I understand according to some sources that the actual number may be 106 of you that met with Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump but it seems verification regarding any aspect of your meeting is lacking I’ll just go with the round number of 100.I should say that I have no concerns about pastors taking an activist role in politics and in fact encourage it as pastors have traditionally been advocates for their communities and found that politicians and elected officials often were the key to making meaningful change. I don’t object to your having met with a Republican candidate although I question the timing in that I might have personally waited until they had an actual nominee and not injected myself this soon. Republicans have total control of the State legislatures in dozens of states and they need to be included in any meaningful discussions of change and there is always the possibility of a Republican President in the White House in the not too distant future so relationships are not necessarily a bad thing.
I wish to be clear that I have a great respect for the institution of the Black church and feel it has a contemporary role as well as a historical one in many aspects of our lives. As a disclaimer I note that my pastor was on the list that was originally announced to be meeting with Mr. Trump although I have not ascertained if she was included in the number that rejected meeting with Donald Trump after his campaign categorized their meeting as an endorsement or whether she did meet with them. I also am unaware of their intended purpose in meeting with Trump, what transpired in the meeting and what if any result was achieved in their minds. In my pastor’s case after listening to many sermons I’m aware that we have slightly differing views on a number of subjects but I don’t expect total agreement with anyone and despite any differences she remains my pastor. I scoured her Facebook pages for some insight as to her rationale or any feedback regarding the meeting and have yet to see any. I’ve watched news coverage and scoured the Internet regarding the meetings and except for the press releases from the Trump campaign (and postings from Omarosa) there is nothing to help explain not only your actions but your collective silence.
As previously stated I know not your intentions. While God acts in mysterious ways, pastors really should not. There was a time when pastors spoke to the people, often for the people but now it is time for you to speak with the people. I’m fairly clear on what Donald Trump got from your meeting which was cover from all the charges of his clearly racist comments and behavior on the campaign trail. He can now repeat his claims of getting along well with “the Blacks” and remind all of the love you all had for him expressed in the meeting you won’t talk about. He has found a few of you to tell us that they have discerned his nature, he is not a racist and we should disbelieve our own lying eyes and ears while the great majority of you remain silent. I won’t say this meeting has enhanced Trump’s credibility but has given him a tool to deflect criticism and continue the tone which has led him to the top of the polls.
The meeting has diminished your credibility not only individually and collectively as your group of 100. You have damaged the black church entire by creating at least the appearance of being pawns, sellouts and weak. In these times, almost every leader that takes a stand on something is subject to criticism and condemnation, even from those on whose behalf they serve. It may well be that there is no consensus among your group which probably should have been considered sooner than later and there may be no statement that represents you all. If not then you individually have the responsibility to speak out and express your views as opposed to allowing them to be defined by others. It is time to speak out because your silence is deafening.