In part 1 of our interview with Cecilia Johnson, we talked a great deal about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests that are currently ongoing in our country. Aside from the protests, we also got to talk with Cecilia more about President Donald Trump, Blexit, defunding the police, and more.
“I was actually among the 450 young Black Americans that attended the conference where Blexit was launched in 2018,” Cecilia shared with us about Blexit (a foundation whose aim is for Blacks to exit the Democratic Party). “I like the concept of Black people exiting a political philosophy that has failed our community.”
One of the heads of Blexit is Candace Owens, who has become very controversial for her conservative opinions that many feel don’t align with her community. Most recently with the George Floyd protests, Candace spoke out in a live video to explain that she did not feel that George Floyd was a hero whatsoever. The video went viral, with many criticizing Candace for her views.
We were curious as to Cecilia’s take on Candace’s video.
“I honestly still haven’t watched the video in its entirety but the few moments I saw didn’t express my feelings or empathy to this case,” she detailed to us. “While I do understand that Mr. Floyd had a past like everyone else in this world, I don’t think he deserved to be murdered the way he was. Has he committed crimes in his past? Yes. Does that have ANYTHING his murder? Not at all.”
However, Cecilia did specify that she was not okay with people referring to Candace as “not black” and using racist terminology in Candace’s direction just because of her viewpoint.
“I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that how one views certain things makes one ‘not black’ so I won’t say that about her or anybody else,” she explicitly stated. “I just know that this is something we don’t see eye to eye on.”
Changing the topic from Candace Owens- but still in line with some of the aftermath of what’s going on with George Floyd and Black Lives Matter- we were curious as to Cecilia’s thoughts on defunding the police.
“I don’t think it fully gets to the root of the big problem,” she shared with us, specifically detailing that the roof to eh big problem are “the police union and the fact that they protect dirty police officers.”
“I haven’t heard that as a part of the solution,” she added.
Aside from the Black Lives Matter protests, America has been dealing with another crisis for months at this point- specifically, the coronavirus pandemic. As many Americans are aware, our President has taken a breadth of criticism for his response to the pandemic. What did Cecilia have to say about this and what critics of how he has handled the pandemic are missing?
“President Trump’s critics are missing that he took actions that protected this nation without overstepping his constitution boundaries,” she told us. “The media and his critics are so quick to call him a dictator yet when he acts as anything otherwise, they criticize him for NOT being a dictator. He immediately shut down international flights, held press conferences every day, and openly promoted the CDC’s recommendations. He did everything within his power to slow the spread and I stand by his leadership.”
“I will absolutely be voting for Trump again in November,” she went on to detail. “President Trump has won me over even more than he did in 2016, not by his words, but his actions.”
She went on to detail specifically why she is absolutely going to vote for him again, noting that “As I stated before, I look at politics as what can I gain from you that’s tangible. Lip service doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever. All that matters is that pen and how does that benefit the Black community. He has used that very well especially as it pertains to the black community.”
She then went on to give concrete examples to back her claim, telling us that:
“Under President Trump:
- The poverty rate among black Americans is at its lowest level in history.
- As a result of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones were created with more than half of them being in minority communities.
- President Trump signed the historic FIRST STEP Act into law. The FIRST STEP ACT has been widely hailed as the most meaningful criminal justice reform in a generation. 90% of those released or received a reduced sentence have been black. Over 3,000Americans have been released thus far. It also included necessary reforms to our justice system, improves our prison system, and prepares inmates for reentry in our communities. Due to this, President Trump was awarded the 2019 Bipartisan Justice award by the nonprofit 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center. The President received this award for his “ability to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful progress in reforming our criminal justice system.” It also includes the launching of the ‘Ready to Work Initiative’.
- The Trump administration has fought for a federal tax credit on donations that fund scholarships to private schools, a proposal supported by 64% of African Americans. This would allow black kids to escape their failing schools and have the chance to receive a quality education.
- President Trump has made supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) a top priority. I attended an HBCU so I really admire his work here. In February 2017, President Trump announced the President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs. He also moved the federal HBCU initiative office into the White House, a move that leaders had requested under President Obama. He has appropriated more money than any other president to HBCUs. One thing that really stuck out to me is the Administration has forgiven more than $300 million in outstanding debt for four schools impacted by natural disasters and the budget provided $10 million to defer loan payments for 6 schools facing financial difficulties. Speaking of COVID-19, President Trump signed legislation that provided $1 billion to HBCUs that were impacted by coronavirus.”
She also went on to address the critics who claim that Trump is a racist, stating “Let me make sure I have a clear understanding. He hates Black Americans yet he has done all of those things above including releasing black people from prison, bringing more opportunity to our community, supporting HBCU’s more than any other president in recent history, supporting black kids receiving a fair education, and we have the lowest poverty rate under him? I’ll take these tangibles over symbolisms any day!”
Cecilia wrapped with telling us that “I recently completed my first book titled ‘The Life of the Party: Memoirs of the Hood Conservative. It tells my life story and how I worked to overcome low self-esteem, suicide attempts, physical and sexual abuse, and losing my only child, Amelia. I also discuss my transition into becoming a Republican at the age of 20 and how that has impacted my life.”
“I often hear, ‘I don’t understand how an inner-city Black woman can be a Republican,’” she added. “Well, now you get the opportunity to see things from my perspective. You can visit ceciliasjohnson.com to purchase it at the special pre-order price of $20.20.”