When I marched for civil rights, I never dreamed that less than a century would pass before there was a serious effort to marginalize black political power again.
And this time, it’s coming from within our own ranks, in the form of guilt and political bullying from people who are supposed to be respected black leaders. The strategy they deploy is chilling: those who do not agree to follow their edict on how African Americans should think and vote will be shamed and ostracized.
This is what passes for “progressive” nowadays.
As you know, I was honored last month by the Tennessee legislature. A group of African American legislators was there on the floor with me as they thanked me for years of service to the community.
Except for one man, Rep. Antonio Parkinson, who later told the entire assembly that he objected to that commendation because I did not vote the way he prefers. Rep. Parkinson attempted to chastise me — and by extension, every black man and woman who didn’t support Hillary Clinton — by attacking my political beliefs and suggesting that they somehow made me unfit for the honors I had received.
Well, I’ve had enough of this small-minded bullying and intimidation.
I stand for deeply-held principles and the right to practice my faith. And I will not bow to any political party, nor follow in lockstep because some black leaders have hitched their future to the Democrats.
The fact that Rep. Parkinson went out of his way to make an issue of my political beliefs is just one more example of how African Americans are being pigeonholed and shamed for following their values. And all by a Democratic Party that is happy to take our votes, but advocates policies that have destroyed our communities and which is hostile to our churches.
I’m tired of people like Rep. Parkinson putting the interests of illegal immigrants and LGBT activists ahead of African Americans. And he has the gall to attack CAAP and our work!
Tomorrow, I’ll be holding a press conference in Memphis in which I will call out Rep. Parkinson and others like him. It’s time we stood up to these so-called leaders and their narrow political views and exposed their racial bullying for what it is — just one more ploy to keep African Americans on the political plantation created by the Democratic Party.
For faith, family, and justice,
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The Coalition of African American Pastors, [aka] The Coalition for American Action and Principles, is a grass-roots movement of Christians who believe in traditional family values in American public life. We believe in protecting the lives of the unborn and defending the sacred institution of marriage.
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