By: India Sage (@indiasagethebrand)
Dr. Christopher J. Metzler is a political pundit, government strategist, serial entrepreneur, TV news contributor, and author.
His most recent book “Divided We Stand: The Search for America’s Soul” explores modern legal, political, and socio-economic issues under the microscopic backing of historical facts.
Dr. Metzler shares an expert analysis of U.S. and global affairs, politics, human rights, human capital, diversity, and related issues. The book serves as a precursor for an in-depth conversation that he does not want to have alone.
In the past, black entertainers and athletes have served as voices, as faces, and as catalysts for social and economic change. Therefore, it is no surprise that Dr. Metzler has asked for Beyonce and Lebron James to sit down and have this conversation with him.
Notably, two of the biggest names in pop culture, to sit down and discuss a real plan of action to remedy a 400-year history of social and economic injustice would have some kind of measurable impact. Dr. Metzler believes that in order to effect real change, African American people must be aligned with the facts, think for themselves, and find their own political voice, advocate for policy change, invest in entrepreneurship, and stop talking about the problem and start taking action using measurable solutions to solve it.
AllHipHop: “Divided We Stand: The Search for America’s Soul.” Where did that title come from, and what is the reaction have you received since releasing the book?
Dr. Metzler: This is my third book. My first book was called, “The Construction and Re-articulation of Race in a ‘post-racial’ America.” The second is really just a legal philosophy textbook that most people will read if they can't sleep. And this one really was just a reflection from a historical, legal, and political, as well as socio-economic standpoint.
What I noticed about America since immigrating to this country, when I was approximately 4 years old, is that America used to be a fairly cohesive place. There has always been separation and division. But the division has gotten worse.
For example, we don’t really have conversations. We talk past each other, or over each other, or any of those kinds of things because we are so divided by either political lines or ideological lines. Now, of course, the ideologies are very different. However, there are areas of agreement. It’s just hard to find those areas.-- And the reactions so far have been largely positive.
AllHipHop: Do you think this will provide the platform to start up these conversations; uncomfortable or not?
Dr. Metzler: Yes, absolutely. It’s happening. It is not necessarily a comfortable way because my work has not always been a work that is about comfort. It’s really more about learning. What I do in the book is really look back on history and how we got here. I am a conservative person. And when I talk about being conservative, and especially when I
talk about being a black man who is a conservative, people really often times will say to me “well what are you trying to conserve?”
Well, it’s really simple really, which is the best of the past and looking at how we can improve on the best of the past.
What happens often times, though, is we fall into these stereotypes of what a black male conservative is; or what a black female conservative is. Because what we often get is that well, you are an apologist for white supremacists. Furthest thing from the truth.
I am a conservative primarily because I look at issues of economic opportunity, particularly for the black community, but for everyone and that includes the black community. I look at the free market, I look at the development of business and entrepreneurship. I look at education. I look at those things that affect our lives. And you know, for so long blacks have been so strongly affiliated with the democratic party in droves. I don't see really the outcome of that being a particular success. So for me, it’s an opportunity for me to let people look at all sides of the political spectrum. And that’s, in large part, why I wrote the book.
AllHipHop: You think black people should look for solutions outside of their party affiliation?
Dr. Metzler: I think the problem with party affiliation is that you then become so affiliated with the party that you don’t look for areas of growth and areas of opportunity; and, so, party affiliation unfortunately in the U.S.: if you are a conservative, you have no choice but to align with the Republican party.
If you are left of center then you have no choice but to affiliate with the democratic party. Those are the two major parties we have. Americans have not indicated an appetite for a so-called third party. And as a result of that, you are put into those boxes.
What I tell people is, listen: it doesn't matter what party you are in. Every President has an expiration date, which is eight years max. And so the question becomes, during the times that your opposing President is in office, have you built relationships that will last so that when that President leaves office you are able to advocate for communities of color?
We host, every month in Washington, a dialogue for issues affecting communities of color. In which we bring forward a bipartisan, left of center, right of center, or center group of people to have conversations with administration officials. The next one is going to be with the Secretary of Education.
AllHipHop: What is the message that you send to young black youth as a black male conservative?
Dr. Metzler: The message to them is open your minds. Don't be brainwashed to what has happened in the past. I simply present the facts. People need to be able to make their own decisions, and one of the areas in the book that I have gotten really great reviews on has been the issue of so-called Fake News.
I remember back in the day when Walter Cronkite delivered the news. Did Walter Cronkite have his own political views and opinions? Of course, he did, but you would never see that on the news. What has happened with the so-called news though is, we don’t get the facts, we get opinions.
I am not interested in seeing journalists bantering back and forth about the news. I want to know the facts so I can make my own decisions. What has happened with the news media, in particular, is that the news media has become a cult of personalities.
It is so called about news people as celebrities and less about the journalist. And so that's why we find ourselves in this huge area of disinformation, and that’s a big concerning piece.
What I say to folks of the younger generation is: open your minds, think for yourselves, and then what you think of that and how you fit into that picture or how you change the equation, that is my message to that group in particular.
AllHipHop: When President Trump says “fake news” is that from a more negative standpoint than factual?
Dr. Metzler: Yes. But The reason the President does that, and the reason that the President goes to Twitter so much is that it is a direct connection with people, and the issue that I have with the media relative to the President is this: there is an over-reporting of the things that reporters see as negative.
But when you have positive news, they tend to bury that. For black people, in particular, economic opportunity under this President is phenomenal. The low unemployment rate, in particular, when you look at those kinds of things. Those are important things. However, I do think there is a clash between the President’s conversation on fake news and the media's conversation on fake news, and so is it perceived as negative in many ways, yes.
AllHipHop: Do you think because of the racial tension in America, do you think it forces people to look closely at what President Trump has to say? Do you think if President Obama said half the things that Trump has said, do you think the reaction would be similar? Or would there be more outrage?
Dr. Metzler: I think it would probably be more outrage in a lot of respects. However, the thing about it is this: the President was elected with people knowing exactly who he is. He has not changed at all. Yet he was still elected. And the thing is I am amazed when people say “the President has done this and that and I'm surprised."
Surprised at what? He is being the exact same person that he has ever been. It's not new. This is not new. His behavior is no different than what it has always been. Whether it’s good, or bad, people have their own views on that; but that’s why in some respects, the promises made, promises kept tag line is working so effectively for him.
AllHipHop: Speaking of promises made, promises kept, in 2008, President Obama ran on the campaign “Change We Need.” Do you think people felt it was his responsibility or duty, as the first African-American President, to change or fix all of the black issues?
Dr. Metzler: Yes. I don’t think it was his job or duty to do that, but I think people were saying we have the first black President, so to speak, and as a result of that American blacks’ woes are over. That’s typically an unrealistic expectation, and understanding how the Presidency works, as a practical matter, the President is constrained by a number of factors. And so people made an unrealistic expectation. With this President, there is this concern that he is not going to do anything for black people.
First of all, I don’t agree with that.
Second of all, if you look at the number of young black people who are coming to the Republican party in phenomenal numbers, it is because they are not their parents.
They are not their parents’ generation, and for a number of them Washington, is a failure; and so they are looking for an alternative, and if we look from a strictly political standpoint, on the Republican field I don't think there is any kind of challenge but if we look on the Democratic field, they are recycling ideas that haven’t worked. And so there is a delicate balance there.
AllHipHop: What are some key points in the book that readers will find interesting including information they may have never heard of or thought of in the way that you describe?
Dr. Metzler: Some key points are going be looking at economic opportunities, what economic opportunities man for everyone. It is the difference between what government programs that are designed to keep people in poverty in a free market. Which allows people to fully participate in the economic system. The second would be looking at conservatism and what it means in its true sense. Regardless of what you think of this President, really understanding the conservative principles of conservatism; that is a critical, critical piece.
Also, I have this chapter in there about joining the swamp, and really understanding how Washington, D.C. is built on being a culture of corruption., and how people can reduce the influence of lobbying in D.C.
When you look at D.C. and why lobbyists are so successful it is because of lobbyist's staff. Take healthcare, for example, that legislation was written primarily by lobbyists and the reason is that Congress simply doesn't have the staff to write it. So what they do, is they give it to the lobbyist [who are the people who will benefit from it], to write the legislation. Obviously, they are going to write legislation that benefits them. So for people to really understand what the lawmaking process is.
AllHipHop: In the past entertainers and athletes have used their voice to bring attention to social and political issues. Do you think that entertainers and athletes should continue using their voice to speak on these topics or should they stay away from it?
Dr. Metzler: I don’t think that athletes entertainers, etc should stay away from it. I don't think so because they are citizens like everyone else and they should have freedom of expression like everyone else. My critique of it is they should be educated before they talk about it because a lot of the statements that they make are simply inaccurate. I think the best approach would be the teaming of a public figure like myself with athletes and entertainers to really explain it from a standpoint of pure factual basis, because while they get out and say those things, that they have the right to say, if the objective is education and behavior changing, they should be based in fact, not in hyperbole or comical nonsensical ways.
AllHipHop: Where can people purchase the book, and what are your social platforms?
The book is available on Amazon. Social media Facebook: @drchrismetzler Twitter: @drchrismetzler Instagram: @drchrismetzler
Visit Dr. Metzler website for upcoming dates on his book tour: