Deneen Borelli is the Outreach Director for FreedomWorks, and the author of Blacklash: Freeing Americans from the Liberal Plantation. In her speech, Borelli argues that the federal “government has gone wild,” and as a result of becoming as big as it has, it is an “infringement on our liberties.” She says that it is ironic that “the first black president wants to put all of us on the government plantation. It is all about power and control.”
Deneen Borelli is the Outreach Director for FreedomWorks, and the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Mrs. Borelli currently serves as a contributor on Fox News, and has also appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. Her commentaries on the importance of freedom and limited government have been published by newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, and many others. She has also been a frequent speaker at political rallies and events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12 March on D.C. that drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Borelli served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. Previously, she served as Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). In that capacity, Deneen was the Executive Producer and co-host on “The CORE Hour,” a weekly Internet radio talk show.
Obamanation: A Day of Truth
Accuracy in Media Conference 9/21/2012
Speaker: Deneen Borelli
“Blacklash: Freeing Americans from the Liberal Plantation”
Transcribed by J. C. Hendershot & Bethany Stotts
DON IRVINE: All right. Moving right along, our next speaker is Deneen Borelli, the Outreach Director for FreedomWorks and the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Mrs. Borelli is also a fellow at Project21, a network of black conservatives that is an initiative of the National Center for Public Policy Research. She currently serves as a contributor on Fox News, and has also appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC, and also on C-SPAN. Her commentaries on the importance of freedom and limited government have been published by newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, and many others. She has also been known as a frequent speaker at political rallies and events, including the FreedomWorks 9/12 March on D.C.; that drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen Borelli has also served on the Board of Trustees with the Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York, and previously she served as the Manager of Media Relations with the Congress Of Racial Equality, otherwise known as CORE. In that capacity Mrs. Borelli was executive producer and co-host of The CORE Hour, a weekly Internet radio talk show. Mrs. Borelli’s other half—her husband, Tom—is here with us today, and we thank you for joining us. Tom and I have been long-time friends. Following Mrs. Borelli’s speech, you’re welcome to go out to the foyer and purchase a copy of Blacklash from Tom and Deneen—you can ask her to sign it and do all those wonderful things. But I want to introduce to you a friend, maybe one of the foxiest ladies on Fox, and a true patriot, Deneen Borelli.
DENEEN BORELLI: Well, good afternoon, patriots! We’ve had lunch, I want to wake everyone up here. I’m from New York—I didn’t come here to take a nap! I said, “Good afternoon—”
AUDIENCE: Good afternoon!
BORELLI: “—patriots!” We are here for a reason today, and I am honored to be before you today, because the reason we are here is to restore liberty in our country. I didn’t say we’re here to “fundamentally transform” America, but to restore liberty, because America is an exceptional country where anyone can succeed, and the time is now—no time to be playing, the time is now—for everyone to step up and play your role to rein in this government-gone-wild, because we’re going to look up one day and say, “What happened?” It is up to each and every one of us to play our role. I’m playing my role, and I hope you search yourselves to play your role as well. I wrote my book, Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation, to sound the alarm that our country is truly at a crossroads.
Our country is at a crossroads despite what the progressives tell us. Things are not getting better. We are $16 trillion in debt. We—us hardworking Americans—are enslaved to that debt. We have to pay that money back. GDP only grew 1.7% last quarter. Our hard-earned tax dollars have been wasted on [Barack] Obama’s science projects for green energy programs—[they] wasted our tax dollars! Unemployment? Unacceptably high—over 8% over the last 40 months. Advertisement for food stamps—government wants more people to get food stamps, encouraging people to get food stamps. There are over 46 million Americans on food stamps. Let me put that in perspective: In the state of California there are 36 million citizens—more people on food stamps than in the state of California. That’s outrageous! Average incomes are down, and the black community is down 11%. Gas prices and utility bills are up. I’m from New York—gasoline is over $4 a gallon there. Americans are suffering from reduced living standards. So no, things are not getting better.
Government overreach is looting us of our liberties. Federal mandates— Thou shall do what The Government says:
“Oh, yeah, you will buy that car.”
“You’re only going to use this light bulb because we’re going to ban the other ones.”
“And how dare you heat and cool your home at that temperature!”
The government has gone wild. At any time government is too big, that is an infringement on our liberties. Ironically, the first black president wants to put all of us on the government plantation. It is all about power and control—where all of our wants and needs would come from the government, from the cradle to the grave.
That is why I am so thrilled to be the Outreach Director with FreedomWorks, where I can go out across the country and speak to individuals about freedom, and why freedom is so important. This is an amazing platform for me—a little girl from New Jersey—an amazing platform! FreedomWorks has a pro-liberty agenda: Less government lower taxes, more freedom. I have arrived at where I am today because America is an exceptional country, and it is liberty, not government, that allows us to pursue our dreams. So, no, President Obama, the government had nothing to do with how I got to where I am today. It’s about liberty. And now I’m on the front lines, defending liberty to keep the doors of opportunities open for everybody.
But sadly, as I said, our liberties are under assault. You have progressive policies and mandates that will destroy the middle class and construct barriers against upward mobility. I am not only challenging our country’s massive growth of government, I am also challenging the liberal black establishment, and we all know who they are. It starts at the top: President Obama, Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel, Bobby Rush—the list is endless. I’m challenging them, the liberal black establishment, because they have done a disservice to the country, but especially to the black community.
Look at how some of them have injected race into the voter ID law issue, calling it “an issue about race.” They are fanning the flames of racism. Here’s my question: Where were their voices when the New Black Panther Party members were screaming “Bloodshed and revolution!” in the streets, and putting a bounty on someone’s head? Where were they? They were silent. Where is the leadership? Where’s the accountability from the liberal black establishment? They are dividing our country. Why? It’s the grand distraction: They don’t want to talk about Obama’s failed policies. Unemployment over 8%, in the black community over 14%? They should be outraged with these unemployment numbers, but they’re silent. Where are they with the black-on-black crime, the teacher’s strike in Chicago? Nothing from any of them. Nothing. We need to stand up to this recklessness. Again, I am playing my role. We need to hold these individuals accountable and stop complaining about what they are doing wrong. They don’t want us to talk about Obama’s failed policies.
Obamacare: First of all, it is not the government’s role to provide us with all of our wants and needs. The government’s role is to protect person, property, liberty. That is our government’s role, not providing cradle-to-grave entitlements. We should be striving for smaller government, not bigger government. As I describe in Blacklash, Obamacare is about spending and control, and not about delivering quality health care. 83% of American physicians are thinking about leaving their practice because of Obamacare. Obamacare is not popular with the American people: 52% want Obamacare appealed, according to Rasmussen Reports. 54% think Obamacare will drive up health care costs. So let me summarize: Our country is broke, and Obama has rammed an expensive, unpopular, unworkable mandate down our throats. This is wrong. And there are those on the Left who wonder why the Tea Party movement is so opposed to Obama’s reelection and Obama’s policies.
Obama has a war on coal. Did you know that? Coal. He said he wanted to bankrupt the coal industry and cause electricity rates to skyrocket before he was President. Tragically, he is delivering on his campaign promise: The rise in utility bills will reduce living standards of hardworking Americans and lower the income in households—lower-income households, poor households, will be hurt the most.
So think about it: You, or someone you know, are on a fixed income. If you are suffering from higher energy costs—utilities, gasoline—where’s that money supposed to come from? People are picking and choosing: Do I buy groceries this week? Do I get my medicine? Or do I keep my lights on? Instead, Obama is looking out for his crony capitalist friends, and the environmentalists who care more about rocks, bugs, and trees. You know what? This is not a matter of politics; this is a matter of right and wrong. It is wrong to advance policies to bankrupt an industry. We’ve had coal companies going under in the last couple of weeks, and coal miners are losing their jobs. It is wrong to advance policies that will reduce living standards. It is wrong to reward political allies with our hard-earned tax dollars.
All of this is wrong. That’s why we all have a role to play to restore liberty in America. Now, my message of liberty and limited government dispels the myth that the Tea Party movement is racist. But, of course, not all of the feedback I get is positive. Some of the feedback I get is very concerning, and when I get this feedback, the media is quick to propagate the myths about the Tea Party, and it fails to cover the racial terms that are hurled at black conservatives such as myself. I have been called a “House Negro,” an “anti-Tom,” “Aunt Jemima,” a “token,” “traitor,” “sellout.” People hiding behind their computers and their basements because they don’t want to challenge me with the facts: That’s what I’m up against. I find these comments in my E-mail, when I’m on TV and radio. I’ve even had someone say, ‘”Someone should ‘take care’ of you” and “Your parents should be slapped.” This is what I am up against. So if anyone is concerned about being called a name, you need to put things in perspective: I deal with this all the time. And another thing I like to mention is if our military can risk their lives to keep us free and safe, the least we can do is stand for liberty.
Like FreedomWorks—thank you!—like FreedomWorks, I am targeted simply because I am expressing my views: Limited government, my disdain for Obamacare, climate-change legislation, Second Amendment, pro-growth economics. I wrote my book Blacklash to ignite a fire in independent-minded Americans. Now, you’ll hear words like “fairness” and “level playing field” from the Left. Well, I prefer the words “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Those are the words that I prefer.
Now, some of you might not be familiar with me; some of you might be familiar with me. As I said, I’m from New Jersey. I went to college at night for eleven years—I am the first college graduate in my family. No student loans, no government loans. It took me eleven years to do it. I worked hard in corporate America—thank you!—working full-time at night—went to school at night. I had the wonderful opportunity to be a prime-time speaker at the FreedomWorks March on D.C. That led to me being on Fox News, that led to me becoming a contributor, led to me being an author, and led to me standing before this amazing group of patriots who, I know, love liberty. And another thing I’d like to let you know about me is that, unlike Michelle Obama, I have always been proud of my country.
So as Americans, my friends, we need to preserve liberty, as our Constitutional right of liberty, where anyone can succeed—and it’s not by race, not by how much wealth you come from, but hard work and perseverance, because, you see, our country does not guarantee you success; it’s liberty that guarantees you the opportunity to succeed, and I will remain on the front lines of liberty to keep the doors of opportunity open for everyone. And I thank you for your time today. God bless you all, and God bless America!
IRVINE: Okay, we have time for maybe one question or so.
IRVINE: Somebody, anybody have a question for Deneen? Well, let me just go ahead and ask this, though.
IRVINE: I mean, you and I have known each other for a long time and everything like that. You were talking about race: What is it that’s causing this? One of the things that bothers me a great deal is the Democrats, the liberals—people like Chris Matthews, things like that—they’re continually bringing up the race card, as if the Democrats are innocent. It’s as if they can never be racist themselves, it’s only conservative Republicans that can be racist. Can you explain this a little bit?
BORELLI: Well, sure. They’ve been able to perpetuate that lie, and myself and other black conservatives—and the media, as well, that are on our side—who are out there to discredit that myth that Republicans and conservatives and the Tea Party is racist, we’re doing that, we are pushing back, but, unfortunately, you’re going to have the liberal Left try to make that the argument, make that the case, because they don’t have anything else to argue about. Any time you call someone a “racist,” it’s an emotional issue. People shut down—they shut down the debate, the discussion. That is their plan, that is their end game, to shut down debate. I had someone ask me recently, “My coworker called me a racist because I disagreedwith Obama,” and I said to him, “I got two words for you to tell your coworker: ‘Prove it.’ Prove it to me that I’m a racist.” This person was black, that they were talking to, and this individual that approached me was white. I said, “‘Prove it.’ You’ve been friends with them for how long? You worked with them for how many years, and because the two of you have a difference of opinion politically they’re now going to pull the race card on you?” I said, “They weren’t your friend to begin with.”
So don’t allow anyone to play the race card on you. Get them with the facts. They can’t argue the facts. I’m on Fox a lot. They can’t argue the facts most of the time, those on the Left, and it’s the same arguments over and over again. You hit them with the data—unemployment, unemployment in the black community, the failure of public schools. Hit them with the data—high energy prices. They can’t argue it. They can’t argue it. So pulling the race card, it’s a weak argument, weak debate, and it’s a way to just shut down the conversation.
IRVINE: Great. Well, we’ll take one question, right there in the back.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: It’s been very nice to have you here.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: I’m Chairman of the South Southern Pines precinct [unintelligible] North Carolina. My precinct has a large black population [unintelligible] Republican county. We also have [unintelligible].
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: When I saw the Democrats at the convention vote God down three times on public TV, I was stunned. What do you think effect that’s going to have on the black population?
BORELLI: For the convention?
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: Yeah, the Democrats—did you see the clip of the Democratic convention where they voted to put God back into the platform?
BORELLI: I did, and not only that, but also with Obama coming out for gay marriage. So there is a divide that is going on. Obama is losing his core base anyway—union workers, black voters—and this is why we’re faced with the fact that we’re going to have some black voters that are probably just not going to come out and vote, because they’ve been let down, basically, from someone who they thought was going to be their champion and savior, simply because of his skin color, when, in fact, they should have been looking at his policies, and how he’s a big government, redistribution President—and, really, it is up to the individual to provide for all of their wants and needs. So a lot of these voters, they’re dismayed at Obama’s stance for gay marriage and a lot of other things—he’s pro-abortion as well—
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: We have the largest—
BORELLI: —and those are very concerning.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: We have the largest Tea Party organization [unintelligible] North Carolina [unintelligible] ladies [unintelligible] fantastic job.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: I had a black man come to our Tea Party [unintelligible] last week who went to the Democratic Convention, so things are changing.
BORELLI: They are.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: In fact, they’re saying the Democratic Party shrinking in North Carolina. Mitt Romney is six percentage points ahead.
BORELLI: Yeah. Let me say this: I am someone who voted the way my parents voted; I didn’t know any better. My parents voted Democrat, and I did what my parents did. After I learned and read different things, and my personal experiences over time revealed to me that it’s freedom, and that the progressive policies are harmful to America, but, especially, harmful in the black community—the Left doesn’t like school choice, for example—I mean, these are things that people need to be looking at and taking into consideration, what the consequences are when we have politicians who vote certain programs and policies in place that have a detrimental consequence to the community and the country at large. So I thank you for your comment.
IRVINE: All right, that’s great. Thank you very much, Deneen.
BORELLI: Thanks so much!