• David Hrostoski

Truth, Courage, and Brandon Tatum

Brandon Tatum is a former police officer from Tucson, Arizona.

Another highly controversial figure, Brandon co-founded Blexit with Candace Owens, encouraging black voters to leave the Democratic Party.

In a political landscape where 80% of the black community votes Democrat, and 1 in 5 of every vote cast for the Democratic Party comes from a black voter, a black conservative public figure saying what he’s saying is surprising, to say the least.

That may have been what Biden tried to elude to when he said, “You ain’t black” if you don’t vote Democrat in the 2020 election, or “Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community.”

Despite the views of the majority of black political figures, Brandon preaches a very different message and proudly wears his red MAGA hat in most every one of his videos on YouTube.

When the Black Lives Matter movement first broke onto the scene, it was a small group of black conservatives like Brandon, Candace Owens, and Larry Elder who gave me a window into something I’d never previously thought about.

There’s a famous clip of Larry Elder ripping into Dave Ruben about how systemic racism isn’t real. That clip started this exploration for me, and it was Brandon Tatum who helped me to integrate that perspective into current events.

Very similar to my article on Alex Jones, I tend to look at public figures in a very different way than I hear them being talked about.

It’s a perspective I want to understand and expand upon more deeply throughout this “Explorations” series.

In our (Miriam and my) work at The Second Paradigm, we have a strong focus on personal solidity. That deeply shapes the way I look out into the world, especially in how I see the work of others.

We’re a spiritual education company with a deep focus on becoming yourself in the world and radiating out your genuine, truest soul essence.

Not only is that one of the few spiritual ideals I’ve found worthwhile to live into, but it’s what I fundamentally believe to be the greatest possible gift we could ever share with the world—our true selves.

So here’s why I find Brandon‘s truth to be so inspiring and profound.

Like I mentioned, he’s a former police officer from Tucson, Arizona.

When the BLM movement kicked off, there was a huge opening for, specifically, black voices to pop through the collective noise more fully than I’ve seen in a very long time.

As a former police officer, this is the stance he could have taken:

Never in my life have I seen such an atrocity in the police force.

But as a black man myself, I’ve seen far too many cases of my fellow officers overstepping their bounds.

It shows up in small and subtle ways but points to an age old philosophy of self-righteous inequality.

I can never really know what my fellow officers were thinking, but no matter what they might have said to me, or how they might have treated me as a black man myself, I could see the residue of systemic racism in their actions.

I could see how they treated men who looked like me in the streets, and even on routine traffic stops.

The racism must end, and the consensus of my fellow black officers around the country must be heard and taken seriously.

Can you imagine the press that a well-spoken former police officer could have gotten with words like those?

Can you imagine the interviews he could have gotten, the book deals he could have signed, and the public’s rally cry around that message?

Can you then imagine the cash that could have poured into the logical next step from there: a Brandon Tatum police diversity training?

All he had to do was hide his truth for long enough to secure his position in the public eye.

All he had to do was lie.

Instead, here’s the stance he *did* take in one of his videos:

“This anti-police, anti-white narrative has to come to an end.”

“As a black man in America, and I’ve been black for 33 years, I’m sick of the pandering. I’m sick of the false equivalence. I’m sick of people painting the picture that I am less than in my own country. This country belongs to me, just like anybody else. I have never experienced racism in America.”

“I don’t have to walk around with my head down, walking around acting like a victim, when I haven’t had nothing to do with that.”

“None of the people I know are racist. I don’t know a racist. I’ve never been around racists. Why do I have to be subject to an idea that people are forcing on me, just because the color of my skin?”

That’s not anything remotely near the more convenient message above.

I had a comment on a recent Facebook post that ties really nicely into this conversation.

“What is truth?”

It seems, on the surface, like it would be a challenging question to answer.

But in practice, it’s actually quite clear.

Truth, as a spiritual guiding force, is far more accessible and obvious than most would care to admit.

It’s the things you already know to be true, minus the very conscious half-truths (lies) that get stacked on top to protect reputation or to gain something personally.

One of the greatest antidotes to widespread manipulation and disinformation is simple courage.

It’s the courage to say what you believe, not just what’s easy or convenient.

Brandon Tatum, to me, is an incredible representation of that kind of courage.

It’s not about how the world receives your viewpoint or which double blind studies you have to back up every premise of every statement you make.

It’s about being willing to stand courageously in what you already do know, what you already do believe, and walking that path despite the “consequences” that are far too easy to imagine and even easier to offer up as an excuse for falling back onto that easy and convenient half-truth.

Brandon Tatum, to me, is a clear example of steadiness in his truth and knowing, even in the face of the dozens of names he’s been called, by thousands of people, too many times to count.

One man’s “Uncle Tom” is another man’s inspiration to continue speaking truth, no matter what the world around him deems to be correct or acceptable.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from watching Brandon be Brandon, it’s this:

Trust Yourself.

Trust Your Truth.

And Speak It.

The Second Paradigm | Where Soul Makes Sense, Grounded Spirituality, Soul-Aligned Business, David Hrostoski and Miriam Wagoner