Conservative Teen Tells David Hogg To ‘Grow Up’ (TWEETS)

The survivors of the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School haven’t backed down one inch from the relentless bullying they’ve faced from the right-wing fringe. Laura Ingraham found that out the hard way earlier this week, when she got the bright idea to mock one of their leaders, David Hogg, for being rejected by several colleges.

Hogg struck fast and hard, encouraging his Twitter followers to pester Ingraham’s advertisers on Fox News. Within less than 24 hours, Ingraham was forced to apologize. It didn’t go far enough for Hogg, who demanded that Ingraham denounce the many wingnuts who have harassed, trolled, and threatened him and his classmates over the last month.

When conservative activist CJ Pearson saw this, he thought that Hogg was being a snowflake. So he took to Twitter to give Hogg what he billed as a crash course on how to be a public figure.

Pearson, a sophomore at Evans High School near Augusta, Georgia, is not a typical black teenager. He’s an open and unashamed conservative Republican, and an equally unashamed Trump supporter. He’s taken a lot of grief online for it, so he felt he could lecture Hogg on what it takes to be a public figure. Watch here.

Pearson wondered why Hogg was “losing his mind” over Ingraham’s slagging, especially since he’s “chosen to live in the public light.” He claims to have faced worse, since he is “literally three things that make liberals lose sleep at night”–a young black conservative.

Pearson thinks that since Hogg has chosen to become a public figure, he needs to learn how to take criticism–especially a hot-button issue like gun control.

“I’m sorry, David, but when you make yourself a spokesman for a very divisive belief–that the Second Amendment should be basically stripped away from the Constitution, that guns should be taken away from the American people, that the law-abiding Americans in this country do not deserve the right to protect themselves, their families, and their homes, and to carry and bear arms–then yes, people are gonna criticize you. People might not like you. But you chose that life, David! Grow up! Grow up, David!”

Pearson suggested that Hogg would be better served going on “The Ingraham Angle” and debating the issues with her. Pearson further suggested that Hogg “get out of the kitchen” if he isn’t willing to handle being criticized.

With all due respect, CJ, you’re missing the point. What has Hogg up in arms is that many of his critics have gone way beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse.

Hogg and his buddies have been called them “crisis actors,” or fake survivors trucked in to gin up support for gun control. They’ve been accused of merely mouthing pre-written talking points–as if it isn’t possible for teenagers to be this articulate on their own. They’ve been accused of bringing their ordeal on themselves by not doing more to reach out to Nikolas Cruz–and may have even bullied him. And one right-winger even accused Hogg of being an accessory to Cruz’ butchery.

For example, a number of Pearson’s followers peddled the bogus line that Cruz had been bullied–possibly even by some of his classmates.

All Hogg was doing was to ask Ingraham to back her words with action. He wants Ingraham to use her platform to call off the dogs and condemn this pigweed–some of which was on display in the very thread Pearson used to call Hogg out.

That’s the real issue, CJ. Hogg isn’t seeking a safe space. He’s seeking basic civility. We’ve already seen this from his fellow survivors. Remember when Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch got run all over the BB&T Center by Cameron Kasky and Emma Gonzalez? The crowd got so hostile that Kasky and Gonzalez had to frequently quiet them down.

Hogg himself has said that he welcomes a debate–but wants to “deal with the issues, not individuals.” Perhaps if Pearson saw this as well, it would go a long way toward getting the tinder out of our discourse. He may be missing a chance to follow in Hogg’s footsteps and be more of an adult than the actual adults. It’s something we need on both sides of the aisle.

(featured image courtesy Pearson’s Facebook)

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.