Del. Emmett Burns
(Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

A state lawmaker and Baltimore Pastor is expected to speak out at Sunday's church service about what he calls "racist comments" by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

Del. Emmett Burns, pastor at Rising Sun Baptist Church, plans to warn that "America is on the verge of Civil War" because of comments by Bundy, the Nevada rancher famous for his dispute with the Bureau of Land Management.


Bundy became embroiled in controversy last week when he made comments about African Americans and social welfare.

He told The New York Times that "I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom."

Burns says Bundy's remarks are "over the top racism." Bundy's words struck a chord with Burns who was a part of the civil rights movement in Jackson, Mississippi—working alongside with slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Burns said he found Bundy's comments to be "very disturbing and heartbreaking," according to a release from Burns. He added that "this week was a double blow for civil rights as the Supreme Court weakened hard earned affirmative action laws."

Burns, whose church is on St. Lukes Lane in Baltimore, will be joined by representatives of the Pray at the Pump Movement. Both will sponsor a Book of Racial Healing for the public to sign. The group will then go to the White House on Monday to get additional signatures. Burns said that he hopes for "bipartisan Prayer Vigil for Racial Healing" to be held at the White House.

"We hope that President Obama will step up to the plate and make this happen soon. We are on the verge of a civil War," according to Burns' release.