Praise Featured Video
CLOSE

A story this week by the Associated Press has caused quite a stir, especially among African-Americans, when multiple news outlets ran it with the attention-grabbing headline, “Some black pastors are telling their flocks to stay home Election Day.”

The New York Daily News ran the story, along with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Newsday, and a host of conservative websites such as HotAir and NewsMax.

When I first saw the headline, I was stunned, especially knowing the blood that has been shed over the years by African-Americans and others to gain the precious right to vote.

Praise Philly Listen Live

I read the more than 1,300-word story by Rachel Zoll, with a contribution from Bill Barrow. The first line was “Some black clergy see no good presidential choice between a Mormon candidate and one who supports gay marriage, so they are telling their flocks to stay home on Election Day.”

Nothing in the story legitimately backed up that first line. Anybody who had read the full article would know that.

In reading the piece, Zoll and Barrow quote or mention pastors A.R. Bernard, Jamal Bryant, George Nelson Jr., Floyd James, and Howard-John Wesley, Lin Hill and Dwight McKissic.

Politics: Is Obama taking black vote for granted?

Not a single one of these pastors was quoted as saying they have or plan to tell their congregations not to vote in the presidential election. Not one.

Several expressed misgivings about President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage, and others had negative thoughts about Mitt Romney being a Mormon or the effect of his policies on their congregants. One said he hasn’t decided whom he will vote for, and McKissic said he’ll go fishing on Election Day.

But not a one said they were telling their members not to vote.

The only time this assertion that pastors are telling their congregations to stay home comes from a quote, lifted from another newspaper. The story quotes Bryant as telling the Washington Informer, “This is the first time in black church history that I’m aware of that black pastors have encouraged their parishioners not to vote.”

The reporters couldn’t reach him to ask him about it, but going ahead and using the quote is suspect. The writers provide no specifics, no context, or anything else. Bryant said he was aware of this, not that he knew anyone. This is third-hand reporting. Unless you as a reporter know of specific pastors telling their congregations not to vote, it’s wrong to make the assumption.

Bryant even tweeted the AP after the story ran: “WHEN did you contact @jamalhbryant <https://twitter.com/jamalhbryant&gt; in order to get his statement on voting? you need to revisit this & be accurate

CLICK HERE to read story

article courtesy of CNN.com

Black Pastors Aren’t Saying ‘Don’t Vote’ By Roland Martin  was originally published on praisecleveland.com

Also On Praise Philly:
Official List Of All Celebrities With The Coronavirus
kelly price
73 photos