Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Wellington Boone: Reconciling the Races

Pat Robertson: One of the greatest challenges facing the new Bush administration is the issue of race relations. The last election showed differences between black and white voters and these often carry over into the church. With us today is a well-known figure, a pastor, and an author who is committed to helping the nation heal its divisions. Wellington Boone is Senior Pastor of the Father's House in Atlanta and author of the book "Breaking Through." Wellington, once again, it is a pleasure to have you back.

Wellington Boone: Thank you, Pat. I enjoy being here.

Pat: We've heard all this business about John Ashcroft being a racist even though he put more African-American judges on the bench than any governor in the history of Missouri. We've heard Bush is a racist. We heard that this was an issue of disenfranchising black voters and so forth. Talk to us about that. Is that a Democratic ploy to play the race card or is it something really behind all this?

Wellington: I don't think there's anything behind it at all. Often they never do the research to find out statistics like what you just said. As you know his wife teaches at Howard University. He's done a lot to really help reach the black community and show he's not partisan in terms of who he has around him.

Pat: Jesse Jackson came out so strongly in south Florida. He came out against Ashcroft, just blasted him, and then within a week he comes out and says, I fathered child out of wedlock after many years of marriage. Is the black church saying, "Way to go Jesse? We're all behind you"? Are they saying he should step down?

Wellington: He stepped down for four days. They started talking about replacing him and all of a sudden he got back on the scene, before the man could really have a chance to admit what he did. Then, of course, it's going to take healing, relationally with his wife and before God. And he will need to establish trust again in the black community and in the nation. I don't believe he's had enough time to do that. I actually think he should step down because political expediency is not more important than true relationship, both with us and his own family.

Pat: He brought the lady to the White House, but he was counseling Clinton in his extramarital affairs while this was going on in his own life. It seems terribly hypocritical.

Wellington: It's obviously hypocritical. I know the Lord is going to raise up a whole new group of leaders, Pat, who are going to really walk their talk -- they're already on the scene. I think it's good now that we hold even black leaders to a place of accountability where their relationships in their families are strong and where they're talking on the outside publicly, they can be examples of what they're talking.

Pat: President Bush has appointed Colin Powell as the first Secretary of State in the history of the nation, Condoleezza Rice as National Security Advisor, the Secretary of Education is an African-American and yet people are saying he's a racist. How do we get over this rhetoric so we can bring about reconciliation?

Wellington: I think he's sent the right signals. He's making some great choices. I think black people, those of us who believe in the man, who trust the man need to say more publicly that we do. We need to encourage the black community to get behind the president and to look at what he's actually doing and don't distrust him at first. He's showing the things that we need to have. He has right principles and he's making the right choices. We need to stop the rhetoric.

Pat: It's almost like the black community is a vessel, if you will, of the Democratic Party. It seems that the leaders won't let anybody think about anybody in any other party. How do you stop that? We're not going to have reconciliation if one group says we're rigid in what we want to do.

Wellington: I think, first of all, some of them need to really be trained. I think he needs to continue to bring those groups around him to give him input into the things that he needs in terms of reaching the black community. I do think he needs to probably have more public relations as it relates to his heart and the things he's doing. I think also what he's done in terms of bringing those guys around him, particularly that pastor who prayed there at the end of the inauguration, he has really submitted to that man in terms of allowing him to have input. We like those kinds of things and those create good signals.

Pat: What specifically policy-wise should he do? If you're not for affirmative action, you're bad or something. What policy things should he do to send a signal to the black community, "I'm your friend. I want to bring healing"?

Wellington: I think he can involve the private sector. There's a beginning of the phase out of welfare. I think there are certain things he can do in terms of helping those mothers who now have to get jobs be able to have daycare and those kind of things. Those things would be a positive signal. I think if he also allowed for more tax breaks for some of those people who have to pay for daycare, those things will help not only whites, but help blacks as well.

Pat: The black community will respond to that?

Wellington: They will respond to that.

Pat: So leaders have got to come out and say it's a great thing and it will help the black community?

Wellington: Some of those people have their own agendas. I believe, Pat, that some of the agendas of some of the liberals do not relate to the prosperity of the black community. You mentioned Planned Parenthood. Their founder wanted to sterilize black males.

Pat: Right.

Wellington: That's what she wanted to do. It's an incredible thing. And we have not looked into the research to find out, these people are not for us. They couch it in this language that makes us think they're for us, but the whole idea is to slow down the birth rate of the unfit, so-called men in the black community. So therefore, it's time for us now to wake up and say, no, no, we're not going to buy into one political group. We're going to see who is standing for truth -- and to us, you know, that means the Bible. That means Jesus. But it also means that we're not going to abort these babies.

Pat: I hope that you have a platform with the new administration. Wellington Boone has written this book with a forward by Bill McCartney. We always appreciate you, Wellington. You're a great guy. God bless you.

Wellington: Thank you.


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