Pastor defends denouncing Trump's 'shithole' comment in front of Pence

The Rev. Maurice Watson says he didn't care that Vice President Mike Pence was sitting with his congregation; he was ...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 1:53 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 1:53 AM

The Rev. Maurice Watson says he didn't care that Vice President Mike Pence was sitting with his congregation; he was going to use his sermon Sunday in the Washington, DC, suburbs to criticize President Donald Trump's reported use of the phrase "shithole countries" to describe African nations.

Speaking to "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon" on Monday, Watson said he would have delivered the same message to the Metropolitan Baptist Church regardless of whether Pence was in the room.

Pence paid an unannounced visit to a church in the Washington suburbs

The pastor said Trump's rhetoric "makes people of color feel dehumanized"

"I have to speak up for my people, and the vice president just happened to be there," Watson said, later adding, "When I heard these kinds of visceral adjectives and what have you that were used to describe nations in Africa and other statements about Haiti, I felt that, in good conscience, as a pastor, that I needed to speak up on behalf of the people."

Pence paid an unannounced visit to the Largo, Maryland, church with second lady Karen Pence on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. During the service, Watson received a standing ovation when he addressed Trump's comments, according to video of the event provided by the church.

"I stand today as your pastor to vehemently denounce and reject such characterizations of the nation's (inaudible) and of our brothers and sisters in Haiti and I further say whoever made such a statement and whoever used such a visceral and disrespectful, dehumanizing adjective to characterize the nations of Africa," Watson said. "Do you hear me, church? Whoever said it is wrong and they ought to be held accountable."

The tense moment came after reports surfaced Thursday that Trump had asked lawmakers, "Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?" when referring to immigrants from African countries during an Oval Office meeting.

What exactly the President said has been disputed by various participants in the meeting, although there is no disagreement that the president expressed a preference for immigrants from Norway over immigrants from Africa.

In his "CNN Tonight" interview, Watson said Trump's rhetoric "is tearing this nation apart" and "makes people of color feel dehumanized."

"It is conspicuously interesting that many of the leadership of the GOP are conspicuously quiet and silent," he added. "And their silence is complicit. And I think they need to speak up."

Huntsville
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Florence
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 80°
Fayetteville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
Scottsboro
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 79°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 22566

Reported Deaths: 364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson504062
Shelby4943111
Trousdale13924
Rutherford119623
Sumner88145
Hamilton79415
Bledsoe6071
Williamson55210
Putnam4795
Robertson4653
Tipton4423
Out of TN4184
Lake4140
Wilson4078
Knox3755
Bedford2834
Montgomery2693
Rhea2100
Hardeman1960
Madison1752
Loudon1430
McMinn14114
Macon1363
Cheatham1230
Bradley1221
Fayette1152
Cumberland1121
Dickson1090
Unassigned920
Blount913
Maury890
Sevier812
Washington750
Coffee730
Wayne640
Gibson631
Monroe622
Sullivan602
Hickman580
Lauderdale561
Franklin531
Greene502
Dyer500
Marion401
Anderson401
DeKalb370
Hamblen362
Smith341
White330
Hawkins332
Lawrence310
Grundy311
Haywood312
Marshall311
Obion301
Henry300
Jefferson280
Carroll271
Overton260
Meigs260
Weakley260
Lincoln250
Warren230
Cannon210
Perry210
Cocke200
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Jackson170
Crockett162
Roane160
Polk160
Johnson160
Henderson150
Hardin152
Sequatchie150
Humphreys131
Fentress120
McNairy120
Chester120
Giles120
Scott120
Stewart110
Claiborne90
Houston80
Grainger80
Clay70
Benton71
Decatur50
Unicoi40
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Moore30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events