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FOR SOME BLACK YOUTH, IT’S TIME TO QUESTION BLACK LOYALTIES. Gen Z is not only liberal but skeptical, and the Black community’s diehard support for the party that embraced civil rights is ripe for a rethink.

Like most young African American members of Generation Z, the 18-year-old conservative activist Coreco Ja’Quan (C.J.) Pearson hails from a family of Democrats, following a tradition of party loyalty that began toward the end of the civil rights movement.

Pearson, like most of his generation, is also coming into adulthood during a time of heightened awareness of race and its impact on American life, from police brutality to political campaigns.

Unlike most of his peers, however, Pearson is asking this question: If loyalty to the Democratic Party is tied to Black success, why haven’t conditions improved in Black communities?

Pearson is an anomaly among Gen Z, whose members, polling suggests, are more liberal than any generation before them. But they’re also more skeptical of the political system and its establishment leaders. For a young Black man like Pearson, skepticism trumps loyalty to the party of his parents and grandparents. He may not be representative of the views of his cohort, but he mirrors their attitude in a way that politicians are quick to notice: He is an iconoclast. …

CJ Pearson with fans at a Trump Rally in Atlanta, Ga.
CJ Pearson and Eric Trump take photos with fans and other Black Trump supporters after an Atlanta rally for the president. | Asha Stuart for POLITICO

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