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People often ask me "Why do you call yourself a conservative?"
Around 2005, when Facebook was a college-only social media site, they asked you upon completing your profile what your political views were. The choices back then were Very Liberal, Liberal, Conservative, Very Conservative. I thought to myself (having been indoctrinated in the group think that usually exists on college campuses) "Well, I'm gay and I'm black, so obviously, I'm very liberal.” I had no issues with conservatives or Republicans at all; in fact, many of my friends in college identified as conservatives and/or Republicans if political issues came up.
A few months later, a couple of girls (both of whom were black) added me after seeing me at karaoke and I accepted their requests. Under political views, I saw they put "conservative." I thought to myself, "Black conservatives? Does this mean they're Republicans? How can that be?" I saw these girls at the Union (or maybe the computer lab) a week or so later and struck up a conversation to ask what they meant by that label. One mentioned that, while she is a Democrat, she labels herself a conservative as a representation of her personal values. Our conversation became the genesis of my political awakening. And it made me begin to think about what “Very Liberal” and “Liberal” people believed and how those views personally clashed with my fiscal views, my views on religion, and also what I retained from my Christian upbringing.
The biggest struggle in college (and in this world) was never identifying and defending myself as a gay male who also happens to be black. That was easy. The biggest struggle was allowing myself to publicly define my own set of beliefs and values beyond the assumed liberal parameters. Here are a few examples if you’re curious:
-I scoff at the idea of long-term entitlements for those who are able-bodied and nowhere near retirement age.
-I don’t believe in the concept of “paying your fair share.” Why? Because one day, you’ll go after the multimillion dollar CEO of a company and the next day (when you’re done wasting his money on bridges to nowhere and people who refuse to work) it’ll be the single guy with no kids who makes 25K a year with a health plan from his place of employment.
-I get angry at the idea of sanctuary cities that go against ICE and the federal government, many who knowingly harbor multiple violent offenders at the expense of our nation’s safety.
-I believe in business owners having the right to refuse service and allowing the free market to decide what becomes of those businesses.
-I don’t think a five-year-old has the mental capacity to formally declare any sexual orientation or gender identity. And I don’t think it should be taught in anyone’s public school.
-And while we’re at it, I don’t think anyone should feed their kid (or their teen) a bunch of hormones to delay their natural response to sexual maturity. I think that decision should be made once a child reaches adulthood.
-I believe that law-abiding citizens should have every right to own whatever gun they like. The anti-gun mob should have no business telling private gun owners what they can and cannot own and any law that tries to restrict it is unconstitutional.
-Planned Parenthood has become a fetus/baby killing factory that promotes abortion over carrying to term or even preventative measures. They sell body parts for “overhead costs” and many locations refuse to highlight additional options for pregnant women. And they absolutely should be defunded until they can divorce themselves from those services.
The views I’ve presented here are not views liberals possess. They bother liberals. They expect me not to have the views because of how much money I make, the way I look, and who I entertain in my bedroom. Liberals often become dismissive, rude, angry, and even violent over anyone having these views. Some liberals don’t bother asking me why I’ve come to these conclusions even though I consider myself pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-choice (or pro-abortion as many of my Misfits would call me), pro-entitlements for kids and seniors, pro-immigration/path to citizenship, and anti-discrimination.
But what I do agree with them on doesn’t matter. They instead feel some need to preach to me, tell me that I’m not in “the right income bracket," not of “the right race” to have these views, and when none of those work, ostracize me or think of me as a bigot or an enemy. And that’s what Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, and everyday black Americans are currently facing as they tweet or publicly state support for President Trump, Candace Owens, or even saying that you don’t have to label yourself a Democrat.
Look, I want Trump to succeed. A successful Presidency is a successful country. He wasn’t my pick. I think he’s incredibly divisive, tweets before he thinks, and is likely doing some shady ass shit behind the scenes to line his pockets. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting him to do a great job for America. There’s nothing wrong with black people “liking” Trump anymore than there was something wrong with “liking” his opponent, whose campaign staffers put kerosene on the Birtherism fire, called kids “superpredators” who we need to “bring to heel” based on their looks and associations, and said in 2008 that she was more interested in “Working Class Americans, White Americans” when she was thisclose to contesting the primary at the DNC convention.
Most black conservatives are not like Candace Owens or Diamond and Silk, who worship Trump as if he’s some sort of deity. Hell, most of them aren’t even like me. A lot of black conservatives believe in working hard, keeping what they’ve earned, being free to express their belief in God, being treated fairly, and keeping the government out of their homes. Black Democrats (particularly conservatives in southern states) have been told for years by the party that they are valued and respected. But for the last decade, they’ve taken that for granted. They’ve focused more on pronouns, giving health insurance and entitlements to non-seniors who have no interest in ever working, putting the rights of noncitizens ahead of theirs, and heavily taxing their paychecks, among many other things.
What you are seeing here is not necessarily a group of black people who are “fed up with the Democrat party.” You’re not going to see an uptick in black people registering as Republicans (despite what you may see on Pro-Trump Facebook and Pro-Trump Twitter). You’re not going to see a bunch of black people suddenly following Candace Owens or subscribing to Diamond and Silk. You are witnessing a group of people who are, at long last, free to think and be beyond the parameters of what liberals and the media believe and have told them to believe. We’ve had these thoughts for years. Either you weren’t paying attention or you didn’t care.
So, again, “Why do you consider yourself a conservative?” Well I can't speak for anyone else, but I consider myself one because, above all, less government and personal responsibility are always the best bet to a successful existence.