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The documentary ‘Runaway Slave’ explores the idea that U.S. welfare is the cause of modern slavery among African-Americans. Here are some thoughts by the people behind the documentary.
Matt Kibbe, President, Freedom Works Foundation
“Freedom Works Foundation is proud to support this project, and hopes that its message will resonate, encourage and inspire every person who watches the movie to spread the word of running from tyranny and oppression to liberty and true freedom.”
Rev. C.L. Bryant
“Black Americans are fed the lie that we all have to act, think, and vote a certain way. As a former branch president of the NAACP in Garland, Texas, I once supported the idea that we as a people of color can only advance as a group. But there became a conflict between my personal faith and the political views of the NAACP.
“As an individual I was free to be myself, but as a black man I had to talk and act a certain way. I began to realize that everything I had been taught that was a benefit to us was actually harming black Americans. Indeed, the NAACP and the government had been instrumental in bringing civil rights to black Americans. But more and more people in the black community have become dependent on the government and groups like the NAACP for their wellbeing. I believe that we are better off if we are left alone, to succeed as individuals.
“But when any black person speaks out against these groups, or presents any idea that is contrary to the collective, they are labeled a ‘sellout’ or an ‘Uncle Tom.’ ‘Runaway Slave’ is a film that brings the voices of people like me into the mainstream dialogue in America. We are not free at last when we allow ourselves to stay on the plantation and look to the master for a handout.
“For too long, we have been depending on other people for our success. We have to pursue our happiness; our happiness is not provided to us. If we are relying on someone else to the point that we are dependent on him or her for our wellbeing, that in itself is a form of slavery. We are all free at last! But with freedom comes great responsibility. It is now time for all of us to flee economic slavery and run toward the blessings of true liberty.”
Luke Livingston, Executive Producer
“During the production of Tea Party Movie, we followed several activists and profiled their stories. One was a young black Obama supporter. But after becoming disenchanted with the President, he became a libertarian who actively participated in the Tea Party movement. His story carried us to other concerned black Americans. Add C.L. Bryant to the scenario and the concept for a film about the black conservative movement in this country was born.
“C.L. is an expert on the topic and his compelling personal story is powerful; but we knew there were others out there who also had something to say. In the fall of 2010, we began the journey of finding and interviewing those who have found their own paths to freedom. We found them living in middle-class neighborhoods, wealthy estates and the inner cities.
“With different economic statuses, they all had one thing in common: They were running away from the slavery of tyranny and toward the blessings of liberty and true freedom. The more questions we asked, the more passionate we became for the film and the people highlighted in it. Their voices needed to be heard. Their facts needed to be told. And their amazing stories needed to be revealed!
“We began with a concept trailer to help generate donations. It went viral overnight with over a quarter of a million views. We knew we had a topic that would spark a fire of liberty and an audience interested in viewing it. We have been blessed to put an incredibly creative team on this project. The long hours and late nights have not worn us down from this task. We consider this film an honor to produce, and C.L. a brave leader to tackle such a volatile subject. After our very first focus group viewing, a former California movie distributor commented, ‘This film will change the conversation in America.’ We look forward to the new dialogue it will generate.”
Pritchett Cotten, Director and Writer
“When the initial idea of making this film surfaced, I jumped on the opportunity immediately. At times, it has seemed like an odd decision because I am in no way an expert, nor claim to be, on the subject matter. However, these topics are very important, and I have enjoyed the many paths this film has taken me down creatively, professionally, and emotionally. As a filmmaker, I see myself as a facilitator. I have the ways and means to let people’s voices be heard, voices that might not have had the chance otherwise. Through much research and consultation, I have provided a framework to let people offer their opinions and insight.
“It is my hope that those who view the film will truly think about the underlying principles that are being discussed: freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government. These are some of the key principles that America was founded on and what has ultimately made this country great. They are timeless ideas that if adhered to, can create a prosperous and free society for any people, regardless of race or ethnicity. These are ideas that transcend political parties, and I hope that all Americans will begin to evaluate their political leaders according to their character, ideology, and voting record, instead of only focusing on the letter beside the name.
“I believe there is a wall that exists in America today with regards to race and politics. Many feel they cannot talk about race for fear of being labeled ‘racist.’ We have also convinced ourselves that it is somehow not polite or proper to discuss politics. This idea is completely anathema to the spirit of America, because We The People are the government! We must throw away our trepidations and discuss these issues openly, freely, and with civility if there is any hope of tearing the wall down that is preventing honest discussions on race and politics. ‘Runaway Slave’ can be a wrecking ball and apply a few hard hits.”