Many 12-year-olds have figured out how to become overnight internet sensations.
Twerk. Try to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon. Sing like Beebs.
But C.J. Pearson took a different approach: a three-minute rant against President Barack Obama and his, “downright hate for the American values our country holds.”
Pearson said the video is in defense of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who first launched the “Obama hates America” charge in criticism of the president’s policies on ISIS.
“I heard about Rudy Giuliani’s comments and that he was being called a racist and a bigot,” Pearson said. “I was infuriated. I didn’t believe that he was racist. They were taking about [taking away] his freedom of rights. His views are shared by me, and I hope that one day, people will join us in speaking against this president’s strong hated for America.”
Remember, he is 12-years-old.
It was only Saturday that Pearson launched a YouTube channel and posted his very first video, "President Obama: Do you really love America?"
As of Monday afternoon, it has gotten more than a half million views, nearly 6,000 likes and about 500 thumbs down.
He was trending heavily on Facebook and several blogs. Television stations and newspapers – some international – have picked up his story. Several GOP and conservative sites picked it up. Allen West forwarded it. He said he is scheduled to be on “Fox and Friends” later this week.
“The support that I have received has been phenomenal,” Pearson said. “I am honored that my message of patriotism and downright love for my country has had the opportunity to be shared by so many. I thank all of my supporters for supporting my video and making sure my voice is heard.”
When Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, Obama famously said that if he had a son, he would “look like Trayvon.”
He hasn’t seen Pearson, a seventh grader at Columbia Middle School outside Augusta. The budding politician and commentator goes by C.J., but his real name is Coreco Ja’Quan.
Slight in stature, his hair is closely cropped. Put him in an oversized suit and tie and he could be any other 12-year-old imitating Obama at his school’s annual President’s Day assembly. He talks years – or maybe decades – beyond his age, repackaging conservative talking points into neat little sound bites.
Last November, he started his own political group, “Young Georgians in Government,” where he is listed as executive director. He said he started it to bring “real solutions to government.”
“I felt the strong urge to engage other young people in the political process,” said Pearson, who said he was the first seventh grader ever elected president of his school’s student body. He stepped down to run his group. “If I could assemble a team of strong people, we could lead the fight to engage other people.”
Pearson said he got involved in politics by studying the 2008 presidential election. He supported John McCain, because he agreed with his conservative views. He was five years old. He has recently campaigned for the likes of Nathan Deal and David Perdue.
“I would say that my political ideology came from researching the principles that I held dear,” Pearson said. “Limited government, personal responsibility, liberty and freedom. I personally identified with Republicans.”
Pearson said his parents, who would not comment, have been supportive of his political course.
“My parents are not as politically active as me,” Pearson said. “They are Democrats and have different views than I have.”
There are inherent risks in becoming an internet sensation, especially when race is involved.
It is not without irony that Pearson is a bright young African-American blasting the president and his love for America.
Comments on his pages and throughout social media have been wildly supportive and vitriolically angry – falling largely along racial lines.
Karen Butcher: C.J., we thank you for being the outstanding young man and excellent role model for today’s youth. You are truly a great American. I hope to see you leading this country one day. God Bless You, young man.
Becky Cheney: You are absolutely phenomenal. You give me hope for the future of this country. You, young man, are a true inspiration.
Jimmy Holley: This is ridiculous, that the haters of President Obama would use a kid to promote their bigotry. I would ask this young man what should the litmus test be for loving America?
Wired Guitarist: What a programmed dumbass. It’s a shame.
Thom Yorke: this kid is an Uncle Tom!
“I have seen many positive comments and they outnumber the negatives,” Pearson said. “A majority of people support my comments and the fact that I am real. Many people across this great nation are thankful.”
Now, back to Obama’s hatred of America.
“When you love America, you will do whatever it takes to make sure it remains the most prosperous country in the world,” Pearson said. “He should value American lives more than anybody. When ISIS attacks and we just order airstrikes … We must try another solution.”
And more: “Obamacare has taken away America morale. The policies that you institute can be a great reflection on your love for America,” Pearson said. “I always say that everyone loves America, but they love a different type of America. If he loved America, he wouldn’t try to change everything our country fundamentally stands for.”
He doesn’t stop there. He has also attacked First Lady Michelle Obama, particularly for saying during the 2008 campaign: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”
“America has done so many things before her comment,” Pearson said. “America has always been great. We were born in one of the greatest countries in the entire world, and to say you are finally proud. Times have changed. It is time that we realized America isn’t the country it was 100 years ago or 50 years ago.”
And what about Pearson’s future? He said he has serious political aspirations and has already tried to craft legislation for this year’s general assembly.
“Maybe it is best to be a political activist,” Pearson said. “Maybe run for office. Maybe I do have aspirations to one day be the governor of Georgia. I know that I do love America. It is the greatest country in the world, and it is time we started acting like it.”