Richmond pastor headed to inauguration shakes off criticism for supporting Trump

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Local pastor Joe Ellison, Jr. plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration with other Richmond area ministers.

Flanked by other ministers on Tuesday who plan on attending Friday’s inauguration, Ellison admits he has been criticized for supporting the president-elect.

6a9ef0b91f2b476fa9b1a6b54341debc“About Donald Trump being a racist, Donald Trump being this and Donald Trump is that, let’s give the man a chance, okay?” Ellison said. “In 72 hours, he’ll be the president of the United States. Give the man a chance.”

Meanwhile, Adria Scharf with the Richmond Peace Education Center also plans to make the trip to Washington, D.C. the day after the inauguration, but not to celebrate; she plans to join in on the Women’s March on Washington.

“To send a message to the new administration and to congress that this is what democracy looks like, that we are galvanized, we are vigilant,” she said. “That we will continue to speak out as we need to if there are efforts to undermine our hard-earned freedoms or undermine our democracy or target any vulnerable populations, women, immigrants and people of color.”

046d40b59dfc4ae28cf27af6f506ca21Scharf said she is concerned that Trump’s administration condones the mistreatment of others.

“I understand that America has always fallen short of our democratic ideals, and I think that whoever has an understanding of race and white racial oppression in our country understand that our problems just don’t start on inauguration day,” she argued.

“I think many of us are concerned based on statements that this candidate made suggesting a registering of Muslims, normalizing a discourse of sexual assault, normalizing a discourse of violence when he encourages protesters to get violent, so many of us feel we must be vigilant making sure our voices are heard.”

Meanwhile, Ellison admits Trump has said things in the past that make people concerned about his presidency, but he continues to urge people to give him a chance and to pray for him.

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