Thirteen year-old CJ Pearson, who gained more than 100,000 Facebook fans for his homemade videos criticizing President Obama, told CNN that he is no longer a conservative, saying he was concerned about the GOP’s positions on racial issues.
“I was tired of being a champion of a party that turned a blind eye to racial discrimination. Tired of being a champion of any cause that denies equal rights to every American. Tired of being a champion of a party that doesn’t care about the issues important to young people,” Pearson wrote in an email.
“Over the past few days, I thought about essentially how I don’t want people to follow me because I’m that anti-Obama kid, or who called out Hillary Clinton or who took Bernie Sanders to task,” Pearson said. “I don’t want to be the conservative wonder kid that people follow because I make them feel good and like young people are part of their movement. I want to be followed because I’m the voice of a generation that doesn’t have a voice at the table.”
One of the reasons Pearson cited for leaving the conservative movement is that he felt his fans would not appreciate his speaking out on racial issues, including the alleged shooting of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police, according to the CNN story.
Pearson’s celebrity has had its ups and downs. In July, he got into a Twitter argument that may have been contrived. In September, he claimed he had been blocked on Twitter by President Obama, a claim that was quickly discredited, and for which he later issued an apology.
Until early November, Pearson had been chairman of “Teens for Ted” Cruz.
Earlier this week, Pearson announced he was running for the chairmanship of the Georgia Teen Republicans.