Why They are Conservative
Check out what FDF and DLI members - Dean Nelson, Arnold Culbreath, and Lenny McAllister have to say https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/06/22/19-black-americans-explain-why-theyre-conservative/
The Rev. Dean Nelson: Best for All People
I am a conservative. I had a happy childhood growing up in rural Virginia, but I heard the N-word as a matter of course. There was a restaurant in our town that refused service to Blacks well into the 1980s.
My high school guidance counselor encouraged me to enlist in the military instead of applying to college. Some friends who cheered my admission to Howard raised their eyebrows when I transferred to the University of Virginia.
As an adult, I have—like most other Black men in America—been pulled over by cops for no reason, as has my almost 19-year-old son. A white woman allowed her dog to bite me while I was jogging on a public sidewalk in my own neighborhood because she said I got too close to her. My daughter was falsely accused of shoplifting at the age of 13. I could go on.
Being a conservative does not mean I deny the existence of racism—individual or systemic. I am a conservative because I want economic prosperity, limited government, and strong families for everyone.
I believe Black Americans deserve more autonomy over our own lives, not less, and I want to live in a society that protects Black people’s right to create the good life for ourselves rather than wait naively for a magical set of social services to rescue us.
I am not conservative despite my race. I am conservative because I believe conservative principles are best for my race, and for all people.
Lenny McAllister: Advancing Freedom for All
As America has taught the world over our modern history, the power of free markets and conservative principles has broken down systems of oppression from Montgomery to Mumbai.
These principles have lifted many in Latin America and Asia out of poverty. They forced integration of public facilities through boycotts. They continue to push for life-enhancing innovations in technology, education, and retail.
A lifestyle that allows one to embrace one’s potential, explore one’s destiny, and self-determine one’s successes is a lifestyle that extols the American Dream.
With our conservative principles, we grasp both the legality and sentiment of the Constitution, the founding vision for our nation, and the power of perseverance in America.
Visionary conservatives leading within modern America take the best of our foundation and apply contemporary lessons of courage and tact to pursue a more perfect union.
We leverage time-tested convictions to weather social storms, populist ramblings, and economic hardships.
We put feelings aside at a time when emotions are high, yet values must prevail.
We value God-given rights for Americans of all backgrounds, defending a Constitution that protects these timeless gifts.
Why am I a conservative? Why should conservatives lead the civil rights movement? Because only through the fulfilled promise of constitutional conservatism will America entrench itself as the beacon of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity that truly lifts character over color, results over race, and justice over prejudice.
I, like many Americans before me, pursue the fulfillment of that promise in my daily walk.
Lenny McAllister is director of Western Pennsylvania for Commonwealth Foundation, Pennsylvania’s free-market think tank.
The Rev. Arnold M. Culbreath: Not Sellouts, but Solutions
We are living in turbulent times. Racial tensions run high, and intensified feelings, conversations, shouts, and pressure reverberate across the land. And in the midst of all this, a wide variety of perspectives abound.
Being Black in America is not easy. However, I remain hopeful and work to make America better every day. As a pastor, Army veteran, business owner, and national ministry leader, I strive to model what being a Christian, socially conscientious, Black man in America looks like, while frequently facing racism and exclusion in the process.
In spite of the odds, I have labored long and participated in initiatives that help hopeless and hurting people, and programming that moves past rhetoric to get real resources to people in need. Things like after-school feeding programs, grocery giveaways, the First Step Act, opportunity zones, free help to women in crisis pregnancies, and more.
These principles need not be defined or confined by polarizing labels such as left or right, conservative or liberal. The question is: Does an initiative strengthen and lift impoverished and disenfranchised people and communities that need it most?
If so, collaboration is desperately needed to serve those ravished by a pandemic, shaken by injustices such as the brutal killing of George Floyd and many others at the hands of police, racial upheaval, and socioeconomic disparities, and we need it now.
In order for this to occur, name-calling and marginalizing of viewpoints must stop. It’s much more helpful to stop viewing me and others like me as “Uncle Toms,” but as fellow team members. Not as sellouts, but as solutions to the problems.
This is our country, and our world, so let’s work to make it the absolute best that we can together.
The Rev. Arnold M. Culbreath is the director of ministry engagement at the Douglass Leadership Institute.