Proverbs 14:12- There is a path that seems right to a man but in the end, it leads to death.
On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, a group of Black preachers met with President Trump in the Oval Office. On the surface, the meeting was held to discuss prison reform and other items were read from a prepared document. These included opportunities to improve the quality of life for families and people of color in urban communities. Pastors John Gray, Darrell Scott, Paula White, and others were in attendance. According to reports, the discussion centered on employment, prison reform and a few other notables. This was a photo opportunity to beat all! Preachers from Alabama, Nevada, South Carolina, Mississippi, California, Illinois, Virginia Wisconsin, Florida Michigan, and a few other states sat with a wannabe King with a grateful and publicly shared an open heart to kiss the ring. When Trump asked a preacher how many members he had, alarm bells went off. This was an interesting question.
Without question, preachers have a captive audience every seven days. Depending on the various missions, activities, and events, they may see their members several times throughout a week. At each gathering, there is an opportunity for the Trump message to be introduced and promoted. “Don’t believe what you read or see, believe only in what I say!” In essence, this was a recent comment delivered by Trump. I would argue that when Trump looks at preachers, particularly Black preachers, he is doing a head count on the number of people who will vote, preferably for him.
Many of the people sitting around that table were gun-ho regarding prison reform as it related to those coming out of prison and going into the workforce. The discussion did not include African-Americans who were wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit. Nor, did these preachers introduce the treatment of those in prisons. There were two Spanish speaking preachers who did not feel that the separation of children from their parents was worth introducing. One black female was overly grateful for the opening of a steel mill in Birmingham Alabama. She failed to ask how the tariff/tax on steel will affect employment. She also did not introduce apprenticeship opportunities that could lead to journeymen status for African-Americans and other men and women of color. With all the gun violence in this country, the Black preacher from Chicago gave praise for the invitation but held back on introducing the topic of guns. Maybe he is unaware that the issue of guns is directly tied to the National Rifle Association who are recipients of excessive funds from Russian oligarchs. These men are, like Trump, directly tied to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. How much money is not known as recently Secretary Mnuchin stated that the NRA has the option to not disclose the source of their money chest. This was reported by MSNBC and other news sites.
Trump read from his prepared text that education was for all. Yet, report after report has shown that Betsy DeVos is undermining public school education. Not one Black preacher found an issue with that. Lest we forget that families in Detroit, Michigan who are still dealing with contaminated water. Medical doctors and scientist have stated the long-lasting detriment to children’s health have yet to be determined. And yet, these Black ministers sat there smiling like all is well. Again, Proverbs 14:12 takes center stage for me.
Trump was eager to spout unemployment numbers among African-Americans. However, The National Urban League, Inc. presents a true and precise picture. They state the following:
Black Unemployment is at an All-Time Low
A lie that our idiot-in-chief keeps spouting as his victory is the lie that black unemployment is at an all-time low. True black unemployment is the low, 6.8%, but it’s still twice that of white people (3.7%). Moreover, it doesn’t account for under-employment and black people still make only 55 cents for every dollar a white person makes. So while it’s truly more of us are working, we’re working at poverty wages. Not to mention, that none of this can be seen in the hood. The ghetto is still full of young black people, 18-29 years old, looking for a job and the skills to get one.
Let’s not forget that none of this has anything to do with 45. Nothing in his policies would have any direct effect on black employment and would more than likely cause the opposite. As Sam Fulwood states economists are agreed, illustrating that Trump had nothing to do with this decrease because black unemployment began falling years before he took office. “From January to December 2017, the unemployment rate among black Americans fell 1 percentage point. During the same period in 2016, it fell by the same amount. In 2015, it fell 1.9 points. The previous year, it fell 1.5 points. The year before that, it fell 1.8 points.”
In a funny twist of fate, since 45 ran his mouth off about black unemployment levels, January saw a nearly 1% increase in black unemployment… National Urban League, Inc. 2018
What does it mean to be hoodwinked? Deceived, tricked, duped, and conned are synonyms of this infamous word. One physical example is the meeting between Trump and beloved comedian Steve Harvey who admitted that Trump was very congenial and welcoming. However, Harvey stated that Trump appeared to not know why he was asked to come to a meeting with him. Harvey took the opportunity to introduce his concerns and desires. Subsequently, Harvey introduced how he could help the newly confirmed (January 2017) Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD.
Harvey’s mentoring program supports close to 1,000 young men each year. The program has an exceptional history of success. It was smart of him to take the opportunity to present his desire to Trump while he was in the Trump Towers. Accordingly, Harvey wanted to connect with HUD to rebuild dilapidated schools, with on-site mentoring for youth. His second desire was to develop vision centers where students could learn life skills and parents could be beneficiaries of various training to improve their quality of life. The overall goal was to refurbish urban communities across the country. According to Harvey, Trump made the immediate connection with Ben Carson to establish a series of meetings to begin this undertaking. Upon leaving, Harvey stated that Trump wanted to elevator down with him. The press, stationed outside Trump Towers was ready for questions. According to Harvey, the first thing Trump said when questioned by the press he was dismantling and replacing Obama Care. The backlash that Harvey received from that January 13, 2017 date, cut to his core. Months later he was able to present his position. Accordingly, Obama Care was not even discussed in their meeting. However, Harvey, standing alongside Trump presented a picture of Harvey being in support of Trump’s statement.
Approximately, but not surprisingly, Carimah Townes, in a March 9, 2017, headlined article illustrated Trump’s commitment to improving urban centers around the country. The headline read, “After promising to revitalize ‘inner cities,’ Trump decides to shred affordable housing. He wants to cut billions out of the Housing and Urban Development’s budget… According to the Washington Post, the proposal calls for $6 billion to be cut from the department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018. And the pool of money for public housing repairs and the Community Development Block Grant Program will be hit especially hard.
America is now between a rock and a hard place. As Mueller’s probe continues, and Trump’s blatant obstruction of justice comments are regularly tweeted, there may be impeachment proceedings. Of course, his latest Supreme Court appointee, who has not been confirmed, believes in a get out of jail free card for presidents. However, in terms of race relations, Pence is no better than Trump as he uses God’s words to undermine people of color. Like with Trump, I cannot dismiss his history of racist behavior. While governor of Indiana, an African-American was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Pence refused to pardon the African-American man who was wrongly imprisoned. The Daily Beast (2/15/17) reported that Keith Cooper was sentenced to 40 years in prison for a violent robbery he claimed he didn’t commit. Through the use of DNA, the prosecutor found him innocent. He was released and sought a pardon to have his record expunged. Pence, as governor, refused to grant Mr. Cooper’s petition. Even his prosecutor came to agree Cooper was innocent. It took a new governor to clear his name.
What leads to death either physical, emotional, economically, politically and socially is being conjured, like a big pot of gumbo that has reached its apex and is about to boil over. Many Americans drank the Kool-Aide and placed a 21st Century Abimelech (Judges, Chapter 9) in the White House. A man who has blatantly shown disdain for world leaders who have supported the US for decades, while he bromance those who hate democracy. BBC America, CNN, MSNBC, and other news channels are constantly providing a reality check on this country and our standing in the world. What has not been pointed out is God will bring judgment on His own people. And that is the death that I speak of. As a Christian, it will take corporate prayer, faith, and actions to have a country pleasing to God. He told us, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2nd Chronicle 7:14. Trump said he does need to be forgiven.
The church is good for the soul and can breathe life into the hurting. However, God has given all of us five senses and for some honest discernment. However, If a “Don’t believe what you read or see. Listen only to me.” is pronounced by your preacher, you may want to go to God for guidance.
Proverbs 14:12- There is a path that seems right to a man but in the end, it leads to death.
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