Some African-American Faith Leaders Left Reeling From Trump Election, But Intend to Soldier On and Reach Out to Him

African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Frank M. Reid III said black clergy will make some of the same demands of President-elect Donald Trump that they had expected to ask Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Frank M. Reid III said black clergy will make some of the same demands of President-elect Donald Trump that they had expected to ask Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Back when so many thought Hillary Clinton would be the next president, two dozen African-American leaders wrote to the Democratic nominee asking her to explain her policies related to the poor and the police.

African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Frank M. Reid III said black clergy will make some of the same demands of President-elect Donald Trump.

“Mr. Trump, you’ve said that you want to bring jobs into the black community, strengthen the education system, etc.,” Reid said, imagining a future conversation after the “mind-blowing” election. “Purely as a political arrangement, we’re saying, ‘Let’s work together to do that.’”

Some African-American faith leaders, reeling from the election of Trump, say they intend to soldier on, reach out to those with whom they disagree and continue to fight for the social issues they care about, such as increasing the minimum wage and improving public schools.

After concerted get-out-the-vote efforts — from “text-a-thons” to phone banks — by black denominations, PICO National Network and other groups, some leaders say they’re still trying to figure out why Trump won.

“It’s like a mourning, it’s like a funeral in some parts of America, in black America, among Muslim Americans and among immigrants I’ve talked to this morning,” said the Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair of the National African-American Clergy Network, on Wednesday (Nov. 9).

She noted that the presidential election had an undertone of racial animosity and took place for the first time since the Supreme Court invalidated portions of the Voting Rights Act that provided voter protections.

“It makes a difference when your polling place moves to the suburbs and … when there’s no Sunday transportation where pastors can take their people to the polls after a service,” she said.

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SOURCE: Religion News Service – Adelle M. Banks

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