A pastor from Birmingham, Alabama is urging black people to stay out of white churches because of a history of "white flight" and urban-suburban racial tensions. 

What: Pastor Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church is angry that the predominantly white and suburban Church of the Highlands is planning on building a campus in a "high-crime" neighborhood. 


In an interview with local Birmingham, Alabama outlet ​WVTM, Jordan blames the election of Donald Trump by white evangelicals, historical racism, and "white flight" for many problems facing the black community. In response, he's put up two controversial messages on a sign in front of his church.


One side of the sign reads: "Black folks need to stay out of white churches." The other side reads, "White folks refused to be our neighbors."


The Church of the Highlands says they want to move in to the neighborhood to help fight crime plaguing the community. 


Why: Jordan's battle against the arrival of a majority white church recalls the broader debate over gentrification. The process of gentrification often ​displaces lower income residents from neighborhoods as a result of rising rents. Gentrification has rapidly accelerated in the past decade. Around 20 percent of low income neighborhoods have experienced gentrification since the year 2000. During the 1990s, that number was only 9 percent.


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Jordan on what Trump has to do with his disdain for "white folks."

​"They elected a racist, promiscuous, president that is building walls." 

Jordan's take on why Church of the Highlands wants to move into his neighborhood.

"Now they want to plant a white church in a black neighborhood under the umbrella of supposedly to fight crime. The real reason Church of the Highlands wants to put a white church in a black neighborhood is they have too many black folks at their main campus and they want them to leave and come to a church in their inner city."

The pastor appeared to allude to the issue of ​white flight in criticizing Church of the Highlands.

"If you don’t want to be our neighbors, if you don’t want to live next door to black African-Americans, how can you put a white church over here to help fight ​crime? As soon as you finish worshiping, you’re going to go back to the suburbs like you’ve done for 30 years."