Vice President Mike Pence tried to generate some positive PR with a pre-Martin Luther King Day appearance at a historically black church and boy, did it backfire (video below).
Pence attended Sunday mass at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Maryland, where Pastor Dr. Maurice Watson gave a powerful sermon taking down Trump for his virulent racism.
Local news outlet WUSA reported, “The Vice President reportedly became visibly red-faced at times throughout the speech.”
Pastor Dr. Watson gave an inspiring speech to the predominantly Black churchgoers filling the pews.
“I stand here today as your pastor to vehemently denounce and reject such characterizations of the nations of African and of our brothers and sisters in Haiti” Watson continued to another standing ovation. “Whoever made such a statement and whoever made such a visceral, disrespectful, dehumanizing adjective to characterize the nations of Africa… is wrong. And they ought to be held accountable.”
Watson referred obliquely to the President’s shameful comment referring to Haiti and countries in Africa as “shitholes.”
“My friends and members from Haiti and Africa: You are owed an apology but you probably won’t get one,” he said.
During an Oval Office meeting in which lawmakers discussed restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa, Trump lashed out at the prospect of enacting legislation for those who come from “shithole countries.”
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said during a meeting with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), as well as those with more hardline immigration stances, including Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), among others.
Adding insult to injury, Trump then went so far as to suggest that the United States should welcome people who come from countries like Norway. Trump met with the Norwegian Prime Minister yesterday. The difference, of course, is that Norwegians are overwhelmingly caucasian, whereas those from Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa are not.
Vice President Pence has remained noticeably silent in the aftermath of the incident. No doubt his silence was deafening in that church on the eve of Martin Luther King Day.