The Rise of America's Young Black Conservatives
Black Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. highlights growing number of black conservatives
The number of black conservatives in America is rising.
With conservative firebrands such as Candace Owens championing the Blexit - black exit from the Democratic Party - movement, a growing number of black Americans are walking away from liberal politics and shifting toward conservativism.
In early October, the second annual Black Leadership Summit took place in Washington, D.C., hosted by Turning Point USA.
American conservative nonprofit organization Turning Point was founded in 2012 by then-18-year-old Charlie Kirk.
The group seeks "to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government."
Turning Point also holds other annual gatherings, including the Young Women's Leadership Summit, the Student Action Summit, and the Young Latino Leadership Summit, in addition to the Black Leadership Summit.
According to Kirk, Turning Point has established chapters at over 1,000 college campuses across the country.
In a short time, the organization has become quite a force.
In an interview with Business Insider, Kirk asked: "Have you ever seen a conservative shout down a liberal speaker on campus?
"Isn't that kind of strange, though, that the left does that every day and conservatives don't?"
He argues: "We live in a broken culture. Where the conservative movement is making gains really quick and where the left is really struggling right now is that we are offering remedies for a broken culture."
Not too surprisingly, Turning Point is not without controversy.
A column in the conservative Washington Examiner written by a college senior insists: "TPUSA is initially attractive to many young people due to the organization's savvy marketing using memes, posters, and catchy slogans such as 'socialism sucks.'
"And at first glance, this may seem like a good thing for the conservative movement.
"But everyone should be concerned by the mainstreaming of TPUSA and Kirk. ...
"In reality, it's an organization that pulls kids too young to know any better into a group that's deeply troubled and dishonest at its core."
Despite criticisms, the recent event saw some 400 young black people gather in D.C., where they heard criticism of Democrats, liberals and the left.
Speakers such as former Turning Point Communications Director Candace Owens, now a podcast host for Prager University, questioned blacks' overwhelming allegiance to the Democratic Party, arguing that the party pushes the narrative of systemic, structural and institutional racism for power and votes.
These young people did not think of themselves as victims.
They recognized their good fortune as Americans living in a country of opportunity where their own future will be bright if they work hard.
28 years ago, black liberal Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson wrote:
"The sociological truths are that America, while still flawed in its race relations ... is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa."
During October's summit, the narrative of "structural racism" by the police was challenged with facts, studies, and data.
The Democrats' opposition to private vouchers was questioned, given studies showing that school choice improves reading and math scores, graduation rates and parental satisfaction.
Democratic policies of reparations, race-based preferences, government-mandated minimum wage and taxes on job creators were challenged.
#Conservative firebrand #CandaceOwens shredded two Democrats after they made false insinuations about her comments during a House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) April 10, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/2Lt4wfmdRU#conservatives
For years, black conservative voices have been questioning blacks' devotion to the Democratic Party.
They have long argued that the welfare state has destabilized families, encouraging women "to marry the government" and men to abandon their financial and moral responsibilities.
They have long argued against the job-destroying impact of the minimum wage.
They have long argued that one's fate is determined not by racism but by one's willingness to invest in oneself through education, hard work, and sacrifice.
Turning Point's Black Leadership Summit shows that a generation of hopeful young black men and women who believe in themselves is spawning.
These bright, energetic young people get it.
As then-First Lady Barbara Bush once said, "Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house."