At the Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit, we sit down with David Harris Jr, founder and CEO of Uncorked Wellness and author of “Why I Couldn’t Stay Silent.”
We discuss the attacks on President Trump and his supporters, mainstream media bias, and how it was the Republicans, not the Democrats, who were the ones who advocated for freedom and the abolition of slavery. We also look at how President Trump has helped the black community in America, especially with the First Step Act.
Jan Jekielek: David Harris, wonderful to have you on American Thought Leaders.
David Harris Jr.: Jan, thank you so much for having me.
Mr. Jekielek: I think we have to talk about racism.
Mr. Harris Jr.: Yeah, that is the topic of today.
Mr. Jekielek: Right now there’s a lot of people that are, with great vitriol I might add, are calling the president racist. What do you say to that?
Mr. Harris Jr.: It’s interesting, I never thought about Donald Trump as being a racist. I never heard anything about Donald Trump being a racist. I never heard any media talk about Donald Trump being a racist until he ran for president as Republican. And then all of a sudden it was the talk then. He’s racist, he’s sexist, it’s all these negative things and it’s continued for two and a half years. It hasn’t stopped.
I’ve had the opportunity to personally meet the president three times. He invited about four hundred of us that were at a Turning Point USA event back in October to the White House. That sounds like something a racist president would do? Let’s have four hundred black folks come over to my house, and let me just talk to them and tell them why I think that they’re important.
The black community didn’t vote overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. He didn’t get in office because of the black vote, yet he continues to talk about what he’s doing and he continues to do things for the black community, impact black community. Like the prison reform bill—the First Step Act—he pushed for that. He wanted that to pass.
And I just shared a video — actually, president Donald Trump shared the same video; I reshared it from him — of a black man that was released because of the prison reform bill and is reunited with his family. And it’s so amazing to see that he has a heart for the black community, as I believe he does for all people. I really truly believe he loves all people, and I believe he loves Americans. And he loves American values. But to see him share a video like that, that really chokes you up. You hear this mother crying, she’s got her son back, she’s thanking Jesus, she’s like, “oh Lord.” You can feel the passion and the emotion in her voice.
And the mainstream media is not going to show that. They’re not going to talk about that. Even though over 90 percent of the inmates that are being released through this prison reform bill are black. While the mainstream media and Hollywood celebrities, they all have an agenda, and they have a hatred against this president that’s really unprecedented. I’ve never seen a president attacked so consistently and so evilly. It’s just evil, really, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never seen a president attacked like this until Donald Trump.
So he’s not a racist. I’ve never felt anything racist from him. He reshared one of my posts on his Instagram, on his Twitter, on his Facebook. And it was a fun post of the fact that there are black Trump supporters that are out there. And so it was pretty amazing for him to share that. But it’s a smear tactic of the left.
And I hope Americans, especially the black community, will wake up and say, look, blacks didn’t vote to give him in office. We’re not going to keep him there or take him out. Yet he continues to do things that help the black community in this country, and he should be respected and acknowledged for that. And I think that some people are waking up.
Mr. Jekielek: In the black community, what’s it like being a pretty vocal Donald Trump supporter?
Mr. Harris Jr.: For the most part, I will get negativity. I get the names thrown at me like most black Trump supporters do.
But one of the things that probably hurt me the most was one of my own family members, a cousin that I spent a lot of time with. [I’ve] been to his house, spent time with his family, stayed at his home, he’s been to my home. He knows I love all people, he knows I love my family. And it was probably a little over a year ago that he texted me and he said, “I just have to ask you, when did you start hating black people?” Wow. My own cousin. Are you serious?
That’s the one that really took me back some. And I said, “I wish you’d read my book.”
The whole reason I wrote “Why I Couldn’t Stay Silent” was to try to wake people up to what’s really taking place in our country. So many people are listening to the mainstream media, and they’re believing their lies. And it’s unfortunate.
I’ve had instances like that. I’ve had the other threats from social media, and probably 90 percent of it is Hispanics or blacks that just want to label me. They want to pass me off because they’ve listened to the mainstream media or they’ve also bought into the lie that Democrats are for civil rights, that they’re the champions of the black community in this country. And it’s a lie.
But because of that, it’s a battle that we have to fight. It’s a battle that I’m more than willing to fight, and take on the negativity, just in hopes that we can wake up some. And it’s happening.
Mr. Jekielek: I have a copy here of your book. Thank you for this by the way.
Mr. Harris Jr.: Absolutely.
Mr. Jekielek: “Why I Couldn’t Stay Silent.” What’s the main thesis here?
Mr. Harris Jr.: I cover a lot in the book. My first video that went viral was just me sharing my thoughts and my heart after the third debate between Trump and Hillary. I’m a Christian. I’m very pro-life. The black community used to be largely pro-life. When you have a history that’s rich in faith in God, you understand the value of the human life and you don’t take that for granted. And the fact that the Democrat Party’s platform stands [for] and is growing more in the murder of innocent babies that are in the womb and now even outside of the womb. And the large portion of those babies that are murdered are black babies. I cover a lot of those things in the book. But the first video that I did, I saw such a huge difference between where those two [kinds of] people wanted to take our country.
And it’s no different for the upcoming election. Any Democrat, if any Democrat was to win, the war on babies would continue, the war on black babies would continue. The war on Americans would continue because their desire to open up our borders and gain people that are dependent on government handouts, which is what Democrats are known for and great at doing, is only going to increase. And the American people are then the ones that hurt in losing jobs, in fighting for jobs with illegal aliens, with dealing with the strain of taxes that it’s going to take to be able to sustain the growth of illegals that would love to just walk in our border. The fight is the same.
I shared in that first video, I just poured my heart out. And the response was pretty overwhelming. So it was that time that I started my handles on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, it’s David J. Harris Jr. And the response has been pretty good from most people, but I still get the other stuff, too.
Mr. Jekielek: I’ve heard many stories like this. Brandon Straka is another example of someone that just decided to put their thoughts on a video, and it somehow resonated with a lot of people who weren’t willing to say it publicly and they’re like, “okay, finally someone’s saying it.” Is that the kind of response that you’ve gotten?
Mr. Harris Jr.: Yeah, absolutely. And I feel honored that people say, “hey, you’re saying what I’m feeling.” Or, “you’re saying what I’m maybe not courageous enough to say myself.” I’ll be that voice. I’m willing to be that voice. And I hope that as I am that voice for people, that truth will resonate, that common sense will resonate. That even, maybe, questions will resonate in a person’s heart that says, “maybe let me rethink some of this. Let me rethink some of the reasons why I think all these things. Why do I think these things? What am I siding with?”
And if there’s believers or Christians that are watching or listening anything I have to say, it’s like, go back to your Christian roots. What is God saying? And what is he saying about which direction our country should be going? And is he happy with the nonstop barrage of hate and vile accusations that are consistently thrown at our president? The Bible says pray for your leaders. It doesn’t say rail accusations against him. So I’m willing to be in the fight, and I think people are waking up.
Mr. Jekielek: I’ve gotten the sense, especially from a lot of letters we’ve gotten at the Epoch Times, that there’s a lot of people out there who are kind of afraid to speak up and say, “I support the president,” because they’re going to be labeled as racist or something. Something that they really don’t want to be labeled as. How does that work? Why is that the case?
Mr. Harris Jr.: I think that because there’s such a nonstop barrage from the mainstream media labeling this president, all these nasty, derogatory, and nefarious things. There’s a stigma that goes along with if a person wears their MAGA hat, that they’re immediately going to be assumed by other people [to be] racist. I was flying back from DC after the White House summit last week. I had my black MAGA hat on. I recorded that video. That’s the one that Donald Trump shared. I found out in the airplane that he shared my video. So I’m high as a kite in the airplane, can’t wait to land.
Mr. Jekielek: With joy I hope.
Mr. Harris Jr.: Joy, yeah. High as a kite with joy and excitement, totally enamored that the president shared my video. And I was high in the air, because it was an airplane, right. I’m flying back from DC to Dallas. And as soon as I land and I go to get my luggage, this woman walks up behind me and she says, “you look like you’d have a higher IQ if you took your hat off.” Talk about feeling the highs and excitements right of the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, sharing your stuff, to a woman bashing me. Literally. It’s basically saying I’m stupid. I actually said to her, “so basically what you’re saying is I look stupid.” And she kind of went, “yeah, you looked like you had a higher IQ.”
I said, that’s the problem with people today. You’re assuming something about another individual. You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me. Yet you want to try to degrade me and debase me in public over my hat. It’s really almost something that I feel like black Americans used to feel when racism was really just about the color of your skin. Now it’s about your political affiliation and who you’re supporting. But it’s the same kind of hatred. It’s the same kind of open vile behavior that’s coming from one side—the left.
The people on the right don’t do that. I don’t know of conservatives that go up and bash people. If I see somebody wearing a Bernie shirt or a Elizabeth Warren shirt or Kamala shirt, I’m going to go up to them and talk to them. I’m going to engage with them. I’m going to ask them why they believe open borders are okay. Why they believe it’s okay to kill innocent babies. I’m going to try to have a dialogue with them. I’m not going to come up to them and bash or berate them. It’s two different ways of communicating that are going on in our country right now.
Having said that, there’s plenty of reason why average Americans, just Americans period, maybe don’t feel the confidence to show their support for this president. I was on Fox & Friends, and they showed my video of the hat. I had a ton of messages come from Americans that said, “because you’re wearing your hat, I’ve gotten more courage now to wear my MAGA hat out in public. I want people to know that I support this president.”
So I think you’re absolutely right, Jan. I think there’s a lot of Americans out there that are afraid, but think they’re getting to a point where they’re like, enough is enough. Instead of everybody only hearing about the mainstream media side of things, I’m going to share my support. And I think if people give them a chance to talk to them and hear their side, they’re going to hear they’re nice, loving people.
Mr. Jekielek: There’s a lot of people on the Democratic or liberal side that I’ve heard say that the president is divisive or that the Republican Party platform is divisive. What do you say to that?
Mr. Harris Jr.: I’d say two things. I’d say hopefully they know their history. … Speaking of the Republican Party, the Republican Party was founded as the antislavery party. They were the ones that voted in favor of the 13th amendment, the 14th amendment, and the 15th Amendment, which gave blacks all the initial civil rights, the majority of freedom that we got in this country. They were also strongly supportive of women’s rights. They were that party, and I think largely in part due to LBJ and the Great Society act that he passed, black people all of a sudden felt like the Democrats were for blacks, which I dive into in the book and break that whole thing apart. … I even just go back to this—the big switch is supposedly when the Democrat party all of a sudden became the champions for black America, and the Republicans somehow became the racists.
What is the likelihood of thousands of racist people all of a sudden not be[ing] racist? And then not only that, but then the other side, thousands, tens of thousands of Americans that are fighting for civil rights that were founded as the antislavery party, that all of them all of a sudden became racist? It just doesn’t even make any sense.
As far as the history of the Republican Party goes, its founding roots are not in slavery, bigotry, or divisiveness. It’s in freedom. If you fast forward, because the Republican Party was not getting the black vote, I think that they really maybe didn’t focus on trying to get the black vote for a long time because the Democrats had it in a stranglehold.
I really believe that Donald J. Trump is reviving the essence of what the Republican Party was in its founding and bringing back to it what it originally started for. And he’s doing amazingly. And when Americans understand that, I don’t think the Democrats are winning another election, at least at the presidency level.
Mr. Harris Jr.: David Harris, such a pleasure to have you.
Mr. Harris Jr.: Yeah. Thank you so much.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.