It might have been impossible twenty years ago to find an outspokenly conservative young black man in inner-city Compton, California. Though still highly outnumbered, one such gentleman said the tides are slowly changing.
Joven Iglesia describes himself as a Christian conservative who is “Republican-leaning yet open.” Just days before the election, though, he said the current president has made his decision easy.
“I am voting for Romney and I’m doing so because I see him as a brake pump on the direction we’re heading as a nation,” he said. “We must decide; do we want to about face and get back to American principles or continue over the proverbial cliff?”
He admits to being in a small minority among his family and friends, but explained why many are reluctant to embrace the Republican party.
“The black community at heart is conservative; however, we do not embrace the party of conservative values,” he said. “The GOP, which was flooded with the old Jim Crow Democrats after the black influx, has morphed into a perversion of its former self. In fact, I’d say the GOP itself needs to soul search and decide whether it’s going to be the party of Lincoln, Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. or continue down the path of wealthy racists’ haven and Democrat alternative.”
He had somewhat harsh, but reasoned words for the party toward which he leans. Still, he describes the alternative as something much worse.
“Most blacks,” he said, “have decided to remain loyal in an abusive boyfriend relationship with the Democrat Party while the GOP stands by as the silent aunt who sees it all yet refuses to intervene or call law enforcement.”
In what way do Democrat policies mimic an abusive relationship? Iglesia has plenty of examples.
“The Democrat Party has gutted the black family, education and enterprise and now is our time to decide where we go from here,” he said. “The GOP has to further Mitt’s olive branches to make that connection and clearly state its case … to win over black votes.”
He explained that most black families have deeply conservative social values, adding that “activists have been able to chip off a few black leaders and pastors with their money and propaganda [but] for the most part, the faith of the black community, while currently under attack, remains unshaken.”
Conceding many blacks will vote Democrat anyway, he said they will “reject policies such as gay marriage and abortion expansion.”
As blacks continue to become more disillusioned with the Democrats, he said an alternate message is slowly being spread through the community.
“I find that if you effectively state the case and address the [frequently asked questions], fears and misconceptions of the black community, you can reach the open-minded and those who in their gut knows what’s going on isn’t right or is questioning blind loyalties,” he said.
Showcasing extreme irony, the first black president has actually turned many blacks away, he explained.
“We are a minority in our stance,” he said, “however, the massive failures of [Obama] has caused many to question our political loyalties.” Still, he said he encounters plenty of resistance when he expresses his views.
“We pretty much receive the standard Uncle Tom write-off which has escalated due to the fact that [Obama] is back,” he said. “Now it’s caused loss of friends and even disassociation from family members for some. To say the least, our ‘Uncle T’ cards are maxed out this election.”
He acknowledged the importance of Obama’s presidency for America and the black community, though he expressed extreme displeasure with its specifics.
Obama’s first term “has been historic in both positive and negative aspects,” he said. “Positive, of course, being the first black POTUS and perhaps the most inspirational black figure since M.L.K. for the black community. Negative, the huge expansion of government in recent times and also of progressive values, ousting of the Constitution and traditional American values of faith and family.”
As for the president’s “beneficial and honorable policies,” Iglesia said “they are in the minority of his actions as they’re outweighed by intentional acts and sheer bungling and happenstance.”
Working for an organization called Inner City Evangelicals, he said his relationship with Jesus is an all-encompassing aspect of his life —especially when choosing a leader.
“Faith is central to all I do,” he said. “However, I’m not seeking a theocracy or a theologian-in-chief as I practice true Christianity which isn’t forced upon anyone.”
Christian ideology in America “affords a legal code of conduct in which those who choose not to adhere to it [have the] freedom to do so as opposed to nations under, say, Sharia law,” he added.
Though the party of Lincoln most closely aligns with his belief system, he said Republicans must continue to earn his vote.
“I stated I am GOP-leaning since they tend to line up more often with Biblical values, however, they are not the party of God nor is God the GOP mascot. For example, there are gay GOP groups who were even at the RNC. We share common values but that’s the extent of it.”
As election day approaches, polls will divide the nation up into red and blue, but accounts from those free-thinking individuals such as Iglesia show people unafraid to defy their media-assigned designations. We all have our own reasons for voting the way we do and, as he explained, if people would sincerely look for a candidate who most closely approximates their beliefs, the answer might be surprising.
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