There was a time when U.S. presidents were a bit fearful of the power of the Black church and more so that of Black pastors. Faith has been one of the pillars of the Black community since emancipation and the power of the Black pastor during the civil rights era was one to be reckoned with, then we got Trump. Suddenly, the very idea of speaking truth to power became a jockeying of positions on how close you could get to the president. But there is always “that one” who wants to show he is closer to God, power and Trump. That person is Pastor Darrell Scott of New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland.
This week, Trump hosted Black pastors for a roundtable discussion on criminal justice reform and community engagement. President Trump mentioned a few initiatives he will try to get through Congress but made no substantive statements. He then allowed the assembled pastors to pray first and introduce themselves. All concurred that they believed in God and were thankful to be at the White House. But not one of those pastors took the time to address any real issues with their communities. It was a shame for these assembled men and women of God to smile and remain silent in the presence of one the greatest facilitators of racist evil. Instead, the assembled leaders and the president got Pastor Scott who called Trump “the most pro-Black president that we’ve had in our lifetime.”
Scott’s words are the epitome of the sellout pastor. The following is the complete official White House transcription of Scott’s words so he will not be able to claim he was taken out of context:
PASTOR SCOTT: “Pastor Darrell Scott. I’ve had the honor and privilege to work with then-candidate, now President Trump, and to observe him behind the scenes and have a number of personal conversations with him. And people ask me why do I defend him so vociferously. And I say it’s easy for me to do it because I know him, and he’s shown me his heart, and I know he has a heart for all Americans. And I will say this: This administration has taken a lot of people by surprise. And it’s going to surprise you guys even more because this is probably the most proactive administration regarding urban America and the faith-based community in my lifetime. And I’ll be 60 years old in December.
“But when I think back on — well, I mean, I use good hair dye. And I’ve got a great makeup artist. But, to be honest, this is probably going to be the — and I’m going to say this at this table — the most pro-Black President that we’ve had in our lifetime because — and I try to, you know, analyze the people that I encounter. This president actually wants to prove something to our community, our faith-based community and our ethnic community.
“The last president didn’t feel like he had to. He felt like he didn’t have to prove it. He got a pass. This President is — this administration is probably going to be more proactive regarding urban revitalization and prison reform than any President in your lifetime. If we work together, give him a chance. Don’t pay any attention to these guys back here. (Laughs.) And I’ll promise you, we will do something that — we will — this administration will continue to make history. It’s going to be a lot of positive changes. Great things are on the horizon, I promise.”
THE PRESIDENT: “Thank you. I have to say one thing about Darrell. So, I didn’t know him at all. And I’m watching one of the, I would say, “unfriendly” groups of broadcasters, to put it nicely. And I said, “Who is that guy?” He was destroying them. I say, “Who is he?” And then I saw him two or three times. And I said, ‘I have to meet him.’ ”