After more than 100 black ministers met with presidential hopeful Donald Trump, one pastor who attended the meeting was crucified by Roland Martin. Pastor Stephen Parson, in an interview with the NewsOne host, attempted to boast about the positive outcome of the meeting, only to be exposed as another leader of the community who lacks urban literacy. Typically pastors in the African-American community are not challenged; it as if they are above reproach. This may have been the expectation when Parson agreed to speak with the commentator, instead Martin was not satisfied with the vague and incomplete responses he received from the minister. In search of real answers the host has issued an open invitation to all pastors who took part in the meeting.
Martin wanted to know how the discussion went concerning education, housing, employment, mass incarceration, small business administration and other issues relative to the black community. The host said he is tired of hearing prosperity messages from these pastors, without true substance. To listen to the conversation between the two men was the equivalent to a pro-boxing match with a TKO in the first round. Parson rendered very few specifics about what was discussed during the meeting and none that related directly to urban communities. Martin ended the interview by stating:
If you are going to get media attention and talk about the hype of being a black pastor and meeting with a Republican presidential candidate, that is fine, but if you are going to go into the room, at least walk in with a sheet of paper with something on it that represents your community. This is what happens when you get pimped and you get played when you are a pastor. And I would say, if you can’t come out of a room and talk about what was actually discussed with substance — all you did was have a nice get-together and you had a ministerial meeting that served no particular purpose.
As Martin continued to crucify Parson with statistics and facts concerning the state of the world today, the minister found himself having to tell Martin to slow down. However, the obvious evasive and painfully vague responses provoked Martin to question the minister’s reason for attending the meeting. To at least one of the policy-oriented questions, Parson was forced to admit that Trump did not speak to it verbally, but did so in spirit. Martin was not the only community leader to speak out about the meeting. Other well-known pastors also shared their feelings of disdain. One preacher, who did not specifically speak to whether or not he is a pastor, said:
Trump has done nothing for the black community as a business man. Why would he do anything as the President? If this was an Issue for him as a businessman than perhaps I could see him doing something for us as a President. Trump is the chief of the general statement; no details or substance at all. I am black and I am a preacher and I DO NOT Stand With Trump.
As the interview continued, Martin proceeded to annihilate the black pastor. Parson told the host that it is not the responsibility of the government to provide jobs to the African-American community because “God gives us the power to get wealth.” Martin then responded to the preacher by saying, “I asked you a direct question about capital!” The minister then admitted that Trump did not deal with the details of that, but stated the entire meeting was about “doing” that. This and other vague responses to specific questions infuriated Martin who was in search of answers to support the importance of the meeting relative to the black community.
After nearly 15 minutes of useless rhetoric, the journalist shut the conversation down. Dubbed as the man with “fresh perspective for the 21st century,” he has long been on a mission to challenge the church to escape the four walls and go out into the world. As opposed to being content with the status quo, Martin believes the church needs to be more active in the community, broaden its focus and change the way it reaches the people. Instead, the meeting with Trump proved to be more of the same self-centeredness that has long encapsulated church leaders in urban communities.
The interview between Martin and Parson may have resulted in the annihilation of the pastor, but it should also serve as a form of awareness to members of congregations across the globe. No leader of a church should be in office without accountability. They should welcome questions from other leaders as well as the members they speak to on a weekly basis in search of clarity. The embarrassment of urban illiteracy displayed by Parson was atrocious; not just because had no real answers, but there are others just like him supporting a self-serving cause without considering the needs of the people in the community where they lead.
The offer to appear on NewsOne has been extended to other ministers who were in attendance for the meeting. Hopefully, they will have a clearer understanding of the policies Trump intends to tackle should he gain access the Oval Office. If not, they might be forced to leave nailed to the same cross Roland Martin used to crucify Pastor Parson.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Michigan Chronicle: Roland Martin Offers “Open Invitation” To Black Pastors To Talk Specifics
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