Pastor Mark Burns burst onto the national stage as a featured speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention. From this lofty height, he lobbed many stones at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But several follow-up interviews quickly uncovered his feet of clay.
Apparently, Melania Trump was not the only one associated with the Trump campaign to pad her resume. Burns’ online biography claimed he had a science degree from North Greenville University. When questioned in an interview, Burns’ first response was much like a deer caught in the headlights, quickly followed by belligerence (claiming the interviewer had tricked him) and later pulling out that old chestnut that he was only being attacked because he was a “black man supporting Donald Trump.” But that wasn’t the only old chestnut he extracted from the “bag of conservative talking points.”
In an interview with Roland Martin of NewsOne, Burns produced chestnuts #2. Blacks have been voting for Democrats for years yet they’re still poor. Mr. Martin didn’t point this out but I will: poor, white conservatives have been voting for Republicans for years and they’re still poor too. In fact 95 of this country’s 100 poorest counties are in red states.
And #3, Democrats take the black vote for granted. In reality, African Americans voting for Democrats is a fairly recent phenomenon and something earned by the Democratic party. Mr. Martin rightly indicated that the GOP has not been consistent in its outreach to the African American community. And to say that African Americans vote for the party and not the plan, implies that blacks are uninformed voters who are “dumb” and “unable to make smart choices”. When the GOP outreach is legitimate, African Americans respond in kind. George Voinovich, former mayor of Cleveland and governor of Ohio, received about 40% of the African-American vote when he ran for the Senate. Even earlier, Republican presidential candidate Dwight D Eisenhower garnered 39% of the black vote. African Americans respond to policies, not platitudes and to say otherwise is disingenuous.
Chestnut #4. Burns said he also supports Trump because, as a Christian, he supports traditional family values and “cannot support a candidate who supports abortion,” or anyone who believes in same-sex marriage.
Where to begin to attack the flagrant dishonesty in these claims?
First, if you support traditional family values, how can you support a man who’s been married 3 times, cheated on #1 with #2 and #2 with #3? He cheated on each of them while married to them. Called having sex in the 1980’s his “personal Vietnam” because AIDS was prevalent. Owns casinos, has been on the cover of Playboy, has a wife who’s been a nude model and is being sued for allegedly raping a 13-year-old? Not mention that Trump was, at one point himself, pro-choice.
Then there’s my favorite chestnut–chestnut #5.
The founder of Planned Parenthood is evil and wanted to exterminate blacks and Hillary Clinton admires her.
I addressed this issues in some detail in a previous article. But in regards to this recently circulated meme, it suffices to say:
- This unverifiable quote was probably made 115 years ago;
- Margaret Sanger was an activist, much like Rosa Parks, who was jailed for sharing birth control information with women without their husband’s consent;
- Whatever harm she may have originally intended, Planned Parenthood has done more to bring affordable health care to poor women than almost any other organization;
- In 1976, (40 years ago) Congress ratified the Hyde Amendment. It prohibits federal dollars from being used for abortion; and,
- Dr. King, before he died, accepted a Margaret Sanger award.
Chestnut #6. Black people are doing worse under Obama: food stamp usage is up, home ownership, down. Should we tell him that George W Bush crashed the housing market and caused the worse recession since the Depression of the 1930’s? And, of course, when questioned about the white supremacists, like David Duke, supporting Trump, Burns brought up former Klan member and Hillary supporter until his death in 2010, Robert Byrd. The difference is that Byrd renounced the Klan and called his joining, “the greatest mistake of my life” and spent years trying to make amends for his participation in the Klan. Unlike David Duke, he was so successful that, upon his death in 2010, the NAACP issued a statement mourning his passing and calling Byrd, “a champion for civil rights and liberties” and “came to consistently support the NAACP civil rights agenda.” Not something I could see happening with Trump or David Duke.
Finally, Mark Burns is as big a fraud as Trump. He makes wild, unsupportable statements and gets angry and insulting when called or corrected. If this is the best Trump Trump can do, he’ll never improve his dismal numbers among minorities before the election.
Featured Image: Screenshot YouTube Video
Article photo: Pastor Burns Image via screenshot of RNC convention footage