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Atlanta's conservative Black leaders hold town hall meeting in effort to attract more Republican votes

A recent Pew Research survey shows roughly 8% of all voters who are Black identify themselves as Republican.

ATLANTA — The November midterm elections are a little more than six weeks away, and on Saturday conservative Black leaders came together in Atlanta hoping to draw in more Republican votes.

Employment was one of the big topics at the town hall with speakers saying many people are living outside their means and relying too much on government assistance. 11Alive political analyst Dr. Andra Gillespie said that's not necessarily true and that it has more to do with societal issues. 

Someone who's not yet ready to cast a ballot took it all in. 10-year-old Gabriel McGee knows all about the significance of Dr. Alveda King, who's the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It was really great seeing her and hearing her speak," McGee said.

McGee, who came to the town hall with his mother, asked Dr. King a question about immigration.

“It made me want to ask a question because I do worry about our country sometimes," McGee stated. 

One of the issues brought up at the town hall is crime.

“The reason it's happening is because of fatherlessness," Jack Brewer, one of the speakers said. "We've had an attack on our police departments across America and people want to have it both ways. They want to be soft on crime, but yet they want their neighborhoods to be remain safe."

Gillespie noted that the implication of fatherless homes and crime fits into what scholars call the culture of poverty thesis.

She said there are other factors continuing to increasing crime. She noted that scholars don't want to take personal responsibility out of context, citing that larger societal and systemic problems also tend to exacerbate problems in Black communities.

The economy was another big topic at the town hall. Dr. King stated that America has "lost the work ethic." However, Gillespie pointed out that every person's situation is entirely different.

“There are lots of poor people who work who work harder than lots of other people. Right? They just don't get paid enough and often have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet," Gillespie said.

Whatever the topic, McGee listened to Dr. King with open ears as his mom taught him firsthand about government and history. 

“Actually, I’ve seen her [Dr. King] multiple times in events," McGee said. "I even took pictures of her before.”

A recent Pew Research survey shows roughly 8% of all voters who are Black identify themselves as Republican.

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