Some Black Clergy Decry Trump’s Policies as Detrimental to African-Americans

The Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins speaks with other faith leaders at a press conference responding to the Trump administration’s policies in Washington, D.C., on May 15, 2017. Photo courtesy of Ray Chen/Office of Public Witness, PC(USA)

Black clergy, standing in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, declared that President Trump is not living up to his promise of being the “greatest champion” for the nation’s African-Americans.

At a news conference Monday (May 15) in front of the United Methodist Building, leaders of congregations and denominations called on fellow African-Americans to speak up and urged Congress to vote down proposed plans by the new administration that they believe help the rich and hurt the sick and the poor.

The Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair of the National African American Clergy Network, cited proposed budget plans that will hinder the progress of children in public and charter schools and Justice Department plans that would especially put African-Americans at risk of stricter mandatory sentences.

“The very survival of fellow Americans depends on members of Congress and those in the administration exercising the backbone that is supposed to be part of their leadership,” she said.

The church officials countered Trump’s campaign question — “What do you have to lose?” — to African-Americans.

“We are indeed in trouble, we are indeed losing,” said the Rev. Leslie Copeland-Tune, director of the Ecumenical Poverty Institute, who criticized the administration’s plans to cut nutrition programs for the poor.

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SOURCE: Religion News Service