How Jameion Fowler is Transforming Political Journalism
When it comes to politics, Jameion Fowler’s philosophy is “No Black Agenda, No Black Vote.”
He’s a member of the American Descendants of Slavery (#ADOS) movement, and it’s what drives his grassroots style of reporting on candidates and elections. Though he is not a journalist by trade, Fowler is not afraid to confront candidates with direct questions about reparations for Black Americans – and catch their responses on camera.
“I go to a lot of these events and aside from me asking these questions, nobody else is asking these questions,” Fowler said. “The topic of a legitimate Black Agenda, specific to Black Americans, will never come up. … My intention is to do what I’m doing in order to get the answers that we need as a community.”
Fowler, 37, is a native New Brunswick, New Jersey and grew up in South Carolina. A registered Democrat, he has posted footage on Twitter of interviews and attempts to get responses from an array of politicians and candidates.
They include Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Jim Clyburn, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, billionaire Tom Steyer, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and others. He has also spoken with officials in the campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.
In an exclusive interview with Moguldom, Fowler elaborated on what motivates him, his passion for Black people and his outlook on the upcoming presidential election.
“First and foremost, I’m an American citizen. I’m a voter; so when I use the term journalist, it’s something that I take the initiative to do because a lot of these official websites and news outlets aren’t doing what they need to do in order to ask the pertinent questions when it comes to reparations, when it comes to the Black Agenda, when it comes to Black people in general. So I feel like it’s up to me to step up and do my part,” Fowler told Moguldom.
Though he has been accused of ambushing politicians, Fowler said his goal is to take a stand for his community. He admits that his very first recorded interview with Clyburn on March 25, 2019 was “combative,” but said he has grown in his method of questioning since then.
“The word confrontation is a strong word, but I do it with the means of trying to get answers,” Fowler said. “I’m not trying to cause a ruckus. I’m not trying to cause mayhem. I’m not trying to clout chase; I genuinely want to get answers.”
A mental health counselor by day, Fowler said witnessing firsthand the adverse impact of systemic racism and oppression on Black people’s psyches motivates him to fight for reparations.
“The sense of social and emotional awareness and consciousness in a huge way ties into my passion for seeking justice, doing the right thing and getting some type of reciprocity for our people,” Fowler said.
It’s absurd to think Black people wouldn’t have deep-rooted psychological struggles, Fowler said. He highlighted issues such as slavery, Jim Crow, systemic deprivation of resources, being “bottom cast,” having generational wealth stolen, redlining, mass incarceration, gentrification, and emasculation of Black men, etc.
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“A lot of the mental health issues Black people deal with are based off things that are happening in their environment. … all these things happening with the economy, with society, with politics that hit Black America the hardest … Black men’s masculinity is almost outlawed in some ways … There are all these factors that are going on environmentally, so how can our mental health not be impacted?” Fowler said.
Fowler on the Democratic candidates
While he did give Steyer credit for “seeming like a great guy” as well as his and Marianne Williamson’s support of cash reparations, Fowler said no candidate impressed him enough to advocate for their campaigns.
“I don’t feel like anybody is speaking to Black America specifically,” Fowler said, adding the Democratic candidates “pretty much committed to attempting to ignore Black America.”
“At this point in time it’s a no for me for all of them quite frankly,” Fowler said. “There’s nobody who’s running right now that I would go out of my way to vote for because nobody is speaking to me as a Black millennial.”
When asked about his outlook on the overall election, Fowler doubled down on his criticism of the Democratic Party for taking the Black vote for granted.
“I think The Black Vote is a very potent vote. … I think what has Democrats kind of worried is they understand to decimate Trump, they need those huge Obama numbers like they got in in 2008, and to a lesser extent in 2012, but now you have this portion of Black America who’s asking that the Democratic party speak specifically to us,” Fowler said. “Quite frankly they’ve been so consumed with placating the white moderates, they’ve taken the Black vote for granted in a number of ways.”
Because of groups like #ADOS, Fowler said the days of leadership without accountably to Black American Descendants Of Slavery are over.
“We have been, without a shadow of doubt, the most loyal part of the Democratic base and yet we have reaped the least benefits by a long shot from the Democratic party,” Fowler said. “Well that’s changing now because you have a whole group of Black people who are requesting an agenda who are willing to … do whatever is necessary to get the Democrats’ attention. If they have to constantly lose over and over and over and over again in order for them to pay attention to us and speak to our needs, then we’re willing to do that because what else do we have to lose?”
Despite his party affiliation, Fowler said he is not bound by blind loyalty.
“I’m a registered Democrat, but I’m not committed to the Democratic party. I’m committed to whoever can provide a Black Agenda. The old folks used to say, ‘No matter what, vote Democrat.’ I don’t believe that. I think that’s almost suicidal as far as political maturity is concerned,” Fowler said.
When it comes to a candidate’s stance on reparations and cash reparations more specifically, Fowler said “a non-answer is an answer.”
As a Black man who can trace his ancestral lineage back to slaves in North Carolina, Fowler is unapologetic in advancing the #ADOS agenda.
“Ultimately my goal is to seek enlightenment and seek answers in a way that other people aren’t willing to,” Fowler said. “Reparations is not about a check. Reparations is not even solely economic. It’s about fully repairing the damage done to Black America … particularly American Descendants of Slavery.”