Members and visitors at First Baptist Church-West got a surprise Sunday when movie director Lee Daniels dropped by their 9 a.m. worship service to deliver a get-out-and-vote message.
Daniels, whose credits include hits such as Empire, Precious, Monster’s Ball and The Butler, endorsed Hillary Clinton during the Democratic National Convention but came Sunday with a 3-minute message of social activism.
“We’re in the middle of a civil war, and we can pretend that we’re not and go on with our daily lives and pretend that everything is fine. You can come to this church and you can pray, and I can go to my church and we can pray, but it’s time to get out into the streets, because that’s what our forefathers, did. That’s what they did in the ’60, and that’s what made the change. We have become complacent. We have become relaxed, and that is why we are where we are.”
Daniels lamented the fact that millennials – young people born in the early 1980s though the early 2000s – are not voting in sufficient numbers. He blamed parents who don’t care enough to teach their children about the importance of voting and a “system” that has betrayed young people.
“They’ve been led wrong, and the system ain’t been right by us, so why not give up?” he said. “It’s easy to give up. But it’s up to you to tell your children to tell their children, ‘Don’t give up.’ We have no other choice, y’all. We have no other choice.”
As for this year’s presidential election, Daniels said this:
“Some of ya’ll may say, ‘I don’t like Hillary Clinton.” Ok, I can understand that, but do you like your country? That’s the answer,” he said to loud applause.