I chose Antonia Okafor for my VIP for this week because her story is so extraordinary. She grew up in a traditional family of Democrats. She voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 and then voted for Donald Trump in 2016. What caused such a change? She recently shared her thoughts and her story during interviews with Katrina Trinko at The Daily Signal and Dave Rubin at The Rubin Report.
Okafor is one of the rare African Americans who left the liberal plantation. She considered herself to be a Democrat during her younger years. When she went to college, she took some courses on public policy and realized that she did not actually believe in the policies of the Democratic Party. She did “a lot more research” and discovered that the Democrat policies did not support the values that she had learned from her Democrat mother.
Doing a lot more research and realizing that, you know what, my values that I grew up with that actually, coincidentally, and ironically [the values] my mother taught me – working very hard, education is an equalizer for everyone, that traditional family and the nuclear family is important to success, and having a faith in Jesus Christ is important to success as well – and just those traditional values really made me realize that I was in a party that did not reconcile with my values and I needed to change, particularly with the pro-life issue, but then later on, the pro-gun issue.
Okafor’s story is particularly interesting. Not only is she a black woman who speaks out on conservative matters, but she went to college and became a conservative when many students come out of college more liberal. She explains that it was the hatred of the liberals that caused her to take a harder look at libertarianism and conservatism.
I think I was open because kind of like what’s going on right now, [although] I think it’s to a worse degree because everybody’s so anti-Trump. It’s because the media’s so focused on making Republicans look like racists, and sexists, and misogynists, and horrible people.
Then me, I guess, I just have this affinity to be around people, or to seek out information for myself. I remember I was like, OK, if they’re really this bad I want to see for myself. Going out and talking to people who were Republicans and finding out that they weren’t bad people, in fact, they were amazing people and they actually share the same values. I mean, who would’ve thunk it that if you did your actual research, that you would find a lot of what people were saying is false.
That’s what happened to me, and so a lot of questions ensued after that of what else I was just believing without actually doing my research and homework on.
I came to find out that there were a lot of things that I didn’t believe that mainstream media for a long time was telling me that I should. It was them saying that you must be a certain way as a black woman, you must think this certain way or you’re not a black woman that made me actually, “You know what, I want to do my research and find out why they’re saying this.”
Come to find out, that’s exactly the opposite.
I think that’s what really spurred me onto being more open to finding out what my actual beliefs were and if I believe what they believe.
There is much more to the interviews, and I encourage you to watch/read them. However, the part that I have shared from Okafor’s interview with Trinko shows the importance of educating ourselves on the issues and having open conversations with people who think differently than we do.
If more people would take these two steps, two wonderful things could happen in our world. The first is that we could understand each other better and be less divided. The second is that we could elect better leaders who would care more about the good of the nation than they do about their personal situations. The citizens of our nation would enjoy more peace with each other as well as greater prosperity.