President Trump: Racist or Reformer?

Bishop Harry Jackson with President Donald Trump, April 10, 2020 (YouTube/Fox News)

Christian voters must answer this question at the ballot box on Tuesday, Nov. 3. If Trump were a racist, he would not deserve Black, Hispanic and Asian support. Contrariwise, if the secular prophets of Baal (Marxist organizations and the progressive media) are simply magnifying Trump's personality over his policies in order to control the minority electorate with deception, Trump should be supported.

I emphatically believe that President Trump is a powerful advocate for social change that counts for all Americans. I have purposely worked behind the scenes with this administration for over five years. I have not been a paid spokesperson nor an advocate for Trump's administration. I have, however, worked for the interests of the poor and disenfranchised, especially minorities. Time will only allow me to share a brief assessment of Donald J. Trump and his administration.

In late August 2017, just 10 days after the murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer by white supremacist James Fields, I met with President Trump in the White House with 25 evangelical leaders. We discussed the attempts to brand him as a racist. I looked him in the eye and agreed with the entire company that I knew he is not a racist. I have recognized over the years how much compassion he has for Americans stuck in dead-end situations. To give just one example of the millions of people touched by Trump's policies and his personal actions, Jon Ponder, a former bank robber turned minister, received a full pardon during the Republican National Convention.

Also, earlier this year, I was invited back to the White House to share a special Good Friday prayer on April 10, 2020. I could discern the weight of the responsibility that the president carried. As millions watched and prayed in agreement, I recognized how badly all Americans need to seek the Lord's divine intervention and national healing.

Further, I recognized that President Trump didn't start the ethnic wars we faced, neither did he originate the COVID-19 pandemic. He does, however, have a unique opportunity to create a foundation for positive change in the arenas of police reform, health care, and healing the racial divide in our nation. This president will either be praised or blamed based on the results he can produce now.

No American presidential candidate has ever endured such visceral hatred as has been levied against President Donald J. Trump. All Americans are immersed in a war of words like nothing I have ever seen in my lifetime.

As we approach November 2020, Black voters have begun paying more attention than ever to what the candidates are saying. They are listening beyond the rhetoric and catch phrases—and they're not satisfied with what they're being offered by their party of record.

They have also noticed a strong economy and historically low Black unemployment rates prior to the fallout from COVID-19. Many have been surprised by how Trump has supported minority small businesses, historically Black colleges and universities, and passage of criminal justice reform.

In my recently released book, A Manifesto: Christian America's Contract with Minorities, I attempt to give America a way forward through today's complicated terrain. In this work, we combine American history with today's demographics concerning all the major ethnic groups.

An old adage says, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." We are once again at a season in the U.S. when the church must lead the way in advancing our nation's ideals.

We need a biblically based Marshall Plan-like road map for U.S. urban development.

The Marshall Plan was a strategic initiative passed in 1948 that offered U.S. aid to Western Europe. The four-year program dedicated over $12 billion to economic recovery programs after the end of World War II. Its primary goal was to prevent the spread of communism and create prosperous free countries in Europe. The blighted urban communities of America have needed such a plan for years. President Trump's Opportunity Zones concept offers the first realistic attempt to tackle urban problems that I have ever seen.

Black activism alone cannot transform the nation quickly enough to avert further traumatic damage to our culture. Blacks must link hands with Hispanics, Asians and next-generation whites to redefine our destination. A simple acrostic "empowered" makes the nine strategic points of the plan easily memorable.

My prayer for President Donald J. Trump is that an army of evangelical Christians of multiple ethnicities will discern his heart and give him the opportunity to finish what he has started. In addition, I pray that he refine "A Manifesto" and catapult America forward toward the godly goals enshrined in our Constitution, our founding documents and the Bible. And above all, may God bless America and direct us into a more perfect union.

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