There is a cultural shift happening in Black America, and it is long overdue. The shift is happening in pop culture with more and more Black celebrities and influencers taking traditionally conservative social and political stances.
Decades ago, the local church pastor carried the most sway in the Black community. But now with the advent of technology, 24/7 news coverage, and social media, the role of influencer is not limited to Sunday morningpulpits. Yes, you had examples of Motown artists using their musical platforms to perform songs like Marvin Gaye’s hit “What’s going on,” but Marvin and Motown did not have the reach that people like Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna have today.
It started with Kanye West’s embrace of Candace Owens and a more free-thinking approach to politics, which led to him having a meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump and Jim Brown. This then led to a full-on embrace of the inclusive Make America Great Again agenda. People started to realize that it is okay to have a conversation about the Black community’s long political allegiance to the Democrat party and how liberal policies have arguably caused more long-term harm than good.
The Democrats started to panic in 2020 when they saw support slipping among Black men –President Trump ended up winning 26% of the vote from Black men with a high school diploma or less.
Recently, rapper Nicki Minaj caused liberals’ heads to spin when she took to twitter after President Biden announced his intention to federally force vaccines on businesses and workers. Minaj tweeted “just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied.”
Liberal political commentators like Joy Reid got so upset with Minaj taking issue with the Biden-Harris administration’s mandate that she singled Minaj out and publicly scolded her, prompting the rapper to post past examples of Reid actually contributing to vaccine hesitancy.
Despite the fact that Joe Biden claimed Black people were not diverse, as if we are monolithic, we all know that we are, especially when it comes to thought. During the campaign for the presidency, Biden even went as far as to question the Blackness of any Black person who was weighing their options, doing their research, being independently minded and trying to figure out which candidate they would vote for. Biden claimed black voters who chose Trump “ain’t Black.”
When Rihanna was recently seen wearing a T-shirt saying “Think While It’s Still Legal,” I immediately thought about my trip to Charlotte when I spoke at a luncheon for the North Carolina Black Conservative Voices Coalition. At the event, they talked about their motto they have been taking into communities of color all over North Carolina: “Think before you vote.”
At the end of the day that is what all this is about: being free-thinking, independent-minded Americans who do not need someone to tell them how to think or to tell them that they should vote a certain way. These celebrities are causing younger generations to actually stop and fact-check the Democrats who are in power and full control of the White House and Congress. Challenging the liberal status quo needs to happen, and celebrities like Kanye, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna are paving the way for more Black Americans to stop and think.
Many will do a compare and contrast between the rhetoric of Joe Biden and the actions of Donald Trump. Removing the filter of the biased news media and objectively asking questions, looking at the facts, and analyzing the results will make for a more informed citizenry. It will also lead to a continued trend of Black voters becoming more open to voting for their own personal interests and values and not just for the Democrat agenda.
This is exactly why the Republican National Committee has continued to open community centers all over the country in Black communities. Our Black, Latino, and APA Community Center offices will serve as resource, learning, and education centers for people from all walks of life to get information about the GOP, register to vote, change party affiliation, and be trained to mobilize and get out the vote for candidates who have an uplifting, empowering agenda.
Usually, we see celebrities push liberal agendas, but I am glad to see Black influencers brave enough to take positions that lean more to the right. Let’s embrace them when they look cancel culture and the liberal mob in the face and say “bring it” unafraid, unbothered, and full of conviction. Standing up for what they believe in as Americans is what freedom is all about.
They are free to speak, even if it goes outside the liberal box of what a Black person should feel.
The shift is happening. Get ready!
Paris Dennard is the National Spokesperson and Director of Black Media Affairs for the Republican National Committee (RNC). Follow him on Twitter: @PARISDENNARD.