The National Black Church Initiative led by Rev. Anthony Evans issued a statement late Monday night following Donald Trump’s controversial meeting with Black pastors earlier that day on Nov. 30, 2015.
The letter stated in part that Trump, a member of the Presbyterian community, “is a cancer on our democracy and the pervasiveness of this cancer must be cut out using the fervent tools of prayer, votes, and moral authority.”
Evans, who was listed in 2013 by The Root 100 as a top pastor became president of NBCI in 1992. It’s a coalition of 34K African American and Latino churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI partners with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based solutions to economic and social issues.
The organization likens Donald Trump as the “biggest racist since Bull Connor. He is not good for America. He needs to drop out.” Born Theophilus Eugene Connor, Bull Connor was a police chief in Birmingham, Alabama.
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. launched a series of non-violent, anti-segregation protests in downtown Birmingham, and Connor ordered his police department to use fire hoses, police dogs, and night sticks to break up the demonstrations. Images of this crime against humanity were seen around the world and symbolize the absurdity of White supremacy and their resistance to the civil rights of Black people.
Read NBCI’s open letter in its entirety:
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans cannot sit by and allow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to verbally assault every ethnic group who make up the fabric of our country. He has assaulted Blacks, Mexicana, Latino, Muslims and anyone who he believed is not contributing to America or not American. For whatever reason, he has assaulted everyone except for poor whites. Donald Trump is clearly dividing us by giving one group of American a false sense of superiority thus indicating the rest of us are un-American.
Scapegoating an entire group of people is the worst form of bigotry. Donald Trump is playing to our lowest common denominator as he has sought and continues to seek to divide us by income, race, religion and political ideology. What disturbs us the more is that there has not been a majority of people of goodwill who have stood up to denounce this dangerous rhetoric and hate-filled speech. Has our country become oblivious to this type of behavior that we forfeit the character of humanity which binds us together in the greatest nation on Earth? Has our country become immune to this type of behavior that we are willing to have the principles of free speech compromised and redefined at the expense of the integrity of American citizenry?
Furthermore, Donald Trump calls himself a Christian, but his behavior toward fellow Americans has been un-Christian and uncharitable and, in some cases, downright evil. The Black Church will not stand for this type of derogatory behavior and remains unafraid of Donald Trump and his hate-filled rhetoric. Our history shows the Black Church has collectively fought to overcome racism and racist ideology and people. Through the compelling use of moral goodness, prayers, and votes, we the Black Church have paralyzed and immobilized racist and immoral giants. We will do the same with regards to Donald Trump.
Thus, for the sake of the collective good of the American society, we believe Donald Trump should drop out the race for the 2016 Republican Party Presidential Primaries. He is not good for America. While freedom of speech allows him some leverage in affording him some rights to be able to say anything he wants, we also have the right to oppose him. That is the essence of America and that is why we call for Donald Trump to remove himself from the Republican Party Presidential Primaries. The need to maintain the high integrity of our American society requires a different tone and a different kind of leader.
The Rev. Anthony Evans, president of the National Black Church Initiative said “We are not going to let Donald Trump or anyone else assault black people or any other groups. We will oppose him and others through our moral goodness. He is the biggest racist since Bull Conner and we believe Donald Trump should drop out the race.” As you might recall, Bull Conner was determined to kill or lock up every black that spoke against his racist concept of America. Similarly, Donald Trump believes that he can rid America of everyone who does not agree with his fascist ideology.
Here is Donald Trump in his own words:
On illegal immigrants (June): “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”
On illegal immigrants who are rapists (July): “Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don (Lemon)! I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”
On John McCain’s war record (July): “He’s not a war hero…He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
On giving out Lindsey Graham ’s phone number (July): “He doesn’t seem like a very bright guy. He actually probably seems to me not as bright as Rick Perry. I think Rick Perry probably is smarter than Lindsey Graham.”
On refusing to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, during first debate (August): “I will not make the pledge at this time.”
On Megyn Kelly as a debate moderator (August): “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
On Carly Fiorina, in a Rolling Stone interview (September): “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
On not challenging anti-Muslim questioner who said he needs to get rid of Muslims (September): “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things.”
On blaming George W. Bush for 9-11 (October): “When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down on his time.”
On attacking Ben Carson’s faith (October): “I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about, I just don’t know about.”
On comparing Ben Carson to a child molester (November): “It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper. That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that … as an example: child molesting. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.”
On questioning voters in the first caucus state who were supporting Ben Carson in the polls (November): “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”
On falsely recalling “thousands” of people celebrating on 9-11 (November): “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.”
On disruptive protestor at Birmingham, Ala. event (November): “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble.”
On not ruling out database of Muslims in America (November): “We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
Donald Trump is a cancer on our democracy and the pervasiveness of this cancer must be cut out using the fervent tools of prayer, votes, and moral authority. The Black Church has to exercise its moral authority by speaking against this ugliness of the rhetoric expressed by Trump. We must be to not let him destroy this great America experiment for humanity. The Black Church prays for the responsiveness and attentiveness of congregants and to utilize the power of the vote to remove Donald Trump from those contenders vying for highest office in our great land. We can all disagree with everyone without undermining the humanity of anyone. Donald Trump does not meet the basic litmus test.