Fox Nation host Lawrence B. Jones brought the fire to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday when he took the stage to discuss the issues going on in predominantly black cities across the country. During his speech, he detailed how he went all over the country to report on the conditions in which too many black Americans live and issued a profound plea to the conservative movement: Start engaging with the black community.
Jones began by expressing his respect for abolitionist Frederick Douglass and how he appreciated Douglass’ “speeches about the self-made man.” Then, he asked: “But what if I told you that there are children in the country today that no matter how hard they work, there’s somebody on the street telling them ‘you got to join a gang’” and that “they’re picking up needles on the sidewalk.”
Jones referred to the “pull oneself up by the bootstraps” mantra that is popular on the right and noted that in these cases, “there’s no shoelaces to do that.” The journalist explained that he traveled all over the country because Fox News commentator Sean Hannity asked him to “cover the cities that are in crisis.”
While noting that the left-leaning activist press does not pay attention to these stories, he also noted that members of the punditry class told him: “They’re just liberal cities” and when it comes to urban decay, to “just let it happen.” Jones said:
I said … I will not let my people down. Sean Hannity calls it our American family. And as the liberal media ignored those stories, I went city to city to cover those stories.
The reporter pointed out that the Democrats “have utterly failed these cities,” but then asserted that Republicans should not stand idly by and do nothing. He said:
Now, the Democrats, it is true, they do run these cities. They have utterly failed these cities. But since I’m among conservatives and libertarians, people that believe in freedom, where we? So we just let this happen to our country? We just let them fail? That’s not what we do to our American family. No one is left behind in the American family. So I cover story after story, still no attention, and I came to my conservative family today to say we got to do something about it.
Jones then explained that the message of freedom and liberty is what will make a difference in the black community. He stated that he did not believe there was an issue with the message of liberty and that “maybe it’s just the messengers.”
The journalist noted that local politics should be the focus because it more closely impacts the lives of the people. He discussed how the GOP ignores cities with high black populations, explaining that “Republicans don’t run in those races” at the local level.
The Fox Nation host went on to urge conservatives to be consistent on the issues and acknowledged that despite leftists calling for defunding the police, “every poll shows that black folks support the police.” Last year, Gallup published the results of a poll showing that 81% of black Americans want the same level of police activity in their communities or more.
Of course, Jones is right. The Democrats have governed predominantly black cities for decades and are in charge of the areas in which black Americans are faring the worst. They manage to retain their positions because, as Jones rightly pointed out, they have little to no competition in most of these places. The fact that the former Party of Lincoln abandoned black voters ages ago has allowed the left to run roughshod over many black cities.
While the Democrats are making progress in turning red states blue, the GOP has seemingly refused to even entertain the idea of traveling to uncharted territory to expand the tent. It is time for this to change. Not only will the Republicans’ failure to reach black voters result in more devastation for black communities, it will also make for a weaker conservative movement.