“I’m not conservative no more!”
That’s not exactly how now used-ta-be conservative vlogger C.J. Pearson put it, but the bottom line is the youngster seems to have come to his senses.
If you don’t recall, Pearson is the 13-year-old African American whose stinging criticism regarding President Obama meeting with the clock-boy, Ahmed Mohamed, went viral (see his video/comments below). Now he’s renouncing conservatism. He says he wants to be a voice unbound by party ideology.
It appears the main thing that got to him is the Republican Party’s viewpoints on racial and gender disparity. Also, young Pearson pointed out to CNN that the way the GOP deals with youth issues convinced him he could no longer be a mouthpiece for conservatism.
“I was tired of being a champion of a party that turned a blind eye to racial discrimination. Tired of being a champion of any cause that denies equal rights to every American. Tired of being a champion of a party that doesn’t care about the issues important to young people,” Pearson wrote in an email.
Pearson said that he began considering the change after a conversation with another teen friend, who asked why he doesn’t speak out on racial discrimination — to which he replied he was concerned his followers wouldn’t be pleased.
“Over the past few days, I thought about essentially how I don’t want people to follow me because I’m that anti-Obama kid, or who called out Hillary Clinton or who took Bernie Sanders to task,” Pearson said. “I don’t want to be the conservative wonder kid that people follow because I make them feel good and like young people are part of their movement. I want to be followed because I’m the voice of a generation that doesn’t have a voice at the table.”
He said the video of Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by a police officer in Chicago helped open his eyes to the systemic problems of racial discrimination in America and the need to look at the issues objectively.
Pearson was also the chairman of Teens for Ted and part of the presidential campaign for the Republican Texas senator, but separated with the Cruz campaign at the beginning of the month. Pearson said Cruz wasn’t doing enough for issues affecting young people.
The teen also was accused in September of faking a screenshot that Obama’s account had blocked him on Twitter. Pearson admits he made a mistake and says he has moved on.
Pearson commands a YouTube channel viewed by more than 5 million and a Facebook feed with more than 100,000 followers.
And just because he’s dumping the conservatives, it doesn’t mean he’s going away . Nope, not a t all. He tells CNN that he plans to continue to be a social media presence.
“My generation is one of the most politically diverse ever, and I’ll continue to be a voice but one that looks at issues objectively,” Pearson said. “My views on the issues aren’t going to be dictated by one political platform or another.”