“The more questions I asked, the less popular I became. But…I felt better about myself. I decided the very definition of empowerment meant that I had to take responsibility for my own life,” says Antonia Okafor for PragerU.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 13th, 2017 LOS ANGELES
My Conversion, the newest video in Prager University’s Free To Think series, explores the transformation of Antonia Okafor from a staunch Democrat and Barack Obama supporter, to an informed Republican voter and gun advocate. Her decision was fueled by her desire to understand why she was expected to think, vote and believe a certain way, if for no other reason than she was a young, black female.
Antonia grew up in a low-income neighborhood without a father in the household. When she reached 18 and was eligible to vote, there was a “clear political path” for a black woman with a master’s degree from an underprivileged upbringing—vote for Obama— which Antonia did, twice. She was proud to see a Black man rise to the highest office in the land and she was inspired by the strength demonstrated by First Lady Michelle Obama.
“I believed that [President Obama’s] ascent would herald a new beginning, a new era of racial healing and harmony. We would finally have that frank discussion about race,” says Okafor.
Antonia attended the University of Texas in Dallas and began advocating for liberal issues, such as women’s rights, even teaching a class on feminism and abortion rights. “But then something happened,” notes Okafor. “Actually several ‘somethings’ happened.”
She took pride in being a free thinker, yet Okafor felt limited by what she was “supposed to” believe in. When she started asking questions, particularly about abortion, her feminist friends ridiculed her. “I was called anti-woman,” recalls Antonia. “But I’m not anti-woman…I am a woman. I just [didn’t] want to be a weak one.”
The next “something” happened when The Department of African American Diaspora Studies released the following statement: “African Americans are disproportionately affected by the saturation of our society by firearms…we demand that firearms be banned in all spaces occupied by Black people on our campus.”
Antonia reacted, “why would you want to ban firearms only in Black areas? Are Black people more dangerous? Are we less worthy of protection?”
Antonia then began to examine the current condition of African Americans in urban settings. She questioned why Blacks were doing “so poorly in cities that had been run by Democrats for decades.” Even her white, progressive friends labeled Okafor a “race-traitor” for these questions. “But I’m not anti-Black,” thought Okafor. “I am black. I just want to be safe.”
“The more questions I asked, the less popular I became. But…I felt better about myself. I decided the very definition of empowerment meant that I had to take responsibility for my own life.”
Refusing to play the victim, Antonia’s conclusions compelled her to take responsibility for her own safety. She bought a gun to protect herself and eventually walked in the March for Life in Washington D.C. She even voted Republican in the next election. These conservative decisions cost Antonia most of her liberal friends, but she didn’t regret it. “Republican[s] empowered me to shape my future, not be a member of a victim group.” Antonia concludes.
MEDIA NOTE: PragerU contributor, Antonia Okafor is available for interview as is PragerU’s CEO, Marissa Streit.
PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America, and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2016 alone, PragerU’s videos received over 250 million views, a figure that will eclipse 350 million in 2017. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not. www.prageru.com