Pastor Jamal Bryant recently referred to a group of black pastors who met with Donald Trump as “prostitutes” and “pawns.” Jamal Bryant, Pastor of Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church in Baltimore, Maryland, opposes Donald Trump for his inflammatory rhetoric and discriminatory positions, especially toward minorities. He ironically employs the same type of rhetoric and takes the same type of positions on black pastors who decide to meet with Trump. When did sitting down and engaging in civil discourse with someone make one become naïve, a pawn, prostitute, and coon? While I adamantly oppose Donald Trump, I refuse to characterize black people and pastors who meet with him using the aforementioned labels. The time has come to expose Pastor Jamal Bryant for his hypocrisy and intolerance.
One of Bryant’s chief objections to Trump is his supposed discriminatory viewpoints. If Pastor Bryant is truly a champion for racial and social justice, why hasn’t he ever protested the history of discrimination inside of his own fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., a historically black fraternity. Numerous past and present cases across the nation exist of his fraternity discriminating against applicants for membership. Pastor Bryant overlooks his fraternity brothers’ biases, but finds Trump’s alleged discriminatory words to be unbearable. This, sir, is a shameful double standard.
Blinded by his self-righteousness, Bryant fails to see the irony in calling black pastors “prostitutes” for meeting with Trump when he slept with a prostitute while married, which led to a divorce and his daughter being brutally teased. A prostitute, sir, is who you had sex with, causing your marriage to end and resulted in your ministry being tarnished; a prostitute isn’t a pastor simply meeting with Mr. Trump. Mr. Bryant wants people to be tolerant of his past errors but isn’t tolerant enough to allow pastors to meet with Trump without harshly condemning them. Yes, continue to critique Mr. Trump and expose his foolishness but don’t demonize those who choose to have discussions with him and those who endorse him or who will inevitably endorse him.
In a televised church service about two weeks before Labor Day 2015 at Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church, Pastor Bryant told the congregation and the television audience that if they would “just give God a shout He’s going to pay all of your past due bills by Labor Day weekend.” Sir, all of my past due bills are still past due. Mr. Bryant, are you going to pay my past due bills? I guess you desire me to tolerate your false prophecy, huh? Unfortunately, you’re unwilling to tolerate black pastors meeting with Trump, so people are going to experience trouble overlooking your phony prophecy.
While you find Mr. Trump’s rhetoric to be unacceptable, you seem to think calling women “hoes” is acceptable. Hypocrisy! You also think it’s okay to call men in church who don’t meet your deficient standards of masculinity and righteousness “sanctified sissies.” Before you try to castigate Mr. Trump about his troubling language, you’ve got to deal with your own. You’ve offended all women by addressing them as “hoes,” and you’ve offended all gay men by referring to them as “sissies.” At some point, Pastor Bryant, you have to realize you have zero credibility when it comes to policing people’s words. Why do you want everyone to be tolerant except you? Some assert that I’m using his past to discredit his fundamental arguments against these black pastors who met with Trump. Mr. Bryant made his past relevant when he attacked their integrity by labeling them “prostitutes” and “pawns.” It’s, therefore, fair to examine Bryant’s integrity by assessing his record, a record that’s quite disconcerting. Save your crying about folks using his past against him for Oprah.
On yesterday, Mr. Bryant communicated the following message through a Facebook status: “Sometimes maturity is not what you say BUT…what you ignore[.]” Seriously, are you going to lecture people about maturity? With all of the immature things you have said and continue to say and do, you’re certainly the wrong person to lecture folks about maturity. Maturity would have told you not to describe pastors simply meeting with Donald Trump as “prostitutes” and “pawns.” Since you had sex with a prostitute, does that make you a pimp?
Pastor Bryant, have several seats.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison