CJ Pearson no longer wants to be labeled Republican because he is now questioning the party’s values.
Conservative teen activist CJ Pearson told CNN that he no longer wants to be a mouthpiece for the Republican Party – yet he still holds conservative “principles” and claims that CNN got a little “excited” with their headline when they reported he “renounced” conservatism. Pearson wrote on Facebook that the CNN article isn’t accurate – he said he doesn’t want to wear a political label.
13-year-old CJ Pearson gained national attention last September for a video he posted criticizing President Obama for inviting a young Muslim boy (who some in the media are calling “Clock Boy”) to the White House. For a brief time, Pearson was also part of the Ted Cruz 2106 campaign – but said Cruz wasn’t doing enough for young people.
On Friday, Pearson told CNN that he has concerns about the GOP viewpoints on racial and gender inequality, as well as youth issues.
“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.
The Georgia teen said his transformation began after a conversation with another teen friend who asked why Pearson doesn’t denounce racial discrimination – he replied he was worried his large conservative following 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. 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.”
Pearson said the video of a Chicago police officer shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times helped him realize the systemic problems of racial discrimination in America and the importance of looking at those problems objectively.
Just after his video went viral, Pearson was accused of altering a screenshot that was made to look as if President Obama blocked him on Twitter. The teen activist admits he made a mistake for the stunt and wants to move on.
Several popular conservative sites have praised the teen for his outspoken Republican principles, and some (Chicks On The Right) have commented they would like to see CJ run for president one day. (I’m guessing his recent change of heart will not sit well with the Chicks.)
Recap: CJ Pearson doesn’t want to be labeled conservative or Republican because he’s tired of all the racial and gender discrimination from the right – but he still holds conservative principles (and probably wants to be invited to the White House).