CJ Pearson, the 13-year-old viral YouTube star made famous for his rants against President Barack Obama, has renounced conservatism, according to a Friday interview with CNN.
Pearson told the network in an email that the GOP’s stance on racial and gender disparity compelled him to change.
“I was tired of being a champion of a party that turned a blind eye to racial discrimination,” Pearson told CNN. “Tired of being a champion of any cause that denies equal rights to every American. Tired of being a champion of a party that doesn’t care about the issues important to young people.”
Pearson’s made headlines in September after he made a video from his Georgia home questioning why Obama had invited that “Muslim kid” to the White House. He was referring to Ahmed Mohammed, the Dallas-area student who brought a homemade clock to his high school.
Pearson also said he is no longer working with the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). He previously was the chairman for Teens for Ted.
The video of 17-year-old Lacquan McDonald being shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer changed Pearson’s mind. He called the shooting “an issue where conservatives and liberals should come together” in a video published last week.
Pearson said his views will not be dictated by one party.
“I don’t want to be the conservative wonder kid that people follow because I make them feel good and like young people are part of their movement. I want to be followed because I’m the voice of a generation that doesn’t have a voice at the table,” he told CNN.