Thirteen-year-old CJ Pearson became an Internet sensation in conservative circles this year by posting videos with titles like President Obama: Do you really love America?, criticizing Hillary Clinton, and joining the Ted Cruz campaign, Mediaite reports. It helped him amass 5 million viewers on his YouTube channel and 100,000 Facebook followers, according to CNN. But now the African-American teen says he can "no longer be a mouthpiece for conservatism." "I was tired of being a champion of a party that turned a blind eye to racial discrimination," Pearson says. "Tired of being a champion of any cause that denies equal rights to every American. Tired of being a champion of a party that doesn't care about the issues important to young people."
In an interview with CNN, Pearson says the video of a Laquan McDonald's death released this week spurred him to reevaluate his views. He says he doesn't want to be popular just because he's the "anti-Obama kid" or because he makes Republicans feel good about having a young person on their side. But he won't be joining the Democrats either. Pearson says he doesn't want to be tied to the ideology of either party. (Read more teenager stories.)