Contrary to the woeism fostered by liberalism that has miseducated three generations of Black Americans into thinking that the government and educational system is responsible for the embarrassingly high levels of illiteracy, violence, abortion, single parentage, disease, and despair so pervasive in distressed Black communities, we find ourselves where we are because too many of us have not, like Frederick Douglass, arrived to his conclusion:
“I have made up my mind wherever I go, I shall go as a man and not as a slave. I shall always aim to be courteous and mild in department toward all whom I come in contact, at the same time firmly and constantly endeavoring to assert my equal rights as a man and as a brother”
I decided I would not live as a slave, but as a man.
My story begins in Charleston, S.C., where I was born to a single mother of three. My father was a married man whose wife could not bear children. Unable to care for me, my biological mother gave me to my father and his wife, signing away all rights and setting my life on a journey she would one day come to regret.
My father was a military veteran of 21 years. His wife, who accepted her husband’s infidelity and raised me as her own, was a passive woman who substituted in my elementary school and dedicated most of her life to the education of children.
However, in this home, there were many problems, including alcoholism, domestic violence, denial, and abuse and emotional neglect.
At the age of eight, I was molested by my mother’s brother. In the Black community, there has long been a culture of “hushing” children who have been molested, as we pretended that only white men did such a thing. My family rejected me and defended my assailant. I was further pushed into an emotional isolation and developed a virile hatred of those I once trusted.
I even became disillusioned even towards God.
This young person who was ahead of his class in kindergarten, no longer had the desire to learn. At least not what they were teaching in the classrooms. I had lost my dignity, lost my sense of direction and had no one in my life who seemed to notice or care. I dropped out of school in the 8th grade to pursue life on the streets. I found myself in juvenile centers on several occasions by age 15. By the age of 25, so far removed from the positive early formative years and its learning, I found myself facing life in prison for attempted murder, a senseless and selfish crime.
Like many who have been brainwashed by victimology and blameology, I honestly thought at the time that even this was not fully my responsibility.
I entered the County jail with no skills, no purpose, no sense of identity, and most of all, no concept of personal accountability or responsibility. I had no knowledge of God and no reason to want to live. Then something miraculous happened.
A retired conservative Police Chief, who was a volunteer for “Forgotten Man Ministries”, came and witnessed to me. Unfazed by my ignorance and spiritual blindness, this man eventually led me to a confession of sin, repentance from dead works, and faith towards God. He became my first mentor.
Over the course of the next 13 years of incarceration, I, like Frederick Douglass, remade myself, by “luck, pluck, and gifts.” I chose to overcome functional illiteracy and eventually became a paralegal whle incarcerated.
While in prison, another man came along who impacted me in a way that will forever be the defining moment in my political life. His name is Gary. He was an elderly conservative from Gaylord, MI.
Gary was a guard in a camp who took a chance on me and risked his job to sneak in a book for me, “It’s OK to Leave the Plantation,” by Mason Weaver.
Weaver’s book “got in my face” and challenged all the social values and concepts I held on to for dear life. It taught me that I had indeed been a slave in a prison far worse than the walls of the MDOC. My mentor, Gary, said that he saw in me someone who would one day lead in an unprecedented manner, if I would have the courage to be true to the calling he believed God had on my life.
He told me that the Republican party was the party of Frederick Douglass and that he believed I, in many ways, could be a type of Frederick Douglass in the 21st Century GOP.
After I was released, I found myself living in a homeless shelter, with no community ties, no job skills, and no resources. I did have, however, an uncompromising faith in God, a vision, my Mason Weaver book, and a determination that I would never again be a slave to blame, guilt, fear, bitterness, and excuses.
I also carried in my heart the words, “If no one will help me, I will help myself and then I will help someone else. If no one will make a job for me, I will make a job for myself, and then I will make a job for someone else.”
While living in the shelter, I volunteered whenever I was not looking for a job. I never once borrowed or complained. I joined a local church and in three weeks, I had an apartment. Within a year, unable to land steady employment, I created an limited liability company and began speaking about how to overcome a troubled past. I bought a new car within six months.
The next year I met another mentor, Jimmy. A Black Conservative, Jimmy invited me to join his group, The Great Lakes Bay Region African American Leadership Institute, from which I graduated and later advised. In this group, I began meeting Conservative leaders from across Mid Michigan who did not see in me “an ex con,” but as a leader. They did not want to hear any excuses or woeism. They only wanted me to do what I said I would do and be where I said I would be.
Over the next several years, I was the keynote speaker at the Dow Chemical Company and Dow Corning’s Regional MLK, Jr. Celebration and would win a Frederick Douglass Service Award given by an affiliate of an National Black Women’s organization. The award was in recognition for my work with juveniles who are similarly situated as I was when I was their age.
I am a “Christian” conservative because I believe the Bible promotes personal responsibility, limited government, free market, individual liberty and strong national defense. God’s Word has made it clear that, from the beginning of the creation of government, the role of government should be to provide godly and ungodly citizens alike the freedom we all require to pursue our own goals or to pursue kingdom purposes, with moral laws established by God setting standards we use to know the difference.
I also believe that Christian Conservative principles offer Black Americans the best opportunity to be self reliant and to rebuild the wastelands that are the legacy liberal leadership in distressed black communities over the past 50 years.
Today, I am the President of the Frederick Douglass Society, a Christian, Education and Public Policy nonprofit organization. I am a proud American who just so happens to be of African descent. I am the great, great, great, great grandson of Peter Adams, who was an African Slave on a South Carolina plantation. I have made mistakes and I have learned from those mistakes.
I am, furthermore, a Black man who finds utter disgust in the absolute moral surrender of millions of Black Americans today, who, unlike Frederick Douglass and unlike my ancestor Peter Adams, have no personal experience with chattel slavery or Jim Crow and, thus, have no excuses for not fully embracing the responsibilities of American citizenship.
My story demonstrates that in today’s America, if we, like Frederick Douglass, make up our mind that wherever we go, we shall go as a man and not a slave, the only permanent boundaries around us are those we place ourselves. It doesn’t matter what obstacles we are born into or what mistakes we have made in our lives. We can, by means of repentance from dead works, faith towards God, personal responsibility and self determination, turn our humble beginnings and failures into stepping stones to success.
Not one has an excuse. Not one has someone or something to blame for not being a voting, participating, productive, and unhyphenated citizen of the United States of America, the greatest country in the world!