On Saturday, in North Carolina, preacher Jesse Hursey spoke (in his personal capacity) during an Alamance County Trump rally. Speaking like any politician would, he told the crowd he was a Christian first and Republican second, to rousing applause, before encouraging the “silent majority” to vote for Donald Trump.
Later that day, a bunch of pickup trucks littered with Trump signs and flags drove around the area, honking their horns and urging people to support Trump… but video of the event picked up something interesting:
[Megan] Squire’s camera recorded a black pickup truck with Hursey at the wheel. The hat he wore earlier sits on the dashboard, along with his passenger’s orange sweater. Hursey lifted his right hand from the wheel, cupping his mouth as if to amplify his voice, the video shows. Then he yelled directly at Squire: “White power!”
The News & Observer confirmed that the man in the video was the same Baptist preacher who had spoken earlier, and Republicans were quick to distance themselves from him.
The Young Republicans of Alamance County, who organized the Trump rally, are now distancing themselves from Hursey. T.L. Mann, the group’s chairman, said in a text message to The News & Observer that Hursey “has been immediately removed from our organization.” Mann wrote that he opposed racism, but did not respond to later inquiries by text message or phone call.
Hursey himself said he denied any “forms of racism.” (I guess he just meant “White power” in the non-racist way… whatever that is.) He also said he had people who could vouch that he wasn’t the dude driving the car, but the newspaper said he never followed up with that information. Shocking.
He would not answer direct questions about his actions during the parade. His social media accounts, along with the online presence of Bynum Baptist Church, where he’s a pastor, have gone dark.
The most shocking thing about this story is that it’s not surprising at all. He’s a white independent Baptist preacher… who’s also a white supremacist. I mean… yeah, of course he is. As I’ve argued many times before, not all Trump supporters are racist, but none of them are bothered enough by his racism to withdraw their support. (But also a hell of a lot of his supporters are genuinely racist.)
Don’t let anyone tell you Hursey isn’t really Christian, or that he doesn’t represent the party. Based on the video when he was speaking at the rally, everyone seemed to be right there with him up until the point when it became politically inconvenient for them to do so.
Hursey is a moral monster. His church and his faith, whatever they might say about race on the surface, didn’t steer him away from advocating white supremacy. The problem right now is that his preferred political party is in power.
Unless more North Carolinians vote against Trump, that’s not going to change.
(via Christian Nightmares. Thanks to Brian for the link)