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To be called to the church is a righteous mission; it’s a testament to devotion at the highest level. To serve one’s God is a mighty purpose. It requires selflessness and compassion.

So it is with all due respect that I ask, what the fuck happened to Mark Burns? I don’t have any issue with him being a black Republican. I think many black Democrats, independents and definitely Hoteps fall into this trap of placing black Republicans at the heel of the white man, but I am not one of them. I believe that you can be a black Republican who just views things differently.

But beneath all of that is Pastor Mark Burns, a man so scorned that he is living in a bizarro Wakanda in which black people are living on sharecropped land that they believe they own but is really in the master’s yard.

On the surface, Burns is an easily dismissible figure; he’s a black pastor stumping for Donald Trump. If that isn’t enough, he wears really short, fat Laurel-and-Hardy-esque ties (see below), and if you can make it past his tie, which looks like a cutoff sweatpants leg, then don’t forget that he also lied about his entire résumé, and when he was called out on it during a live interview, he walked out. For all his heavy breathing and pastoral pauses, Burns could easily be labeled a huckster and placed into a box along with the rest of the sunken-place Trump supporters.

But we live in a social media world that trades likes and follows as digital currency, and in this sense, Burns is balling. To date, Burns has some 87,300 followers on Twitter and an additional 4,500 on Instagram. Not to mention, he pastors a church, which means he’s preaching his love of Trump and all things Trumpian to rooms full of black people. And. They. Are. Listening.

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Which brings me to two points: 1) We cannot dismiss Burns, and 2) What the fuck happened to him? Like, what level of self-hatred must you endure to fall this far? He’s 38 years old, which means that someone in his life had to love him enough to induce him to the revolutionary sounds of N.W.A. Where was he during the No Limit movement? Has he ever been “Bout It, Bout It”?

Did he not watch the Diff’rent Strokes episode where Dudley was almost molested by the bicycle-store owner, but for a quick-thinking Arnold? That kind of television changes a kid. I can’t imagine the kind of woodsy upbringing that allows a black man in 2018, the year of our lord and savior Sterling K. Brown, to tweet this:

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That happened. And this man is ministering to other black people. He’s widening his platform daily and is one of the few public black faces that are helping to grease the asses of other black folks so that Trump’s foot can fit. I don’t understand how a Southern black man becomes this way, but it has me thinking that it was beaten out of him. And if so, that means that the whipping of blacks is still alive—but I just can’t imagine a world where you not only voluntarily allow yourself to be whipped but also actually sell it to your own people.

It’d be one thing if Burns didn’t have an audience, but someone is paying attention to his message, and it isn’t just Southern whites and Russian bots. Pastor Mark Burns, if you’re listening, what happened to you?