Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said recently that he will announce the endorsement of a group of 100 African-American pastors and religious leaders.
Most of us were scratching our heads wondering why black pastors would endorse a man whose supporters have shouted ‘white power’ from the stands at an Alabama rally, while others in that same state beat up a Black Lives Matter protester at another rally.
As it happens, the group of prominent African American ministers are surprised by the hotel magnate’s announcement, too.
Several members of the group are making clear that they are not committed to endorsing Trump.
The Daily Beast reports that Bishop Clarence McClendon, a Los Angeles-based minister who was invited to the Monday meeting with clergy, penned a post to Facebook after the announcement by the Trump campaign.
“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,” he wrote.
Bishop Corletta Vaughn, the Senior Pastor of the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Faith in Detroit, also weighed in on Facebook after she said her inbox was “blowing up with inquiries” because her name was included on a list of pastors meeting Trump who will endorse him.
“Let me be clear,” she wrote. “I was invited to attend a gathering of clergy to listen to Mr. Trump on Monday November 30. I respectively (Sic.) declined as I do not support nor will endorse Donald Trump.” (my bold)
“I was asked 2 meet with Mr Trump too but I refused because until he learns how to respect people you can’t represent me thru my endorsement,” Bishop Paul Morton, a prominent pastor in Atlanta tweeted on Friday.
“We can speak truth w/o being arrogant n degrading like Mr Trump No one will ever stop me from speaking truth but we rebuke God’s Way Be Nice,” he wrote in a following tweet.
In yet another tweet, Morton writes, “I don’t know others reason 4 going I gave mine 4 not going When anyone degrades people and expect to lead no thanks.”
Out of the 100 pastors Trump said will stand alongside him while announcing their support is only one guy. One pastor. Just one.
Only Pastor Darrell Scott has said he will attend the press conference to endorse Trump.
Scott told the Daily Beast in an interview on Friday that he organized Monday’s meeting between Trump and black clergy, but that his invitation was for them to meet with Trump, and not intended for them to endorse him.
Trump has announced to his supporters that he will win the black vote, however, polls show the GOP frontrunner garnering a mere 3 to 10 percent from African Americans.
“The 100 pastors they say are endorsing Donald Trump? I don’t know where those 100 are coming from,” said Rev. Jamal Bryant, a prominent AME pastor based in Baltimore.
Neither do we, pastor, and neither do your colleagues.
As for Trump’s message to minorities, he said, “It’s a cross between Archie Bunker and reality television”
“It’s frightening and unnerving that the Republicans would be at this point with him as their frontrunner,” he added.
As for that one guy, Pastor Scott, who is endorsing Trump, he says he considers the GOP frontrunner to be a friend.
Trump suggested that the black protester who was kicked and punched at a his rally in Alabama “deserved it,” and that’s not what we call winning the black vote.
On Wednesday, Chicago protesters marched to Trump Tower yelling, ‘Fuck Trump!” We’re pretty sure they will not endorse him either.