On Wednesday, President Trump hosted a roundtable discussion on race relations in Dallas. He was accompanied by Dr. Ben Carson and his invited guests included accomplished black leaders and media personalities from around the country.
The list included podcast host and blogger Wayne Dupree, Paster Darrell Scott and Kareem Lanier of Urban Revitalization Coalition, and Raynard Jackson of Raynard Jackson and Associates, LLC.
It was a room full of powerful and influential men but it was the lone female voice in the room that really stood out.
Sonnie Johnson hosts Sirius XM’s Sonnie’s Corner and has been a popular conservative voice for nearly a decade. She is known for her laser focus on how “conservatism equally applied” can empower the black community toward prosperity. Johnson has a flare for hip hop culture and how it is so closely connected to pure capitalism. She often uses the prose of rap artists across the genre to make the point that black Americans are innately attuned to capitalism and freedom and thus, that is the language Republicans should be using to make their case for votes.
In a bold address aimed directly at President Trump, Johnson laid out the current issue with decades of Democrat policy in traditionally black neighborhoods.
Think about the black community that has been under Democratic rule, progressive rule for 60 years. How many rules, how many regulations, how many different forms of taxation are on the books in those areas that are preventing our communities from actually being able to see sustainable growth that we can keep and get ourselves out of this …generational poverty?
She moved on to explain that a detriment to improving education for black youth is that many black parents aren’t able to participate in the local legislative process and don’t have positions on local school boards. They can’t effect change for themselves because many have been locked out of the process of governing.
Johnson said that criminal justice reform was only one of many important parts of the puzzle, and that harmful Democrat policies have gone unchallenged in black communities for decades.
And they are not going to change until you — we have a Republican Party that is willing to go into these communities and actually offer a choice to these people about how we can do things differently. Because the way it is structured now, the only choice that we get is “left” or either “further left,” and we’re not getting the opportunity to actually vote on what we look at as “conservatism,” equally applied.
The very basic economic principles that we, on the right, say are significant in our success and seeing the success in our country — those are not being offered at the local level in black communities.
So, basically, we’re asking to grow out of concrete because we don’t have the fertile soil in these areas to make everything flourish and bloom the way my generation would like to see it.
She went on to say that many people don’t recognize that the demographics of the black community are changing in regards to marriage and family and people in her generation don’t get enough credit for that. True to form, Johnson brought up Trump’s friendships with popular hip hop artists over the years, saying that she believed they connected on a very capitalistic level and that’s why Trump has such an affinity for them. The radio host and writer ended with an inspiring challenge for the President to focus on the common language of capitalism while thinking about how to empower the black community.
And we looked at, like, the photos of you before you became President. And you were taking pictures with Snoop, and you taking pictures with all of the icons of hip hop. You did that, I think — and you can tell me if I’m wrong — but you did that because you saw capitalists, you saw branders, you saw entrepreneurs. You saw people that were willing to take a chance and make things grow. That is — that is us. That is the black community.
And I would like to see a challenge from you to see how many in the black community can put their names on the side of a building coming out of this. If we’re really going to reshape and reform the way that we do this, issue that challenge, because that’s what we need more now than ever.
Johnson stole the show, and offered a few more challenging nuggets of wisdom throughout the conversation.
President Trump held the roundtable ahead of a fundraising dinner.