During her 15 terms as a member of The United States House of Representatives political icon Maxine Waters (D-43, Inglewood) has never been so severely attacked as she has leading up to the Nov. 3 election by novice aspirant Joe Collins, but on Oct. 20 a bevy of power clergy decided enough was enough.
Standing unified in front of Waters campaign headquarters on 120th and Crenshaw Blvd. in Hawthorne they decided to send a blistering message to Collins and overwhelmingly decided to endorse Waters for a 16th term.
Shane Scott, Senior Pastor of the 112-year-old Macedonia Baptist Church in Watts opened the mid-day press conference denouncing the hateful rhetoric of the GOP and candidate Collins and pledges their support for Waters.
“The Congresswoman record speaks for itself,” began Scott. “But in case Mr. Collins need to be reminded. You don’t just serve 15 terms because you are ineffective, but rather you serve 15 terms because you have been a champion for justice. A champion for justice for all people, Black and white, Asian and Latino, Middle Eastern and Native American. She has championed the cause for justice for all Americans.”
Scott rolled off many of the significant achievements of arguably the most powerful Black elected official in Washington D.C., “influential in the financial sector, housing and community development, health and wellness and a champion for those who has been disenfranchised by the justice system.”
The prominent pastor then went in on Collins who has been afford a financial war chest to paint a false and negative portrait of Waters on television advertising and radio advertising.
“ We are well aware that you (Joe Collins) have been dishonorably discharged by from the Navy. We are aware that you have been prohibited from using the word veteran to identify yourself, hence why on the ballot you are identified as a sailor only. We are aware that you have a reputation of filing frivolous lawsuits and even have sued The United States Navy. We are aware that you have a troubled and checkered background, misuses and abuse of the Navy website, refused to discontinue resources, belong to four different political parties, created a nightclub in your apartment on the Navy base. We are aware that you like the president have a checkered past of misusing women. Four child support cases. One case ordered you to pay and you refused although DNA shows that you are the father. As clergy we don’t support the president claiming to grab the vagina of women and as clergy we don’t support you not paying your child support.”
Dr. J Edgar Boyd, pastor of the 142 year old of the historical First African Methodist Episcopal Church echoed the sentiments of Scott.
“We don’t necessarily believe that Congresswoman Maxine Waters has that much of a need to be defended. Her record speaks loudly for itself. She is a woman of integrity and a woman of longstanding public service, but this afternoon my brothers and sisters we recognize that this 244 year old American democracy is on the attack. The vivacious self-serving right wing agenda seeks to further expand the racial divide existing here in our nation,” Boyd stated. “Their attempt is the deny basic human rights to America’s most vulnerable citizens.”
“Maxine Waters have championed the rights of the poor, the rights of Blacks, the rights of Browns, the rights of underprivileged communities, the rights of children looking for and seeking education. She has championed the rights of mothers who are single heads of households. She has championed the rights of those in the justice system,” Boyd elaborated.
Boyd told of Waters influence to free Nelson Mandela as well.
Waters also received the advocacy of Pastor William D. Smart Jr. who serves as President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Los Angeles.
“We are here because no voice has been stronger. No love has been more meaningful. No commitment has been greater. No cause has been more resounding. No articulation has been more significant. No warrior has been more in danger. No congress person more dependable,” Smart boasted.
The event was co-sponsored by Scott, Boyd, Smart, The Rev. John Cager of Ward AME of Los Angeles and The Rev. K.W. Tulloss, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Southern California.