Earlier this week, violence broke out at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, resulting in one death and many other injuries. Following the attack, many on the left tried to blame President Donald Trump for the violence and subsequent death. However, to respond to the people trying to blame Trump, several black pastors and black activists recently came together and spoke out in defense of the President.

According to reports, a group of black clergy members and intellectual leaders defended President Trump in a press conference held at the National Press Club earlier this week. The event was organized by the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit think tank.

Reverend Derek McCoy, CURE’s Executive Vice President, was one of the clergy members who spoke at the press conference. During his speech, he pushed back against the idea that Trump is to blame for the recent violence in Virginia. Specifically, while on stage, he was asked if it is was “disingenuous to pretend that President Trump is not the driver for a lot of the division we see now in this country.”

In response, Rev. McCoy said, “one thing you need to understand: You are saying that the president is the instigator, and I think that is absolutely wrong. No, it is not disingenuous.” To clarify, he added, “the president made his comments and we are not standing up here to say that we are best friends with everything the president does, but he is in an office that we all respect … If we are looking about how we can move our country forward, we are trying to make sure that we do that collectively together.”

The comments made by Trump that McCoy is referring to were made shortly after violence broke out in Virginia. “Racism is evil — and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” stated Trump at the time.

McCoy blames the recent attempt to stifle free speech for the division in our country, not Trump. “We are saying, ‘You can only have one thought process and that is the only thing that can be allowed within the spectrum of our country.’ I think that is wrong,” explained McCoy. “Debate is something that has always been on the foundational principles of America, where we can foster, flourish and grow together and learn from each other,” he reasoned.

Corrogan Vaughn, a black political activist who also spoke at the event, didn’t completely agree with McCoy. He claimed that bias in the media is to blame for the division. “Don’t make our commander in chief a villain when in actuality it is more the villainess [sic] of the media in terms of making something where nothing is,” he stated.

Star Parker, a black conservative political activist and founder of CURE, went so far as to suggest that the division is actually because of a cultural war between those who are religious and those who are secular. Specifically, she said, “we are either going to be biblical and free or we are going to be secular in status. That is the cultural war. There is no need in us denying that we are…in one.”

Star Parker, a black conservative political activist and founder of CURE.

She added, “it has been intensifying over time and now it is coming to a culmination that can drag each and every one of us into another civil war. We don’t want that, and the clergy will stand up and support the president in his effort to make sure that we have this discussion and we have it civilly.”

Despite what many on the left say, the violence, destruction, and division currently plaguing our country is not because of President Trump. Rather, it appears to be because of the suppression of free speech, bias in the media, and a conflict between religious and secular ideologies.