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of the religious nonprofit BOND (Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny) and the author of the new book “The Antidote,” suggested it could have been because of pressure on the pastors not to back Trump over fear that the left-wing monopoly on the black vote would be undermined.
Peterson said pressure has increased in the black community for African-Americans to say they are opposed to conservatives.
“Democrats and Black Lives Matter know that if they can’t get Hillary elected, they won’t be able to advance their big government agenda,” Peterson told WND. “They won’t be able to get away with things like they do under a liberal administration. Therefore, the Democratic Party is trying to embrace the Black Lives Matter movement to get more black votes. Black Lives Matter is also putting pressure on black churches and more mainstream organizations to back their anti-police agenda.”
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Trump campaign promoted a Monday event at Trump Tower where a black pastors were supposed to endorse him. However, news of the meeting outraged many black activists, and the opposition produced an “open letter” from more than 100 black leaders and “scholars.”
Their comments, published in Ebony, urged opposition to the candidate. The letter approvingly quoted one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement as saying BLM was “a tactic to (re)build the black liberation movement.”
Trump later told MSNBC, “Probably some of the Black Lives Matter folks called them up and said, ‘You shouldn’t be meeting with Trump because he believes that all lives matter’.”
Peterson, a WND columnist, observed Black Lives Matter is especially vitriolic toward Trump.
“Without a doubt, Black Lives Matter doesn’t like Donald Trump because he’s bold and independent,” said Peterson. “They tried to disrupt one of his events, and that didn’t work.”
At a recent rally, a Black Lives Matter supporter tried to interrupt Trump’s speech by screaming. Trump’s supporters “roughed up” the man, in the candidate’s words, and Trump went on to suggest the heckler had it coming.
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“Black Lives Matter is threatened by Trump because if he becomes president, this hate, blame and victimhood mess is over,” said Peterson. For that reason, he suggested, Black Lives Matter and other left-wing groups have a vital interest in intimidating Trump’s black supporters into silence.
“If black preachers support Trump, it shows that Black Lives Matter is wrong and that they don’t speak for all blacks. Black Lives Matter doesn’t want any appearance or news to get out that other blacks disagree with their radical agenda.”
Though the group of black pastors backed away from an outright endorsement, a private meeting took place at Trump Tower on Monday. Trump did secure the endorsement of at least some of the pastors, including Rev. Darrell Scott of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. and pastor Steve Parson of Virginia.
However, other pastors said they confronted Trump on what some have called divisive rhetoric. One participant in the meeting, Bishop Victor Couzens, even told Trump to “repent” for the “tone” of his campaign.
But Couzens admitted he thought Trump’s intentions were good. Trump himself said the meeting was “amazing” and told the press he felt a lot of “love” in the room.
Even some progressives are concerned Trump might appeal to at least some black voters. Kristen John Foy of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network told Yahoo News the meeting should be a “red flag for the Democratic Party.” Foy suggested Trump’s ability to attract so many black clergy even for a meeting suggests there is a “void” Trump is filling.
Colin Flaherty, a reporter who has chronicled black mob violence nationwide and is critical of what he called the “anti-white racism” of many African-Americans, said it was “absolutely plausible” Trump could win over at least some black pastors. The author of “White Girl Bleed A Lot” told WND, “In politics, black ministers are very active – and very pragmatic.”
However, Flaherty said Trump would find it difficult to win a large share of the black vote because African-American political and religious leaders are told to fight for their constituents’ interests from an ethnocentric point of you.
“There is an enormous amount of pressure among black political and religious leaders to conform to a race-conscious philosophy characterized chiefly by favoring black people at the expense of non-black people,” Flaherty said. “And no one is hiding this. Every major media outlet in the country runs stories about how great it is to have race-based hiring, promotions, government contracts divided by race, and the like, and how important it is to keep these racial preferences, this ‘affirmative action,’ intact. The central organizing feature of this racial system is the agreement that above all, this system of racial preferences must be maintained.”
Flaherty suggests Trump is implicitly challenging this system by not approaching non-whites apologetically and instead treating them like fellow Americans.
“To the extent that Trump treats black Americans like the rest of Americans, he is to be commended,” Flaherty said. “More than most other Republican candidates, he seems to be doing that.”
Peterson said Trump is appealing because he is not playing by the rules of political correctness.
“I like the way he’s presenting himself,” he confessed. “He seems like he’s treating black Americans the same as whites and other races. Trump is not trying to appease or cater to any special groups. This is the right way to deal with people.”