The head of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives spoke at a private outdoor fundraiser for Republican candidates in Dolores on Saturday evening.
Derrick Wilburn, founder and executive director of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, also rode with the Montezuma County Patriots’ Freedom Ride on Saturday morning.
His organization aims to “bridge the gap that exists between conservative political causes, parties and candidates, and ethnic minorities in the USA,” according to its Facebook page.
Republican candidate for U.S. House Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican Party Chairman Rep. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, and Montezuma County commissioner candidate Joel Stevenson also spoke with voters at the private outdoor event, hosted by the vice chairman of the Montezuma County Republicans, Casey McClellan.
Wilburn describes himself as an “accidental political activist,” and said he has been conservative for 25 years.
“What does color of skin have to do with it?” he said to the audience at the fundraiser.
Wilburn is also the driving force behind POC Capitol Interns, which sends Black college students to live in Washington, D.C., and work for Republican candidates.
In his keynote address, Wilburn said that systemic racism exists, but at the local level – not at the federal level.
Police officers work for their chief, and the chief of police works for the mayor, Wilburn said. And the places where riots have occurred – such as Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, – have majority Democrats in office and Democratic governors.
He encouraged fundraiser attendees to re-elect President Donald Trump to ensure a “conservative counterbalance” to what is happening at the local level.
Wilburn also addressed the use of Confederate flags and the recent push to remove Confederate statues and monuments, heightened by the protests that occurred after the death of George Floyd.
“I’m not a fan of the Confederate flag, so I don’t have one,” Wilburn said, but “I will not demand that you take your flag down.”
He said the idea that something should be banned because someone does not “like it, want it, believe it or is offended by it” is not right.
Buck made several campaign stops with Boebert as she made her rounds in Southwest Colorado, stopping in Montezuma County to speak with voters in person again before Nov. 3.
“I see so much patriotism and passion in Montezuma County,” Boebert said. “It should be like this everywhere.”
Boebert encouraged attendees to vote against Colorado Proposition 113, which would give Colorado nine electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote if states representing at least 270 Electoral College votes adopt the plan. Boebert said that under the National Popular Vote Compact, rural Coloradans would “give their votes to California.”
For Boebert, the election is a decision between freedom and “socialism” from Democratic leadership.
“She tells a compelling story about the American dream,” Buck said in an interview with The Journal.
Like his own 4th Congressional District, rural voters in the 3rd Congressional District want a politician who will empower people to solve their own problems instead of relying on a government program that raises taxes, Buck said.
Boebert would stand her ground on the issues important to rural Colorado, while reaching across the aisle to work on larger issues facing the country, such as technology company monopolies, Buck said.
“She matures every time I see her, and she will get better as she gets to D.C.,” he said.
Boebert has campaigned on the word “freedom,” and for Buck, “freedom” means being able to spend your money how you choose and less regulation from the federal government.