Pastor Darrell Scott of New Revival Spirit Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio was at the White House for Donald Trump’s meeting in honor Black History Month when he shared information that was unfounded. Scott has been an avid supporter of Trump throughout his campaign and one of the premiere “African-American” voices to arise out of Cleveland. During the meeting, the pastor made some newsworthy comments that shocked many Chicago natives as well as longtime activists from the area. Did Scott outright lie to Trump or did he merely state alternative facts?
The term “alternative facts” was recently introduced to the world at large after a member of Trump’s administration used word manipulation to cover a lie. Instead of owning the erroneous statement, Kellyanne Conway decided to get creative and call it an alternative fact. After the pastor’s last meeting with Trump, others are wondering if this was the case with him. During the recent White House meeting, Scott told President Trump that top gang thugs from Chicago contacted him seeking help for the area. Sitting at the roundtable, the pastor said:
…Speaking of the community let me just say this real quick. I was recently contacted by some of the top gang thugs in Chicago. They reached out to me because they associate me with you. They respect you and believe in what you are doing and they want to have a sit down about lowering the body count. These guys are straight from the street, no politicians. They commit to lowering the body count if we come in and do some social programs. They want to work with this administration. They reached out to me, I didn’t reach out to them. They didn’t believe in the prior administration. They told me this out of their mouths…
Scott quickly made headlines after telling Trump this information. Now, Scott has admitted that he did not talk to any gang leaders in Chicago, adding that he misspoke due to the lack of sleep. In a matter of minutes, after the statement was made, social media sounded off with native Chicagoans asking who the pastor is and declaring he had shared untrue statements. Did the pastor just lie, or did he merely share alternative facts?
People immediate slammed the pastor for lying and began to question what else he may have lied about. Many added that sleep deprivation is the dumbest excuse they had ever heard for lying. One person said:
Clearly, Pastor Scott was trying to earn favor by telling Trump how beloved he was by Chicago gangs. Perhaps he saw all the other African-Americans in the room and felt competitive, and was hoping to earn the exciting distinction of Trump calling him “MY African-American”? Maybe we could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he did so in hope of getting money for social programs, given how Trump so loves it when people compliment him?
Whatever reason the pastor chose to lie, or render alternative facts, it has become a “stumbling block” for many who already accuse preachers of being avid liars and con artists. One woman said:
Typical preacher behavior. What do you expect from people who preach fairy tales to gullible people all day long?
Violence is at an all-time high in the streets of Chicago and natives were not happy to learn that Pastor Scott used their pain for his own notoriety. Others admittedly had never heard of the preacher but welcome any assistance he or anyone else can offer to harness the criminal activity.
Scott came under fire for his extreme exaggeration to the president about involvement in helping lower Chicago’s crime rate. No one can adequately surmise why he would choose to waste a lie on that, but the pastor said he simply misspoke. Whatever the reason, it bears a strong resemblance to the behavior already attributed to Trump’s administration. The question remains, “Did Darrell Scott lie to President Trump, or did he merely state alternative facts?”
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
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