As a teen, I remember when Mary Mary's high-powered single "Shackles" dropped. At the time, I was unaware of how deeply rooted the track was to Christianity. It was the same for many of my peers, but it was a vibrant, feel-good anthem and remained in the UK top ten singles chart for a while.
Being the self-professed avid watcher of reality television shows that I am, admittedly, I was late getting put onto the gospel duo's self-titled show, Mary Mary. When I eventually decided to give the show a watch, I instantly became hooked on their very human struggle to balance their careers, their homes lives and their spirituality. Their stories were far from drama free, and I was almost surprised at their "normal" issues.
Tina Campbell was one of the main appeals of the Mary Mary series and the most relatable of the two sisters for me. Often misunderstood and at times, seemingly pinned to the wall for making decisive choices for her and her family, Tina was unapologetically herself. Unapologetically human and unapologetically Black, and we loved her for it!
Therefore, many of us were surprised back in January when Tina Campbell announced that she voted for Trump. His campaign, littered with cries of misogyny, homophobia, racism, and bigotry. It was inconceivable that a Black woman, who fought every day to be heard and to be valued, would vote for a candidate whose entire campaign seemed to indicate the complete opposite.
Last week, the Grammy-Award winning Gospel star opened up to The Root about her decision to vote for Trump:
“I was faced with two presidential candidates that I really did not approve of,” Campbell elaborated. “And so I had to find something, a commonality with one of them, that would make me feel like if I have to vote, I should utilize my right to vote. Since I don’t prefer either of them, what can I find that would make me vote? And some of Donald Trump’s views on Christianity, honestly, is what caused me to vote for him.
“Many of the decisions that he has made afterwards, I have not been in agreement with at all, which I wasn’t in agreement with my last president that I voted for,” she added. “But however, as a Christian, my perspective is to pray for the president, to not use my social platforms or other platforms to try to destroy this man, because at the end of the day, he still represents the country that I live in.
“So if I’m going to use my platform, my power, my voice, I ought to use it to pray for him. To pray that he would make wise decisions, that he would be true to the oath that he took, and to not incite fear by talking about everything that’s wrong, especially with people that’s my color,” Tina Campbell also tells The Root:
“I don’t make those statements to become politically charged,” she continued. “I have an opinion, and I expressed it because I was so disheartened from what I was hearing in churches in our community. So that is literally where that came from. Not a ‘Let me tell everybody how for Donald Trump I am and try to get everybody to be on the Trump train.’ That was not it."
It's hard not to be even just a little bit disappointed. The reality is, we are going to be stuck with Trump for another 3 years +. But Tina has never been one to claim perfection and is not afraid to engage in a dialogue about her choice. On the show, we've seen her face an unplanned pregnancy, infidelity, and resistance to her pursuing a solo career.
Tina Campbell is an open book and that is to be respected.
You can catch the final series of Mary Mary on Thursdays at 9pm| 8pm Central on WEtv.