Billy Graham once said the biggest sin in America is the sin of racism. America has struggled with racism since its inception. After all, our nation's history is steeped in slavery. We fought a bloody civil war to end that institution, but we continue to strive to eliminate the racism that lingers in our culture.
Although racism is a real problem that we must deal with, I also believe some use racism as a term to divide people. Mark Burns, a conservative black pastor from South Carolina, has experienced racism throughout his life. And yet he recognizes the left's deceptive use of the word "racist" to trigger unnecessary division and attack President Donald Trump.
Several weeks ago, I interviewed Mark Burns for my "In Depth With Stephen Strang" podcast. You can click here to listen to that episode and read the article. But today, I want to share with you more of Burns' wisdom in regard to dealing with racism and false accusations of racism in the United States. Click here or click on the podcast icon to listen to my latest interview with Burns.
"[I've] seen what real racism looks like," he says. "Even when I was little, my mother and father would give us the instructions that if you're walking by yourself on the side of the road in the middle of the night, and you see cars coming, jump in the bushes so they don't see you. It doesn't matter if there are thorns or bristles. ... When I was younger, about 12 or 13, a real estate agent wouldn't sell us a house because they thought we couldn't afford it. They wouldn't even come to the door."
Burns makes a point that racism and prejudice are two different things. Prejudice, he says, is disliking someone because of their skin color or ethnic background. Racism, on the other hand, is when someone exerts their power to block you from advancing simply because of the color of your skin. Burns says black people still experience both in America today.
But despite what liberals say about Trump, Burns feels certain that the president is not racist.
"I know what real racism is," he says. "And when I met Donald Trump, I knew this guy was no racist. ... Does he hang out with a lot of black people? Does he know the culture of the black community? Probably not. And a lot of white people don't. But that doesn't make him racist. ... They call him a racist because that's the greatest weapon that a person of color—and even a white person—can use against an enemy."
Burns says liberals often sling around the accusation of racism, but it's usually not based on real evidence.
"So if Donald Trump goes to a white church and doesn't go to a black church, now he's a racist because he doesn't want to hang out with black people," he says of the leftist mindset. "The more time you spend trying to convince people you're not a racist, the more racist you look. So now he has to say, 'I have black friends,' but the fact that he says that, clearly, that's because he's out of tune and most definitely a racist. ... And they don't just do this to Donald Trump. They did it to Ronald Reagan, too, and both Bushes because it's the Republican Party. That's the issue."
It's no coincidence that most black voters are Democrats. But Burns says it wasn't always that way. In fact, when the Republican Party was first created in 1856, the goal was to abolish two institutions: polygamy and slavery. Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election in 1860 as a Republican, and for about 100 or so years after that, black people were predominantly Republican.
But that all changed when President John F. Kennedy helped get Martin Luther King Jr. out of jail in 1960. Suddenly, the vast majority of black voters began to support him. The Democratic Party, Burns says, took advantage of that support and began garnering favor with the black community.
"Now, this is what Malcolm X was saying, during the height of the civil rights movement," Burns says. "He saw the [Democratic Party] like [it is] today—they will just use black people just for their votes. They don't really come into the community to bring change. They're not really coming into communities to uplift the black people. They will begin to give free social programs—free food, free housing, free this and free that—to gain the black vote and maintain the black vote."
Burns says the left continues to take advantage of the black community even though they know the liberal policies they're espousing only bring harm.
"Part of the problem is that the Democratic Party knows they're no good for the black community," he says. "The socialist program is designed to destroy it and to keep essentially economic slaves, which is one of the reasons why black people now are still at the bottom of the financial totem pole in America. We're still the poorest ethnic group, and Hispanics have surpassed African-Americans when it comes to capitalism within our communities."
Burns says the top reason black people still support the Democratic Party is that the left does a great job of convincing the culture that Republicans are racist.
"All they hear is 'Republicans are racist,'" he says. "'Republicans want to take away your social programs. They are not advancing money to black colleges and black schools.' So that's the mindset."
To reverse this mindset, Burns says, Republicans have to be willing to sit down with Democrats and have constructive conversations that result in real change. Conservatives have to set the record straight with liberals who attack Trump on a regular basis, as liberal journalist Roland Martin does.
"The Republican Party has to do more than just reach out," Burns says. "The Republican Party has to show up and do what Democrats do. And show up in force. ... You have to send people who will sit down and talk to [people like] Roland Martin. We can't keep seeing people as the enemy because they have so many Democrats. We have to say, 'Listen, you may disagree with who our president is, but look at what he's doing. If you truly care about the elevation of black people, then you yourself will report on the money that was given to the HBCUs—Historically Black Colleges and Universities—by Donald Trump.'"
I hope the Republican Party will take Burns' words to heart. If we want to see the division in this country end, we have to stand together and work toward real change. We have to stop basing our beliefs on one party's divisive rhetoric and choose to look at where the money is really going.
If you agree, share this article with a friend, and be sure to listen to my full interview with Burns. His insight is truly what our country needs right now.
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