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Neer: A man of principle

Jacob Neer, 18, active in politics

Meet Your Neighbor

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Up and coming politico Jacob Neer of Edenton meets with Vice President Mike Pence during a recent foray onto Capitol Hill.

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BY MILES LAYTON
Staff writer

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Defying labels and challenging accepted political narratives, Jacob Neer is breaking the mold as a black conservative.

Neer, 18, who grew up in Edenton, said he has worked on several political campaigns for conservative candidates. Soon after Neer graduated in June, this Eagle Scout was invited to the White House to speak with Vice President Mike Pence.

This past summer, Neer was elected president in week-long mock election at a leadership camp in Washington, DC, called iGovern East and he has interned with Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.  

Recently, Neer was hired as director of community engagement for the Black Conservative Movement, a non-profit that has a social media following of nearly 200,000. 

Question: Can you describe your political awakening?

Answer: My political awakening happened when I was about 11. Barack Obama, a man I admired and looked up to, starting making decisions as president that ran counter to what I believe. So I was 11 when he was up for re-election and started proposing policies that I felt harmed Americans and specially the Black community.

Q: Why not ascribe to socialism/liberal policies as other young people seem to be embracing?

A: I don’t ascribe to socialism and liberal policies because I am a history lover, and socialism has never in human history worked. Socialism has been embraced by millions in countries, such as China and Russia, but when the socialist policies were put in place, millions died as a result of governmental policies.

I fear if the United States allows socialist policies, even in a minor form, the government will continue to grow and control American lives. That’s part of why I’m involved in politics, because we need to make sure that my generation actually understands how dangerous socialist and far left policies are.

Q: Do you get any blowback by being a black Republican? If so, what happened?

A: I get some blowback from being a Black conservative. When I attend conservative events, I’ve had my fellow blacks approach me and ask why I was attending that certain event. I recently went to Teen Student Action Summit (TSAS), an event for conservative teens, and President Trump spoke there.

A Black woman came up to me and stated that she was “astonished and mind blown” that I would attend such an event. She asked me to remember how our ancestors suffered tremendously in America, especially since this is a the 400th anniversary since the first slaves came to America — not sure what that had to do with watching the President speak. People online call me names and tell me I’m a traitor.

However, I receive support from my family, so that gives me the encouragement to keep fighting for values I believe in.

Q: What do you think of the narrative that if you're black, you must be a Democrat or you face ridicule?

A: I think the narrative that if you're Black you must vote Democrat has significantly harmed the African American community. Not only have Democratic politicians completely failed the black community, specifically within inner city communities, but they know that blacks will vote for them no matter what, so they don’t care to actually help fix problems in the black community.

When people like Kanye West and Chance the Rapper state that “just because you’re black you don’t have to be a Democrat,” they are absolutely correct. Blacks, by putting all of their cookies in one basket (the Democratic Party), have lost tremendous political capital. That’s why I think blacks should take a chance on conservative policies. The results could turn around the black community for the good.

Q: Do you face discrimination based on your political beliefs?

A: I face ridicule from people my age regarding my political beliefs. They question why I’d be a conservative in today’s day and age. They believe conservatism is in the past, but I disagree. I just attended the largest gathering of conservative teens in the world, and I truly believe like many reports have stated that Generation Z will be the most conservative generation since World War II. The momentum is with the conservatives, and if more young conservatives get involved, we can truly make sure that America will never be a socialist nation.

Q: Have you ever met NC Senator Bob Steinburg, a passionate conservative who represents eastern North Carolina values?

A: I have never met Senator Steinburg, but I plan on reaching out on what I can do to help the community.

Q: Do you support President Trump? If so, why?

A: I support President Trump’s polices because he has shown results. Unemployment among all minority groups are at all time lows, and the stock market is booming. The military is as powerful as ever, and American confidence is back. For these reasons and many more, I’ll vote for the president next year. That’s not to say that I don’t think he can do more in certain areas. I think he should be careful about what he tweets, and I think he should reach out to minority communities more aggressively — especially considering the progress that has been made under his administration.

Staff writer Miles Layton may be reached at mlayton@ncweeklies.com

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