For nearly 30 years, Steve Harvey has entertained, inspired and challenged America with his quick-witted humor, big heart, and passion for igniting change in the world.
After decades in the limelight, he’s certainly no stranger to the criticism that arises from going against the grain as a public figure. And though Steve may be a big softie deep down, he’s not afraid to take a resolute and unapologetic stance on issues that he feels strongly about—as his recent actions can attest to.
On Friday, Harvey was asked to meet with President-elect Donald Trump at the Trump Tower in order to discuss actions to move America in the right direction.
“Our president (Obama) asked that all of us sit down and talk to one another in order to move our country forward…the transition teams on both sides asked me to meet and I’m glad I did,” he shared in a tweet.
Harvey called the meeting both “congenial and sincere.”
While he felt he was doing the right thing in collaborating with the future leader of our country, many did not agree.
Since news of the meeting surfaced, Harvey has received massive backlash from critics who are furious over his willingness to work with the Trump administration in any capacity.
On his Monday radio show, Harvey admitted that the widespread attacks on his character have been hurtful.
“On a personal note, a lot of ya’ll hurt me. You really did. I didn’t expect the backlash to be so fierce,” he said.
“Change can only happen when we sit at the table. If we sit at the table, then we can have a say as to what’s to be eaten on the menu,” said Harvey in defense of his decision.
“I have an obligation to take a seat at the table when invited.”
Still, critics like CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill retorted, “When you’re at the table, you should have experts at the table,” calling Harvey a “mediocre negro” who is being “dragged in front of TV as a photo-op.”
In spite of the brutal attacks and public shaming, Harvey is standing firm in his decision to unify rather than divide:
“If I’m going to keep getting stabbed at, then at least while you’re stabbing me, you should understand my intent for taking the meeting in the first place,” he said on Monday.
“When I walked away, [I was] feeling like there might be a real chance for some positive to come out of what so many people think is all gloom and doom.”
Regardless of your political stance, there’s some potent truth in Harvey’s words that we can all gather perspective from. Whether you voted for Trump, Hillary or Harambe the gorilla, there’s one fact we all need to accept: Donald Trump will be our President.
And whether you love him, hate him or merely consider him the lesser of two evils in an election taking America to hell in a hand basket, God commands that we submit to him:
“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good.” (Romans 13:1-4)
When many think of Trump, it’s hard to visualize him as “God’s servant” sent for our own good—but as Christians, it is our calling to stand in solidarity with him for our own good and God’s glory.
So we can choose to whine, fuss, name call, and predict doom and gloom—or, we can take a seat at the table.