DALLAS, Texas—The Republican Party should invest time and money into attracting black voters, even in areas where Democrats have dominated for years, according to activist Autry Pruitt.
“The biggest challenge is convincing Republican Party establishment types that the black vote should not be abandoned. The grassroots, Republican grassroots, they’re amazing. They get it, they understand the message. But it’s the establishment and party types, the consultant class, that gives up,” Pruitt, CEO of the New Journey political action committee, told The Epoch Times at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
If Republicans have little support somewhere then the party should be investing more resources, not fewer, Pruitt added. He referenced how President Joe Biden said years ago, “Show me your checkbook and calendar, and I’ll tell you what your values are.”
“So when I look at the Republican Party and where they’re spending their money, consultants, big dinners etc., I see what the priorities are. If your priorities were the black community, then you would be there. You should have an office in every single big black city—Chicago, you should have a Republican office there. And by the way, you can have extra, added security there to help clean it up while you’re there. These are things we could do, but we don’t,” he said.
Pruitt, a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, and author of the book “Planes, Steak & Water,” started the political action committee (PAC) in 2019. The PAC has the purpose of “realignment of the Black American vote with candidates and issues that support conservative values, and by consequence, help the black community,” according to its website.
The PAC runs commercials for candidates and also pays people to knock on doors to advocate for candidates. The group plans on opening a regional center in Louisiana soon to engage with the black community.
Convincing black people to switch to the Republican Party has become more difficult since the nationwide Black Lives Matter-fueled protests and riots last year, the activist said. He blamed not having a presence in some of the communities where the unrest took place.
“We refuse to be where the people are, then we’re surprised when people don’t want to listen to us,” he said. “So we decided to be Republican about it. Instead of relying on big corporate Republican nationals to do it, we decided to do it ourselves. Because our children, our families, our schools, and our country is worth saving.”