Trump Courting Black Preachers
Donald Trump, a billionaire real estate mogul, is courting black preachers in his quest to become the 45th president of the United States of America. Trump is the leading contender out of a field of sixteen men and women for the Republican Party nomination. He has been atop the Republican leader board since tossing his hat into the ring for the GOP nomination. Should Trump receive his party’s nomination, he will in all likelihood need a significant block of black voters to push him over the top. Black voters have not played a significant role in electing a Republican president since the Dwight David Eisenhower campaigns in 1952 and 1956. The last time the black vote was a solid Republican vote was in the failed campaign of Vice President Richard Milhous Nixon against Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1960. Kennedy received just enough of the black vote to etch out a close election victory.
According to Rollingout, an online news source that covers cultural affairs in black America, Trump hosted a group of black preachers at Trump Towers during a prayer meeting last month. According to Mo Barnes, writing in Rollingout, the prayer meeting was a virtual “who’s Who” of the prosperity gospel.
“Reportedly in attendance were: Pastor Darrell Scott; Pastor E. Dewey Smith; Bishop Clarence McClendon; Pastor Mark Burns; Bishop Noel Jones; Crystal Smith, CEO Joy105; Prophet Robert Scott; Pastor James Davis; Pastor Demetrius Johnson; and Pastor Lionel Traylor,” Rollingout reported. This story was initially reported in the Conservative Tribune and would have gone largely unnoticed had Barnes not diligently pursued his craft.
While these prominent black pastors were praying for a Trump presidency, many in the black community view Trump’s foray into presidential politics as a mere extension of his reality television show, The Apprentice. Trump may have started out to have a little fun, but the consistently strong poll numbers have him in the race for the duration.
Since the days of enslavement, the black preacher has been utilized to set the agenda for the black community. Several of the pastors on the Rollingout list have mega-churches. For instance, E. Dewey Smith pastors a megachurch in Atlanta, Georgia and one in Macon, Georgia. Smith’s congregations could be instrumental in tilting the scales toward Trump in Georgia’s Republican Primary next March and could be a factor in maintaining the Republican dominance in Georgia with a strong General Election turnout.
Dr. Harry Ross, a veteran black political poster in Atlanta believes that the prosperity gospel preachers are not attracted to Trump because of his message, but because of his money.
“It’s the money,” Ross said in a telephone interview two days ago. “It is the money that got these preachers meeting with Trump. Black preachers are looking at the money that Trump represents.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Two months after this article was published Pastor E. Dewey Smith wrote to explain that he did not attend the September meeting with Trump.
“I have not met with Mr. Trump on any occasions. I have not met with him & will not meet with him. I was invited to a meeting in September but declined to attend. An “invitee” list has been interpreted as an ‘attendee’ list,” Smith wrote.