In 2013, RedState described me as, “… one of the most influential people in America you have never heard of…until now. Most certainly, Mr. Smith is one of the most important people grassroots conservatives and Republican Party leaders should be listening to right now. Yet, his message is not really partisan. It is American.”

What was it that inspired this RedState journalist to write this?

In 2011, I released Frederick Douglass Republicans: The Movement to Re-Ignite America’s Passion for Liberty. The book is not an in-depth study on the philosophical views of Douglass, instead, it’s a Conservative action handbook ─ empowering Conservatives with the confidence, knowledge and skills to successfully engage at the local level ─ diversity outreach.

Considered by many to be the nation’s leading diversity engagement consultant, I am best known for creating the Frederick Douglass Republican (FDR) Engagement Strategy, a proven persuasive messaging concept, developed through 12 years of real-world successes. Combining Jesus Christ’s outreach approach, the Apostle Paul’s diversity engagement strategy and Frederick Douglass’ liberty message, accounts for my growing popularity among Conservatives, faith-based and Republican groups.

In fact, in 2011, an upper-level executive of the NAACP, who would like to remain anonymous, read my book and commented, “If the Frederick Douglass Republican liberty message gets on a national level, the Democratic Party would be toast and President Obama would be history.” 

If you are new to my community, you probably don’t know my testimony and how the FDR Engagement Strategy came about. My story is one you may personally relate to.

Several years ago, I was invited to a friend’s home to watch a college football game with 20 other Black Americans, all of whom were Democrats. The subject of politics came up. When I mentioned I was a Conservative-Republican, I was verbally attacked by several people. Their name-calling was untrue and ran the gamut…

“KCarl, you’re an Uncle Tom, sellout and a house n-word. You’re a traitor to your race. You should be ashamed of yourself. Your parents must be disappointed in you.”

I’ve never felt so humiliated. But, instead of becoming argumentative, their insults made me search for a better way to: (1) Describe my political identity; (2) Articulate my Conservative values; (3) Win the narrative; and (4) Trump the race card. I spent over a year researching, during which time, I became obsessed with the life and writings Frederick Douglass. I went on a reading binge that included his three autobiographies, speeches, articles, letters, and interviews.

In my view, Frederick Douglass is America’s greatest thinker, writer, and speaker on liberty and human rights. His literary works and lectures about slavery, free speech, slave owner repentance, personal responsibility, school choice, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, the U.S. Constitution, and much more are just as compelling and necessary today as they have been for 175 years.

If we are serious about defending liberty and the Constitution, we must make Frederick Douglass an integral part of our liberty message. Douglass-ISM is the most effective way to defeat Marxism and ignite America’s passion for liberty. The Left has no answer for Douglass, and they never will.

I grew up in a staunch Democrat and Christian home in Alabama and I am a graduate of Alabama A&M University, a historical black college. I mentioned this because as a Black Conservative, some people will always doubt your sincerity, truthfulness and your blackness. I was not converted to conservatism. I've always been one. I just didn’t call myself that. Why? Bear in mind, the word conservative is not the language of liberty in the black community, it’s the language of oppression, with a racist connotation. I’ll discuss this more in a forthcoming editorial.

After learning and absorbing Douglass’ liberty message, my ah-ha moment came when I created the FDR Engagement Strategy. A year later, those same 20 black Democrat friends reluctantly came to my home to watch a college football game. The subject of politics surfaced once again. When asked about my political identity, I responded, “I’m more than a Conservative and a Republican, I’m a Frederick Douglass Republican. I believe in his life-empowering values of: (1) Respect for the U.S. Constitution; (2) Economic prosperity; (3) Free speech; (4) Personal responsibility; (5) Limited power of government; (6) Legal immigration; (7) Religious liberty; (8) Respect for life, among others.” My guests immediately started talking about how they were Frederick Douglass Republicans too. The FDR Engagement Strategy worked!

For the first time in my life, I had the confidence, knowledge and skills to engage my family, friends and acquaintances about my Conservative values. Have you ever known something to be so exceptional that you couldn’t keep it to yourself? I shared the FDR Engagement Strategy with my Black, White, Latino and Asian Conservatives friends, and when they used it, it worked like gangbusters. This is a transferable skill.

My friend Patrick, from Nashville, shared this testimony: “Thank you, KCarl, for teaching me the FDR Engagement Strategy. I applied what you taught me, and I am hungry for more. You equipped me to handle the push-back. As a result, I have been able to change how many of my family members and friends vote.

To be a Frederick Douglass Republican has nothing to do with skin color.

A former member of President Trump’s Coalition Advisory Board, KCarl Smith is the President and CEO of KCarl Consulting Group, empowering freedom advocates with the confidence, knowledge and skills to trump the race card. His column appears every Thursday in 1819 News. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send email with your name and contact information to