My Interview with Jeff Charles, The Conservatarian: A Deep Discussion about Race and the Current GOP
There are more with us than against us...
Back in 2018, I began expressing my disappointment within the current Black Conservative Movement. Something about our approach in reaching more Black voters turned me off; and I began challenging my followers to do things differently so we could win.
If you've followed my virtual ministry for a while, you know I speak often of the Holy Spirit and our need to be led by Him. I also refer to Yeshua quite a bit, focusing particularly on His ability to reach people using unconventional methods like storytelling.
I wanted the conservative base to recognize that while our intentions on helping some Black Americans understand the power of their votes, we were using age-old propaganda that essentially ostracized us from those we wanted to reach. I told the base back then (and still today), "There's a better way. And I'm going to prove to you that when we do things God's way, we will always get His results."
Fast forward to July 2019, and it seems this message I've been preaching has caught the attention of more Conscious Black Conservatives who are eager to reach Black voters without using the same, mainstream talking points as the more famous Black Conservatives. And just recently, I had the pleasure of meeting one such person named Jeff Charles.
Jeff, otherwise known as The Conservatarian on Twitter, read through a few of my articles and found my message resonating with his own. He reached out to me and asked if I'd be willing to share my thoughts with his readers on his blog, CultureBeatProject.com.
Jeff is a fellow Conservative/Libertarian and an author for Liberty Nation. He's been featured in The Huffington Post among other publications; so it was an honor to chat with him.
What you will discover from this interview, Beloved Conservative, is that we have an opportunity to dominate the political discourse. But it will only happen when we are bold enough to change our tactics so we eventually empower the people we are called to serve.
Now, let's get into this interview.
Jeff: Who is Felecia Killings?
Greetings, and thank you for the opportunity to interview with you. I am Felecia Killings, the Founder and CEO of FKMinistries. Our mission is to help God’s people engage in this end-time revival and national reformation using the written and spoken word. I am a mother, educator, award-winning writing coach, author, and speaker. My absolute greatest loves are the Holy Spirit and my daughter, Aaliyah Amore.
Jeff: What is FKMinistries and why did you start it?
FKMinistries is the largest online church comprised of upcoming leaders, authors, speakers, and virtual ministers. I started this virtual church under the direction of the Holy Spirit with a focus on helping Believers engage in this new wave of revival and reformation using the virtual space.
In this hour, the people who will make the greatest changes in the world will be the every-day Believers, even the ones society deems unworthy. So, what I do within FKMinistries is I provide the spiritual and technical training solutions that help my members use their most powerful weapons -- their words -- to deliver others.
I teach them how to package their stories in book format using my online school, LiyahAmore University (which is housed inside FKMinistries.org). Over the next 25 years, we aim to be a community of 10,000,000 members; and from this group, we will train 1,000,000 members to launch their own virtual ministries that focus on various issues within our world.
Jeff: What sparked your interest in conservative politics?
My story of how I entered conservative politics is quite interesting; some might consider it scandalous.
Back in 2005, I began a teaching career in Fairfield, CA. I was incredibly successful; but two years after beginning my work, I began challenging the racism and discriminatory practices on school grounds. Being one of three Black teachers (in school of 100+ White staff members), advocating for students’ rights made me a target for threats, sexual harassment, and assault. When I informed my administrators about it, nothing was done. And within the educational sphere, when rumors circulate about a teacher, the first recourse is to inform the police.
Thus, in 2010, without receiving any due process within the education system, I was arrested on charges of raping my students. Nothing was done to the students who threatened me or assaulted me, because the culture is to believe the students over the teacher.
It took a couple years to clear my name, and I’m grateful to the Holy Spirit for keeping me sane during that time period. But during the subsequent years after winning my case, I began asking the Holy Spirit where to go from there, because it was too dangerous for me to re-enter the public-school setting. That’s when the vision for FKMinistries emerged.
As I began sharing biblical lessons with my virtual audience on Facebook and inside the online church, I started tackling politics and how Believers needed to be more involved. From 2016 up until now, I’ve continued this focus; and since then, I’ve caught the attention of conservative leaders and organizations who need help in reaching more voters with this message.
Within the church, I’ve also launched a conservative movement called The Fifteen 20 Rise. Our mission within this sub-ministry is to help more Conservatives reach Black voters with their God-focused message. When the conservative base learns to do things a different way, we will begin seeing 15-20% of Black Americans voting for conservative candidates in 2020 and beyond. Eventually, that percentage will rise until the voting bloc is balanced.
With FKMinistries and our sub-ministries, I’m looking to use my platform to inspire and equip people to do things God’s ways, whether it’s in politics or in society. And within the next ten years, I aim to use my political platform to draw attention to educational reform, which will provide better protection and due process for teachers in the public education system.
Jeff: Have you always been a conservative? Or are you a recovering leftist?
I have always been conservative. My father raised me this way. In our home, we knew very little about Democrats and liberalism. My father was adamant about rejecting the victim’s mentality or dependence on government to solve our social and moral problems. In fact, my father’s lesson on being a victor is what helped me overcome the criminal case I eventually defeated. My conservative, biblical beliefs preserved me during that tumultuous time; and that’s what I share with people who question why I am conservative with my politics and morality.
Personally, I don’t believe there is such a thing as a recovering leftist. Liberalism is an ideology that begins early on, just as conservatism began early for me. When someone claims to jump from one ideology to the next within just a couple months, that’s not necessarily true. No one can be instantly “red-pilled” because it takes years of research and reconditioning to transform at that level; and this is why I contend the new breed of Black Conservatives (on mainstream media) are just a mild version of liberalism and Leftism. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Jeff: I believe you are currently working with a conservative candidate in Georgia. What is your overall strategy for helping this person connect with Americans of different demographics? How can the GOP use this approach in its nationwide efforts?
I recently moved to Atlanta, GA with my daughter. We arrived on May 7, 2019. I came here from California after devoting 3+ years towards building up the foundations of FKMinistries. As I mentioned earlier, my work caught the attention of conservative leaders and organizations in Atlanta and Washington D.C. So, I had an open door and opportunity to work with them directly if I moved to the East Coast. This was certainly a challenge for me, because I love California and I’ve never lived outside the state. But I always rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me. So, when He didn’t give me the RED light (because I look for His “no” as much as His “yes”), I knew it was time for us to go.
To answer your question about my overall strategy for helping such persons connect with Americans, particularly Black Americans, my approach is simple: use storytelling.
I’ve told the conservative base (on social media) that we will no longer win any election using the same talking points that Right-wing, mainstream media outlets discuss. It’s just not going to fly anymore. Americans are sick and tired of racism and hatred; and they are ready to progress; and this includes conservative, liberal, and progressive Americans.
I think for the first time in decades, the conservative base realizes its tactics have ostracized an entire bloc of voters; and in 2020 and beyond, the base will see just how powerful and influential the Black voting bloc will be.
So, when working with my clients, my members, or other conservative organizations as a consultant, I teach them to throw out the talking points and start telling the voters their stories. More specifically, I urge people to write and publish their stories in book format, demonstrating how conservative values empowered them. I tell them, “Stop belittling people’s experiences. Stop belittling single mothers who have to use government assistance. Stop shaming women for having abortions, and you’ve never gone through the mental anguish of making such a choice. Instead, use your story to show how, even if you experienced hardships, you thrived because you adopted conservative, biblical standards.”
Do you see where I’m going with this? So, I teach my clients to be authentic, vulnerable, and truthful. No one has time to listen to the lame rhetoric anymore, and voters are becoming increasingly aware of their voting power thanks in large part to social media and the virtual space.
Now, when it comes to the GOP nationwide, the strategy must be more aggressive. As more minority leaders win the hearts of Black voters, for example, the GOP needs to shift its tactics by promoting these leaders and not the talking-point prophets of the current base.
The GOP needs to be smart enough to realize that if a Black Conservative says she’s leading a national #Blexit, and she can’t get but 10 Black people to attend her event that hosts 1,000 people, then she is an epic fail when it comes to Black outreach.
When the GOP begins throwing its support to people who know Black history, who speak to Black people, who LISTEN to Black people, and who know how to develop solutions with Black people based on conservative values...then the GOP will be practically invincible. We’re talking about being as radical as the Radical Republicans of the 1860s. And as I shared in a recent article, if the Party doesn’t get a hold of this revelation right now, especially before the 2020 elections, it will practically die. Americans will NOT allow themselves to experience another period like what we are witnessing right now.
Unfortunately, the GOP on the national front is too preoccupied with the Black Conservatives who regurgitate its talking points; and it’s becoming so problematic that even Black Conservatives like myself are breaking away from the Republican Party until it is ready to change.
I will say that at the local level, it seems the GOP is aware of just how much it needs to change. In Gwinnett County, GA, for example, the Gwinnett County Republican Party elected its first Black chairman, Edward Muldrow, because of the changing demographics. In 2018, when Stacey Abrams nearly won the governorship, the county realized it needed to do a better job of courting more minority voters. Chairman Ed is actually one of the conservative leaders who reached out to me, and he and I are working together to help the Party in this area. So, I can foresee the GOP on a national front making the same strides if it wants to win. But it will require more than simply adding more Black faces. The Party needs reform.
Another strategy: I am encouraging independent Black Conservative voices to use their platforms -- no matter how big or small -- to create more content around what’s needed to reform the Party. The more content we publish, the better.
You see, when the people demand change, then the Party has to answer. If not, it will continue losing, and there’s nothing more terrifying to politicians than losing power. Independent voices can leverage that.
I see in the coming future the GOP looking once again to Black Conservatives like Sonnie Johnson or Alfonzo Rachel, and pulling from upcoming Conscious Black Conservatives like myself, Kevin Martin, Hotep Jesus, and others. In due time, we will see the end of mainstream Black Conservatives, because Black Americans will start embracing this new breed and new wave of Black Conservatism.
This leads me into the next strategy: targeting Black mainstream media. I shared in another article that in today’s time, Black Americans don’t need traditional mainstream media to tell our stories. We can do this ourselves; and now we have nationally-recognized producers and directors who are willing to give Black people a voice.
The challenge now for Conscious Black Conservatives is to focus our attention here, not on outlets that target predominantly White audiences. There’s certainly nothing wrong with talking to mainstream audiences; but when it comes to being conservative and conscious, we are limited in our thoughts and actions on their platforms. And Conscious Black Conservatives have no time for that.
So, the next step for radical Black Conservatives is to go where Black audiences are. We need to envelop such politics in the culture and entertainment. This is the current direction I’m headed while being in Atlanta. In fact -- and you’re not going to believe this when I say this but -- I am in the process of writing a teleplay or script focused on the new wave of Black Conservatism. Whether this is a sitcom or a news show, I don’t know exactly. But I’m pursuing this because this medium will help normalize the culture of conservatism within our communities. It will help spread this message more quickly. Once the culture embraces it, the GOP will take notice; and then both political parties will be vying for Black voters.
Jeff: In your opinion, what are the three biggest mistakes the GOP and conservative movement is making with the black community? Why do you believe they are making these mistakes?
Jeff: What is one of the worst misconceptions that conservatives have about black Americans?
The worst misconception I’ve observed is that Conservatives think conscious Black Americans are uneducated and liberal. They assume all Black people who vote Democrat are stupid and have no idea about that Party’s racist past. For example, I had one White Conservative tell me, “Don’t you know your history,” when I addressed criminal justice reform. She assumed that because I dropped knowledge about its racist ties that I was a Democrat and uneducated. I blocked that fool for being so ignorant, but not before telling her I own two degrees -- one focused on African American history -- which I obtained from UC Davis, one of the nation’s top 10 public universities.
Conservatives have this misconception that if any Black Conservative addresses Black history, then she is actually a “closet liberal.” I’ve been accused of that lately and so have other Black Conservatives who have challenged the base to do things differently. This gives you an idea of the low intellectual pedigree of the general conservative base. Unfortunately, Conservatives continue to show their ignorance, and again, they will pay for it in 2020.
Jeff: What is the number one most important thing that conservatives need to know about black Americans?
Just as Conservatives criticize the Left for thinking all Black people think alike, the base assumes all Black people are a monolith (unless you vote Red). In other words, I get accused of being “too liberal” because I analyze data, I research, I observe, and I listen. When I suggest Conservatives do the same thing instead of preaching the talking points, some get upset because I’m breaking free from their controlled thinking.
What Conservatives need to know about Black Americans, even the ones who vote Democrat, is that this population is flooded with intellectuals, artists, writers, thinkers, philosophers, doctors, lawyers, educators, and the like. Take one look at Atlanta, GA and you will see what I mean. This population has wealthy entrepreneurs who will shape politics in the near future. The base needs to understand this. If it continues to push the monolithic narrative, it will lose.
Jeff: On which issues do conservatives need to focus the most to earn more black support?
Conservatives need only look to social media to figure out what Black voters want to address: criminal justice reform, reparations, health care, women’s reproductive rights, etc.
BUT, if Conservatives were truly strategic, they would pick an issue that no one is really focused on: school choice, teacher protection, just anything that will help the base stand out.
Right now, Conservatives think the best way to win Black support is to play identity politics and the race card. If you notice, Conservatives are CONSTANTLY talking about how racist someone is now. Lately, Conservatives have criticized Senator Kamala Harris for “cultural appropriations” or not being “black enough.” I’m like, “You all sound stupid right now.” Regardless of her parents’ heritage, the last thing Conservatives have the right to do is tell a person of color that she isn’t black enough. So, we are failing right now miserably; and the current mainstream Black Conservatives are leading in this losing battle.
Jeff: Where should people go to see more of you?
Thank you again for the opportunity to share my thoughts with your audience. Your readers can learn more about me at www.FeleciaKillings.org. They can learn more about my recent books and my story at www.FeleciaKillings.org/books. I’m also on Twitter @TheFifteen20. But the best way to stay connected is by joining my newsletter on my website or by becoming a member of my online church at www.FKMinistries.org. Here is where I give accurate accounts of what I’ve gone through and how I’m using my story to empower others. Lastly, I invite your audience to join me and dozens of Conscious Black Conservative speakers for a powerful, 7-day online event called The Fifteen 20 Rise Virtual Leadership Summit. During this week-long training, we will teach the base how to prepare for election 2020 by using their stories to reach voters. It’s FREE to join for every person subscribed to my newsletter.
About Felecia Killings
Felecia Killings is an award-winning coach, speaker, trainer, and book-publishing expert. She is the Founder of FKMinistries, a virtual church that equips today's Believers to engage in this end-time revival and national reformation using the written and spoken word.
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