Torrie Robinson, a recently unemployed father of two living in Detroit, never thought he'd be able to join Glenn Beck's “Restoring Love” event in Dallas this week.
When he took a break between searching for jobs to dial into the Glenn Beck Program on July 11, he just wanted to share his newfound inspiration and enthusiasm for conservative and free market ideology, which he said he learned since discovering Beck about four years ago.
Watch Torrie's first call into the Glenn Beck Program below:
Robinson took it as a sign of faith when he was put on the air to talk to Beck. Then he got an even bigger surprise when Beck offered to fly Robinson and his family from Detroit to Dallas to join the tens-of-thousands of people from all different regional, cultural, and professional backgrounds converging in Texas to serve the needy and rally around a pledge to "build a better America for us all through service and love."
As he prepared for the trip to Dallas, Robinson caught up with TheBlaze on Wednesday to describe where he’s coming from, and what he hopes to gain from this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
(Editor's Note: Torrie Robinson will appear this evening with Glenn Beck on The Blaze TV/GBTV, which also will be broadcasting Restoring Love exclusively this Saturday.)
Robinson said he grew up in the Brightmoor area of Detroit “during the crack-era of the 1980s and 1990s,” where there were not many others like the “black conservative” who Robinson says he is today.
“I never heard people talk about that where I’m from, growing up in Detroit” Robinson recalled about the first time he heard Beck discuss socialism or concerns about the long-term fiscal impact of the policies of Barack Obama. Robinson said he started following Beck around the 2008 election, when he noticed that Beck was one of the only commentators not saying the same warm things about Barack Obama.
“Glenn Beck was the only one saying something different about Obama. That his policy will lead us as a country to go broke,” the 41-year-old Robinson said Wednesday. “I first questioned ‘this is the greatest country on earth, how could we ever go broke?’”
Taking what he learned from the show, along with his own research, Robinson told The Blaze that he realized that government programs, and the culture of dependency he witnessed growing up, were negative forces bringing down his community and the country as a whole.
“Listening to what Glenn was saying clicked to me about what was going on around here,” Robinson said, humbly admitting that his mother was one of many on welfare in his neighborhood, and he grew up with his two brothers and no father or uncles while living around his mother, grandfather and aunts. Robinson described that with government programs so readily available, it created this attitude that fathers and the traditional family structure was not necessary as long as government assistance continued to come in.
“When I grew up I realized I can’t wait for government to come around," he said of his decision to start working at age 15.
Robinson admitted that he voted for Obama in 2008, “wanting to see what this guy is about” and having heard very little about politics other than very pro-Democratic Party sentiments from his mother’s generation who were convinced that “Republicans don’t care about us.”
By 2010, Robinson said his politics had completely changed, and today his new knowledge and inspiration from the show has pushed him to open his life to God for the first time, in addition to completing his GED. In early June, though, Robinson lost his job at a nearby hospital where he had worked for over six-and-a-half years. Robinson believes his discussions among fellow employees about right-to-work laws and his questioning of SEIU stewards led to his termination.
“SEIU is a big part of why companies in Michigan are leaving,” Robinson said, claiming that local union stewards encouraged employees to “occupy” outside large corporations in Detroit. “That’s not what America’s about and how it was built.”
Nonetheless, Robinson is excited to come down to Dallas with his family this week to help others and be inspired. He is hopeful that he can bring what he learns back home because “we need to spread more love up here in Detroit.”
“I wasn’t around for the Martin Luther King 'I have a dream' speech, but this event will change my life and I will come back a totally different person,” he explained. “This event is bigger than me. I come from a small city that has had a miserable year. Going to this event gives me hope that we can come together for the right reasons and throw race and economic backgrounds -- throw all that out the window -- and we can all have the America that the founding fathers intended.”
Torrie will be joined in Dallas by his wife, Meco, and 3-month-old daughter Jasmyn. Torrie has another 13-year-old daughter, Alexandria, who will not be able to make it.
UPDATE: Robinson's interview with Glenn Beck is now live and can be watched below: