Black Leaders Compare Senate GOP Supreme Court Obstruction To Donald Trump's Racism

The prominent clergy members said it's more subtle but nonetheless the same.
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. is one of several black clergymen to speak out about the Senate GOP's Supreme Court obstruction.
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. is one of several black clergymen to speak out about the Senate GOP's Supreme Court obstruction.
Earl Gibson III via Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans' obstruction of President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nomination is racist, a coalition of prominent black clergy members and civil rights leaders said Friday.

Several leaders called the obstruction of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and most of his caucus a form of bigotry that is similar to the racist rhetoric Donald Trump has used during his Republican Presidential nomination bid.

"I am morally outraged that the continued disrespect of Obama has manifested itself in a Senate to change the rules because the president, ironically, happens to be black," said Rev. Dr. Freddy Haynes, a senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, during a conference call with reporters.

"I find it painfully ironic that the same voices that denounced Donald Trump for blatant racism, but in a very sophisticated, undermining fashion, are holding democracy and justice hostage," Haynes added. "As far as I'm concerned, their racism may be more subtle than Donald Trump, but it's nonetheless the same."

The clergy leaders' outrage comes after black lawmakers in Congress also called GOP senators racist for saying they wanted to wait for the next president to choose the Supreme Court nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia -- hoping, of course, that a Republican claims the White House.

The Rev. Dr. James Perkins, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, said Republicans are hypocritical when it comes to the constitution, picking and choosing what to follow.

He said the only difference between Trump and the Senate is that the reality TV star doesn't have a vote.

"In a sense, they are worse than Trump. Because they have the power to act or to kill the rightful constitutional action in this process. This is even more dangerous," Perkins said.

In February, leaders of the National African American Clergy Network and multiple black religious leaders sent a letter to McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), calling on them to consider Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. They said they never received a response to their letter.

The members of the black clergy said they find what the Senate is doing unprecedented, deeply disrespectful and a historic affront. They want Obama to be treated like every white president that came before him.

Ultimately, they are tired of seeing Obama being treated like a "second-class president."

"The Senate of the United States is on strike against the constitution of the United States," said Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., a civil rights icon and co-chair of the National African American Clergy.

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist,misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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