Make no mistake about it, this presidential election is all about race, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III told an audience of nearly 1,000 gathered at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Monday.
“We don’t catch hell because we’re Baptists, Methodists or Muslims. We catch hell because we’re black,” thundered Butts, senior minister of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City.
Headlining a voter mobilization worship service, Butts said he rejects the notion that we’re living in a post-racial society.
“The one thing they use to divide us is race. They may couch it in every kind of language but I’m just waiting until this election and somebody’s gonna slip.
“People say, ‘We want to take the country back?’ Back where? Back to Jessie Helms and (James) Eastland?”
Butts made those remarks on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, which officially kicks off Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Arena in uptown Charlotte. First lady Michelle Obama, who arrived in the city Monday, will deliver a prime-time address on opening night.
Butts said Blacks should not look to President Obama alone to effect change but should remember they’ve been working as a people to save America’s soul for hundreds of years
“We nursed its babies, plowed its fields, fought in its wars,” he said, adding that women, Latinos and Jews also benefited from the “mighty black river” that fought for civil rights.