March 1st, 2012 | By Sonnie Johnson
There are two types of Conservatives I’ve met in my travels. One group constantly qualifies every statement they make and consider diversity a cause. Then there are the conservatives that say what they feel and never consider diversity because they focus on commonality from the beginning. Andrew Breitbart was the latter.
Most of the “tolerant left” who spew hate and evil, vile comments his way never got the chance to meet Andrew. They never got to see his upbeat tempo, his fearless exuberance, or his endless passion. They never got to experience his smile that melted your heart, his words that lit up your spirit, or childlike nature that made you shake your head in disbelief that he was the man that brought down ACORN, Anthony Weiner, and gave us the BIGS.
But their hate can’t replace what those of us who had the privilege of knowing Andrew will always remember. The first time I met him we were at the RightOnline conference. I saw him at the top of the escalator surrounded by people. I rushed up to get my chance to meet him and he spotted me the moment I reached the top. I stuck out my hand to shake his and as I tried to introduce myself, he grabbed me and hugged me and said “Hello, Sonnie. It’s great to finally meet you.” He invited me to lunch but I hadn’t even put my things in my room yet, so he stated, really demanded, I take down his phone number and call him when I was settled. Twenty people were surrounding him and he made me feel like the center of attention. That’s the Andrew Breitbart I knew.
When Andy Kaufman was spooked about a black face in The Undefeated, I fired back with a scathing article. Many news organizations, radio shows and online publications contacted me for an interview. Every single one of them focused on media bias and unfair treatment of conservatives. Andrew Breitbart was hosting the Dennis Miller show that week and invited me on as a guest. I just knew he would spend the entire time talking about alleged racism in the Tea Party or the Left’s attack on blacks on the right, instead we spoke about my mission, God, and how we were going to save this country. He never once brought up Kaufman. That was the Andrew Breitbart I knew.
This year at #CPAC Andrew requested that I introduce him. I took it as an honor. I sent him a copy of my intro and sent me a tweet saying he was glad I accepted. When I arrived at CPAC I asked him what he thought of my intro. He said he didn’t read it; he trusted me to say what needed to be said. As we sat in the room waiting for Andrew to give his KEYNOTE speech, he grabbed a piece of paper and started to jot down little notes. I asked him what he was doing, he said “writing my speech”. As we stood behind the big screen and waited to take the stage, I started to feel the butterflies in my stomach. He looked at me, holding my stomach, and said “this sounds like some hard core porn music”. I laughed uncontrollably and said Thank You for reminding me who I’m introducing.” That is the Andrew Breitbart I knew.
But the one thing that sticks out in my mind the most was leaving the stage as he walked on. He grabbed me and hugged me so tight. I was trying to give him the stage he rightfully deserved and he looked me dead in my eyes and said Thank You. That is the Andrew Breitbart I choose to remember.
I never got to meet his wife or his kids. I would’ve told them thank you for sharing him with us. Thank you for handling the attacks and lies and letting him be who God put him on this earth to be. Thank you for allowing him to inspire so many of us to stand up and fight for the country we love. Thank you for being the reason he fought. Just Thank You, God Bless You, and know that you are in our prayers.
But…..OUR TEARS CAN’T LAST for there is still work to be done. Andrew Breitbart did not want followers. HE WANTED LEADERS. He wanted those of us who felt afraid to speak our beliefs to be silent no more. He wanted us to know our voice was as powerful and necessary as any on the left. He wanted us to understand WE THE PEOPLE are the last line of defense for this country and our silence could no longer be accepted. He wanted us to know the -isms (racism, sexism) shouldn’t scare us but should embolden us. But most of all, he wanted us to know we weren’t alone and if he could do it there was no reason we couldn’t.
Now the question is will you remember Andrew Breitbart with a tweet, a blog, a radio show, or with results. You only have two choices America or Occupy. Decide.