When Pastors Meet with a President (PTM 216)
Red alert! Buckle up! Jemar and Tyler are back with an emergency podcast about the meeting everyone is talking about. After a group of famous Black pastors were invited to the White House to reportedly discuss prison reform, Black Christians responded with shock and confusion. The televised meeting with the President has raised numerous questions and concerns:
- Is it ever wise to meet with a President?
- Why is this meeting important for all Black Christians?
- What does this meeting say about Charismatic Christianity?
Listen in as we tackle these tough but important questions in this candid episode.
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Show Hosts: Jemar Tisby + Tyler Burns • Producer: Beau York + Podastery Studios • Pass The Mic: Website + Twitter • The Witness: Website + Twitter
Wow. This is honestly saddening my heart, but first I do appreciate the concern for sketch pastors that could be leading others astray. That’s very valid. And the concern on political posturing is great.
It may very well be a photo op, and I’m no fan of the Paula Whites, so I trust y’alls judgment of the room, but here’s the problem.
In your podcast it’s clear the limited scope of your filter. As you appeal to how Trump has treated blacks on twitter as evidence of his presumed racism.
1. Trump treats everyone on twitter the same when it comes to trading insults. Color isn’t the issue. He has responded to any celebrity or politician who has tossed insults at him, but not voters in general or the average person. So along with the Maxines and the Lebrons, he picks on a far range of politicians, celebrities, world leaders etc in return, most of them white. You’ve left this out of of your rationalizing.
2. Further, Trump has applauded many african americans on twitter and in other events/media, and has been highly supportive of John James and others. As you can come up with a handful of past incidents that allude to racism, this is never balanced with a comprehensive look at the positives he’s also done in his past.
And of course a president will support people who support him. That’s a big “DUH” for anyone in just about any business, political or even community context.. But a racist wouldn’t give a crap what their economic or political standing was. Hilter never applauded Jews. Hitler wasn’t hugging and kissing their kids/babies. The KKK doesn’t admit blacks. Racists don’t do that. Trump does. People who do not share your limited scope, at least hold open the possibility Trump isn’t, because they aren’t default biased.
3. Thus, continuing to use Twitter examples as an example of his apparent racism is flawed and irrational. He’s honestly been too balanced. (This doesn’t mean I agree or approve of Trump’s usage or counter comments).
4. Trump treats everyone in the room the same. A photo op with black pastors isn’t any different than a photo op with anyone else. Having a photo op indicates an equality with every other leader etc he’s done so with, just as much as may be just a photo op. Also, he walks in always acting like he holds the pocket aces. So whereas he may very well be a cocky, bully, it’s not necessarily because he’s attempting to dehumanize anyone who isn’t holding pocket aces. Many top competitive personalities appreciate those who come at them with the same belief in themselves, believing they can also handle the competition.
5. All past presidents have photo ops; they have people that benefit from closer relationships. It doesn’t mean there isn’t or wasn’t a conversation off camera, or other work going on. It is ONE meeting. Meanwhile, actions speak louder, where prison reform bills and worker training bills are moving forward. Isolated events feed our bias and promote our dissonance. Ask yourselves if you’d have had this podcast 10 years ago when Jeremiah Wright was in concern or other meetings of pomp and show were given by Obama.
6. Trump has framed the national anthem not against blacks, but as a military/veteran vs millionaire sports figures. Don’t forget how others see this, just because you disagree. They’re losing this battle entirely because the vast majority don’t see it as a race issue. It’s not framed that way.
6. Burns makes probably the most unverifiable, irrational, and judmental comment when he suggests Darrell Scott only alludes to middle and upper class blacks. This is a clear sign of dissonance when the appeal moves into the theoretical without any sort of capability of substantiation.
7. Black voter support has doubled since last year for Trump (and hispanics are up too). Why? I’d say it’s probably because while you’re heads are stuck in the sand on trying to prove Trump’s racism, others are #walkaway from the liberal party that has long failed them. Trump’s actions have only been positive toward their ends, regardless of who he photo ops with or their economic standing. You can keep being flabbergasted if you want, but the needle is shifting away the more unemployment drops.
8. Perhaps, if there is measurable concern with the quality of those present, one should make an effort to be apart of the conversation so that they may persuade where others are apparently just self seeking. Instead, you’ve made ZERO attempt to engage or grab a seat at the table. And I think that’s not because you aren’t capable and can’t make it happen, but because meeting someone personally, typically wrecks our prejudices about them. It means you’d actually have to say you were wrong.
Thus, you have been no better than those sitting at that table. As you accuse them of using God to keep control, are you not doing the same, and yet you haven’t met the man even? Those who follow and listen to you are led to believe all these negative things, not just about Trump or white evangelicals, but even to the point that you’re now hedging against the economic statuses of black people.
There is no greater opportunity and more positive outcome that can happen over the next 6 years if you’re wrong about his racism.
Because the John James’, the Darrel Scotts, the Candace Owens, the Kanyes, that you’ve maligned because they bother to meet, support (at least as an equal human being), and work with someone you deem beneath you, are going to be the one’s giving more black power to the black community than they’ve had since MLK.
Your worldview needs testing. I’d be glad to sit at a table with the both of you, and challenge the possible misconceptions you have.