17-Year-Old Gives Back To Businesses Damaged By Looters And Rioters
CJ Pearson, the founder and president of Last Hope USA, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about his efforts to raise funds for businesses damaged during the protests and riots that followed George Floyd’s death, what he hopes to accomplish in the future and more.
Amid civil unrest following the death of George Floyd and conversations around police brutality, Pearson took action to help businesses that were damaged during protests. Pearson also denounced the looters, rioters and arsonists, questioning how it “sowed the racial divide” and “brought people together.”
“What also broke my heart is every single night,” Pearson said, “to watch the country I love so much burn. To watch Wendy’s burn, to watch AutoZones burn, and for people to say that they were doing it for black lives. I’ve got to tell you – as a black man, I don’t know what burning down the establishment did for me.”
Pearson added that he “was tired of seeing so many people talking about black lives mattering, but not actually doing anything that actually benefitted black lives.”
“Liberals can talk about black lives mattering, but conservatives can show that black lives matter,” Pearson said.
Pearson raised over $160,000 in three days to help reopen black-owned businesses in Atlanta that were damaged or destroyed that “far-left radicals had burnt down.” He partnered with the Georgia Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (GAME), a 501c(3) non-profit organization, to create the GAME Relief Fund.
“To be in a position to help so many people is something that I don’t take for granted,” Pearson said.
Pearson also discussed how Last Hope USA hopes to help black communities in the future, including creating and cultivating opportunities for young entrepreneurs to start businesses of their own.
“We believe that is the way that we really help build up the black community, that’s how we show that black lives matter,” Pearson said, “not by cultivating dependency” or “linking the black community to the government for years on end or decades on end, but by offering and planting the seeds of independence.” (RELATED: Sister Of Fallen Police Officer Asks ‘Where Is The Outrage’ Over Her Brother’s Death)