Donald Trump has proven once again that he has the temperament of a schoolyard bully, so insecure even as a seventy-old man that he feels the need to lash out and insult a woman of the cloth for daring to tell him off. Yesterday, the Republican nominee made a surprise visit to the beleaguered city of Flint, Michigan, which is still to this day struggling with the fallout from the mass lead poisoning that resulted from the Republican governor’s decision to sell his citizens water they knew was unsafe to drink.
The citizens and officials of Flint were not pleased to see their pain being used for a cheap photo-op. Trump’s tour of the city stopped at the traditionally black Bethel United Methodist Church to pander to some folks of color and give another stump speech where it wasn’t wanted. Pastor Faith Green-Timmons politely asked Trump to not get political in her church. it being a place of quiet reflection and not an appropriate place for Trump’s lies about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done for Flint, not to give a political speech.”
Trump later went on FOX and Friends and began disparaging Pastor Timmons, calling her a “nervous wreck…Something was up, because I noticed she was so nervous when she introduced me. When she got up to introduce me, she was so nervous, she was shaking. And I said, ‘wow, this is sort of strange.’ And then she came up. So she had that in mind, there’s no question about it.”
Yes, Pastor Timmons was probably nervous about having this walking manifestation of fear and hatred in her church, desecrating the ground with every step. Trump even had the nerve to tell FOX that “the audience was fantastic. But she was so nervous, she was like a nervous mess, so I figured something was up.”
The audience, in fact was not happy with Trump. NPR Reporter Scott Detrow, who was present, notes that Trump’s story isn’t true. “In fact, several audience members began to heckle Trump, asking pointed questions about whether he racially discriminated against black tenants as a landlord. And that’s when Timmons — who Trump said Thursday had planned to ambush him — stepped in to defend Trump, saying the Republican nominee was “a guest of my church, and you will respect him.”
But the perpetually ungrateful Trump still felt the need to go on TV and disparage her, to accuse her of ambushing him, when the truth was it was he who ambushed her, abusing her trust and turning the opportunity to address her congregation into a chance for some cheap political hits and a couple photographs.
We can’t let the symbolism of this event go under the radar either. Trump visited a black church in a black city to earn black votes – but then attacked and insulted a black woman pastor for daring to tell him what he could and couldn’t do in her church. He has no respect for anything, and should be ashamed of himself for this kind of appalling behavior.
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) September 15, 2016
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.