Dr. James David Manning, the notoriously controversial chief pastor at the ATLAH World Missionary Church in New York City, recently delivered a bold and controversial message to his congregants about the black community’s perception of the George Zimmerman trial. He urged his mostly black congregation to stop viewing the world through their “black eyes” and start looking at it through the “blood of Jesus.”
If they did that, the pastor explained, there would be no denying that the verdict in the Zimmerman was the correct one. He also told those who are convinced that Zimmerman is guilty that they only believe that because they are black.
“You are focusing on the fact that Trayvon Martin is black and you believe that George Zimmerman is white, he isn’t. His father is baptist, his mother, she’s from Peru. He’s Latin. A mix of Latin and White,” Manning said. “Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and all that crowd jumped the gun, they thought he was white, but he isn’t.”
It should be noted that Manning is an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama (which is really an understatement as he regularly refers to the president as “long-legged mack daddy” and compares him to Hitler and Satan) and has in the past heralded the message of the “birthers.” There is no denying the pastor is a colorful and controversial character, but his sermon is still bound to cause a stir.
He called out those in the black community who refuse to consider any other possibility than Zimmerman racially profiled and killed Martin in cold blood.
“The only reason why you think that way is because you’re black,” Manning preached. “You see the world, not through the blood of Jesus, you see the world through your black eyes. You have not changed yet.”
He went on: “You’re black before you’re anything. You’re black before you’re Christian, you’re black before you’re holy ghost, you’re black before you’re anything. You’re blackness is greater than your religion. And that’s why with you, Zimmerman’s guilty.”
Manning told a hypothetical story about going to a sketchy part of New York City and getting stuck on an elevator with a 17-year-old black boy with a hoodie on.
“Tell me, what do you think?” he asked his congregation.
“Has it been proven over and over again that these hoodie boys rob, rape, murder and maim?! Are you afraid of him?” he added, now hollering. “You have suspicions because of that hoodie and because of the color of his skin. Ain’t no telling what’s going to happen to you on that elevator – and you know it’s true!”
Manning proceeded to criticize his audience because, according to him, they refuse to give Zimmerman the same benefit of the doubt because they are black.
“You’re not saved, you don’t know nothing about Jesus and you are full of hate,” the pastor added.
Towards the end of his message, Manning talked about how pot tends to make individuals “paranoid.” It was at this point that the sermon took a turn to the comical and somewhat bizarre in terms of the pastor’s theatrics.
“When you smoke pot, you go to 7-11. I get some munchies. I get some Skittles, I get something to drink, ’cause I got the munchies. I been smoking dope, I got the munchies,” Manning said theatrically, referring to Martin’s apparent drug use and trip to buy those items the night he was shot.
He also demonstrated how marijuana can also make a person paranoid. “Someone is following me,” the pastor said, acting out his words.
“Pot makes you paranoid, so you start acting in suspicious ways,” Manning “But see, you’ll never admit that because you’re black. There ain’t no truth in you, ain’t no Jesus in you. Ain’t no Jesus in you, condemning George Zimmerman…But he only defended himself against a pot smoking, munchie, paranoid 17-year-old boy who had been sent from his momma’s house in Miami to Sanford because she couldn’t do anything more with him.”