While whipping up racial controversy, Donald Trump shocked many when he announced that a coalition of 100 black ministers would endorse his candidacy on Monday after a meeting at his New York City headquarters.
But some of those on the invitation list say they have no plans to back his presidential bid, CNN reports.
Bishop Clarence McClendon said on Facebook that he was invited to Trump’s gathering, which was presented “as a meeting to engage in dialogue.” McClendon, however, said that he has not yet decided which candidate to support.
According to CNN, Trump also invited Bishop Corletta Vaughn, but she will neither attend the event nor endorse him. “Trump is an insult and embarrassment … flaunting a ticket of unbridled bigotry, sexism, racism, and everything that is wrong with America,” she said on Facebook.
Bishop Paul S. Morton said on Twitter that he received an invitation but “refused” to meet with Trump or endorse him because of his disrespect toward people.
According to the New York Times, Pastor Darrell Scott of the New Spirit Revival Center in Ohio helped to organize the meeting. Scott, a Democrat who has voted for President Barack Obama, backs Trump’s candidacy. After meeting Trump, Scott rejects the widespread view that the candidate is a racist.
“I was looking for some subtle hints of racism. I didn’t see it at all,” Scott said, according to the New York Times.
But a group of black ministers and scholars are unconvinced. They are concerned about what it would mean for their colleagues to endorse Trump.
More than 100 of them signed an open letter Friday, published on Ebony.com, which states, “Trump’s racially inaccurate, insensitive and incendiary rhetoric should give those charged with the care of the spirits and souls of black people great pause.”
Trump announced the forthcoming endorsements on the heels of refusing to chastise his white supporters who beat a Black Lives Matter protester last week at a rally in Birmingham, Ala., and retweeting false crime figures that say blacks are responsible for the vast majority of white murders.