CAAP replies to critics who condemned black faith leaders meeting at White House

Henderson, NV—August 6, 2018—Today, Rev. William Owens, President of the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), replied to critics who condemned him for attending a meeting at the White House with the president and inner city pastors. Referencing members of the African American community who have hurled invective at him and the other attendees, Rev. Owens decried the shortsighted and divisive partisanship that does nothing to help those in need.

“For years, I have criticized people in power for doing little to restore our inner cities, enact prison reform, or meet the needs of black Americans,” stated Rev. Owens. “Now, when a president hears our concerns and demonstrates a willingness to address them, I’m expected to reject any help because of political partisanship? This isn’t just wrongheaded thinking; it’s actively harmful to our people. The contempt and hatred some Christians have for President Trump is unchristian.”

“My people are in pain and in need. The inner cities are suffering. And yet, some believe that I should ignore any offer of help unless it comes from ‘approved’ channels. That is intolerance masquerading as righteousness, and I will have no part of it,” continued Rev. Owens. “Since when is it shameful to sit down with the most powerful person in the world to discuss ways to help the least of my brothers? The people who have hurled insults like ‘Uncle Tom’ at me and the other faith leaders at the White House should look to their own motives. Those of us who met with the President were putting principle first. The name-callers, however, are so subjugated by one political party that they will turn on their own people rather than accept a difference of perspective. It’s clear to me who ‘s really being oppressed here … and it’s not the group in the White House.”

Rev. Owens concluded: “Time will tell whether the president will follow through on his promises to address prison reform and the decay of urban communities. But as a Man of God, I prayed on this meeting and realized that I would be shirking my duties if I did not attend. Let the critics say what they wish. I will not be intimidated, nor will I let their narrow-minded views keep me from my mission to help African Americans.”