Freedom: It’s a Black and White Issue

Americans coast to coast are victimized daily by an onslaught of hate and intolerance. But to Van Jones’s dismay, it’s not coming from the Tea Party movement.

Race traitor, Uncle Tom, sell-out, racist, bigot.

These are the names that fiscal conservatives, including ourselves, encounter daily from members of the liberal establishment after we dare to embrace freedom as a governing philosophy.

The limited-government movement is a peaceful, decentralized community of proud fiscal conservatives. We believe in economic freedom and a constitutionally limited government. We judge people as individuals based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. In fact, the entire premise behind racism and intolerance is collectivist – judging an entire race of people as if they were all the same — a philosophy that directly contradicts the ethos of the freedom movement.

It’s time for “We, the People” to have a talk. That’s why we are launching a national Black and White Tour, an opportunity for Americans to have an honest and frank discussion about issues of race and the economic opportunity. The tour kicked off Wednesday night, with more than 60 gathering in Pittsburgh to discuss these important issues. It will continue on to at least 10 other states: Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana and Utah, with many more in the months to come.

The underreported truth is that “progressive” economic policies disproportionately harm the black community. While general unemployment is currently 8.1 percent, unemployment in the black community is at a daunting 14.1 percent. Energy and food price increases fall hardest on minority households across the nation. Entitlement programs in the United States are creating an entrenched, dependent society that is driving more and more Americans to the federal government for assistance, minorities in particular. Black Americans make up 12 percent of the population, but 33 percent of the welfare population. Federal handouts are sentencing minorities to a lifetime of poverty and dependency akin to economic slavery.

But what happens in a society dependent on the government when the money runs out? The current system is not sustainable. Entitlement spending currently makes up a whopping 45.9 percent of the federal budget, with signs of doubling by 2050. By 2045, entitlement spending is predicted to match tax revenue, crowding out funding to carry out the essential functions of government.

The social safety nets of the government were created by Washington elites with good intentions, but the unfortunate reality is that they are failing the families of today and destroying the economy for the families of tomorrow.

The Black and White Tour is a safe place for individual thinkers to challenge the conventions of the outdated liberal establishment. Van Jones, the former “green jobs czar” for the Obama administration, has already denounced the tour as “borderline insulting,” accusing FreedomWorks of capitalizing on people who are hurting in Obama’s economy. According to Jones, the GOP is a party infested by “individuals and groups that polling data shows are very hostile towards communities of color and immigrants. And no bus tour is going to cover that up or fix it.”

What exactly is Van Jones afraid of? A conversation? We are reaching out to all Americans with a message of freedom and individual responsibility. We are talking hard facts on the real damage done by Big Government policies to working Americans, people struggling to get a decent education for their children in failing government schools, people unable to see a better future for their children and grandchildren.

In classic top-down progressivism, Jones presumes to speak for an entire race of people as if he knows what every black American should think and how they should act. We believe in individuals of character and the rights of people -regardless of the color of their skin- to think, aspire and act for themselves. That’s the American way. We should have that conversation, and we are reaching out to anyone who wants to participate, including Van Jones, whom we’re inviting to join us at one of our tour stops.

The Black and White tour is a chance to educate our friends, family and neighbors on the economic damages that arise when the government takes an active role in the redistribution of wealth. It’s an opportunity to finally acknowledge a simple truth: Freedom is not a black or white issue; it’s a black and white issue. It’s time to return to what works. Freedom works. People of all races, creeds, and colors benefit from more freedom—and suffer in its absence. If America hopes to build a better, more tolerant society, individuals of all races need to advance the ideas of freedom and liberty.


Matt Kibbe is the president of FreedomWorks and author of the “Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America.”

Deneen Borelli is the Director of Outreach for FreedomWorks and author of the best-selling book, Blacklash.