Growing up in her grandfather’s Pentecostal church, Charrise Lane has always lived a Christian life. From first grade to her senior year of high school, the west Orlando native attended a predominantly Black private school, Victor Christian Academy. Lane has said she gave her heart to God in the first grade, but gave her life to God in her final year of high school.
The 21-year-old is a junior communications student at Bob Jones University in South Carolina with a minor in political science. She plans to become a lawyer specializing in constitutional law. She is also a pro-Black conservative and a first-time voter who has proudly proclaimed her vote for President Donald Trump in Tuesday’s election.
The registered Republican voter says she started her journey as a Trump supporter at the age of 17 during her senior year in high school, which was also when Trump first ran for office in 2016. However, at the time, Lane was too afraid to publicly support the political candidate due to the backlash she now continuously receives from her community, African Americans.
“It has been challenging because people judge me instead of getting to know me personally as a human being,” Lane said. “Yes, I have received backlash, and it has taken a toll on me personally. But, I have decided to keep going and not let what people say stop me from saying what I have to say.”
Since Lane publicly shared that she is a Trump supporter, she has received a rather significant following on social media platforms: , , and . On TikTok, the public figure speaks about politics and other topics regarding the 2020 presidential election and the Black community.
Many people say one cannot be pro-Black and pro-Trump. Lane sets the record straight and says it is possible to be both.
“I think that they [pro-Black and pro-Trump] can go together, I mean, I am an example,” Lane said in an interview with. “How can you kill all these [Black] babies that adds up over time, and then say you’re pro-Black? So for that, I would say yes, that can go together; you can be pro-Black and be pro-Trump.”
Lane’s following also agrees and offers their support for her being pro-Trump and pro-Black in America.
“As a young white conservative, I have absolutely no issue with you being ‘pro-Black’ or being proud of your black skin. For those who do have an issue with it have some catching up to do,” Instagram user @wrote under Lane’s post. “I think you are doing a great job at beginning that process and opening up that dialogue.”
However, being pro-Black and pro-Trump hasn’t been easy for Lane as she receives criticism from both political parties.
“I get heat from both sides for my politics. Some Democrats/Liberals tell me I cannot be pro-Black because I support Trump,” Lane said. “While some Republicans/Conservatives say I cannot be pro-Black because calling yourself pro-Black is racist. I don’t call Black people thugs and criminals, especially ones who faced police brutality.”
As many continue to shame and say derogatory comments to the public figure, Lane unapologetically continues to support the Trump-Pence administration mainly for Trump’s policies rather than his controversial personality.
The college student’s primary reason for voting for Trump is because he is pro-life. The debatable issue on pro-life in Lane’s eyes, and several other voters’, also support Black lives.
“Since Roe v. Wade passed in the Supreme Court, over 19 million Black babies have been murdered through abortion, which has since then cut down the Black population to thirteen percent,” Lane said in an interview with AfricaBlack. “Now that 19 million, that’s actually more than people dying in the Holocaust. Why would a politician stand for abortion when that’s the number one killer in the Black community and has proven to be? Think of how much more people we could’ve had in our community if we weren’t killing babies. So that’s one of the things I like about him [Trump].”
Lane backs Trump because she says he has put into practice everything he promised during his presidential campaign in 2016. For example, Lane explains how Trump’s promise to pass the prison reform bill, the “First Step Act,” has allowed several people on account of first-time drug offenses to be released from prison.
Crichanni Watson, a senior attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, shares how regardless of Lane’s beliefs, she doesn’t let that hinder her from being friends with Lane.
“I think she’s intelligent, strong and courageous. I don’t let my views deter me from learning new things,” said Watson. “I may not agree with all that she says, but I still give her the same respect I’d give someone I do agree with.”
In the beginning, Lane’s family didn’t approve of her political choice regarding the presidency, especially her father, a legal immigrant from Jamaica. However, over time, most of her family supported her decision to be a Trump supporter.
“I have lost people in the past, but we have reunited,” Lane said. “Some people support it, some don’t, but we all have respect for each other at the end of the day.”
Lane thinks that people’s beliefs shouldn’t matter when it comes to a relationship as long as people respect each other’s opinions.
Many may question why she supports a president who is seemingly against immigration, considering her father is a legal immigrant. Lane does wish the immigration process could be easier but reiterates how she and Trump are against illegal immigration — not legal.
“I don’t agree with it [illegal immigration] because it’s a crime,” Lane said in an interview with AfricaBlack. “You can’t be putting our people [African-Americans] in jail and calling them criminals and they’re American citizens, but when illegals come over here, you’re calling them undocumented immigrants instead of illegal aliens. It all depends on the term that you use, and if you are coming over here illegally, it’s a crime.”
Although her parents are divorced, Lane has four siblings, two older and two younger. Her younger siblings also support her beliefs, and she even inspired her youngest sister to be open about her support for Trump.
The infamous red “Make America Great Again” hat has symbolized a lot of purposes to different people across the nation. However, to Lane, the hat symbolizes bravery.
“It’s not a sign of hate to me. It’s a sign of bravery,” Lane said. “It’s letting people know they cannot bully me; they cannot judge me for my opinions, and that I have the right to my own opinions.”
Regardless of who Lane politically supports, she continues to advocate for her Black community as a pro-Black conservative and Christian. During the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer, Lane attended one of the protests in west Orlando, where instead of chanting like other protesters, she was praying for the safety of those around her.
As a first-time voter, Lane chose to vote by mail from South Carolina because of school. Lane said Trump is the right candidate to be re-elected because he fulfilled everything he promised in the 2016 election.
“A lot of people I know support school choice, are pro-life, don’t like high taxes, don’t support human trafficking, and support small businesses. Trump has policies concerning all of these,” she said.
With the election less than 24 hours away, Lane hopes her vote for the Trump administration won’t go unnoticed and unheard as Lane continues to advocate for change within her community.