McConnell and Ryan, Don’t Just Call Out Trump — Stop Acting Like Him!

Last week former KKK leader and white supremacist, David Duke, announced his support of Donald Trump for president, saying that voting against Trump would be treason against white heritage. Trump and his campaign refused to renounce or reject Duke’s support, cementing what many in the black community already knew to be true: there is still a huge problem with race in this country, and with the Trump campaign.

Thankfully, the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, condemned their party’s leading Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and his support from white supremacists.

As a proud African-American woman and a convener of leaders in the black church, I am grateful that a Republican leader like Speaker Ryan is stepping forward to say when it comes to our shared rights “there can be no evasion and no games.”

But words are not the same as action. It is not enough to call out Trump and then act like Trump with obstructionist, uncivil behavior. If the Republican Party is sincere and truly wants to distance itself from the vision Trump has for the country, it can begin by fully and fairly considering President Obama’s eventual nominee for the Supreme Court.

The confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice is a solemn responsibility that the President and the Senate share under the U.S. Constitution. Six Justices have been confirmed in a presidential election year since 1900, and every nominee for the Supreme Court has received a vote in the Senate within 125 days of nomination.

President Obama has over 300 days left in office. It would be profoundly disrespectful to a sitting President for the Senate to not to even consider the President’s Supreme Court nominee.

Today I joined a group of thirty top African American pastors on Capitol Hill for a day of meetings with our elected members. In each meeting, we gave thanks for the work of our public servants; we sought to encourage and support them in their efforts; and asked them to consider ways they can continue to secure fundamental rights for all people. These meetings and conversations are the bedrock of our democracy.

But we need our elected officials to not just say nice things about civility; instead, we need them to take bold, civil steps. Don’t just reject Trump — reject Trumpism as well, and fairly consider the President’s eventual nominee for the Supreme Court.