Why AME Pastors and members must shun Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump
By Chuck Hobbs, Esquire
Amid concerns over the past few weeks that Hillary Clinton is poised to win the heavily Republican states of Virginia, Georgia and Florida, Donald Trump and his surrogates have begun to reach out in earnest to Hispanic and Black pastors in hopes of attracting minority voters away from Clinton’s strong base with those two demographics.
But where the fusion of religion and politics is concerned, if nothing else has been made painfully clear over the last year, it is that Trump has a limited understanding of the Christian faith at best, and simply is not a Christian that worships “in spirit and truth” at worst. Whether it was the “Two Cornithians” gaffe, where Trump mislabeled the Apostle Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians, or the very ungodly attacks that he has levied against women, the disabled and Mexican immigrants, if one analyzes Trump’s political antics by using the once popular slogan “what would Jesus do,” the simple answer should be: “not act or speak like Donald Trump.”
Ditto for the vitriolic attacks that Trump has levied against Muslim Americans, which includes a disgraceful— if not bizarre—rhetorical battle that he waged against the family of US Army Captain Humayan Khan, who was killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2004.
Knowing that Trump has displayed puerile behavior on the campaign trial while fostering an atmosphere at his campaign rallies that has been hostile in words and overt acts of violence to Black protesters, what, then, would compel any Black pastor or church member to give any credence to Trump’s new pitches to the Black community?
Indeed, this past year, we did not see Trump celebrating 200 years of our proud African Methodist Episcopal denomination in Philadelphia, where had he bothered to show up, he would have had an opportunity to mingle with highly educated, patriotic Black men and women who pay taxes while leading our homes, our communities and our colleges and universities that are far more successful than the now defunct Trump University. Trump deliberately shunned conventions for the Urban League, the NAACP, and Black professional associations for the medical, dental, and legal fields, among others. He skipped the conventions of Black Greek Letter Organizations and even worse, he chose not to attend the convention for the National Association of Black Journalists, a venue in which he would have had unfettered access to Black writers who work within the Black press, the mainstream press, and the ever growing number of bloggers who are shaping opinions among Black voters.
That Trump made the choice to shun the aformentioned Black groups shows that his outreach is not real, rather, it is a fake attempt to mitigate what many Black pastors, journalists and voters have already concluded, which is that he is a racist—plain and simple. The Trump that we see today is not much different from the man he was in the 1970s, when he refused to rent to Black tenants, or in the late 1980s, when he took out full page ads in the New York Times to demand the death penalty for the five young Black men known as the “Central Park Five,” each of whom was charged with but later acquitted of rape. As such, knowing Trump’s racist past and present, it would be wise for AME voters to shun his entreaties for our votes.
Chuck Hobbs is a trial lawyer and award winning freelance writer who resides in Tallahassee, Florida. Hobbs is a member of Bethel AME Church, under the pastoral leadership of Reverend Dr Julius McAllister, Jr. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @RealChuckHobbs