Young Americans for Freedom club provides conversation space for conservatives


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The Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) club allows conservative voices at the high school to discuss without fear of backlash.

From organizing climate marches to sharing detailed infographics on racism, the high school community is not apprehensive to share its political ideas. However, according to the Young Americans for Freedom Club (YAF), this openness only exists for the political left.

YAF is a new club where conservative voices can congregate, discuss and debate ideas without fear of backlash.

Coming into the high school, sophomore and club chairman Romas Moore said he was disappointed that there was not a conservative group for him to express his ideas.

“I was always promised that I would find a group of ‘my own people’ where I could come together and I could talk. But to my disappointment, when I arrived at BHS last year there actually wasn’t one,” Moore said.

Moore came up with the idea to make his own club. Wanting more organization, he joined the nation-wide conservative group, “Young Americans for Freedom” and created a new chapter group. The organization gives them resources, a schedule and an official title.

As the name suggests, one of the core tenets of the club is freedom, particularly freedom of speech. Moore said he wanted to create a place for conservatives to express their ideas freely.

“I know that there are conservative students, there are those that have conservative views, and it’s important to just have those and synthesize them in one place where they don’t feel like they might be rejected outright,” Moore said.

The club advisor, Andre Derrien, said encouraging political conversations is incredibly important. Labelling himself a ‘right-of-center-independent’ who has voted for both Democrats and Republicans, he believes that a “dynamic tension” is essential for a healthy democracy.

“In a democracy, there has to be space for people to speak freely about what they think is the right thing to do to solve a problem or create a law, and it’s necessary to hear from multiple voices. One of the things I find fascinating about Massachusetts politics is that Massachusetts is clearly a deep-blue state but quite frequently it elects Republican governors,” Derrein said. “There’s going to be some give and take in trying to figure out things and trying to come up with compromises and creative solutions.”

Moore said the club plans to begin student-led conservative activism in the future, although there are no current plans set in stone.

“I hope that later this year, and in years to come, we will do more in terms of contacting and working with local Republicans who are running for senate or other positions of political power. Ultimately when the whole COVID thing dies down, I hope that we’re able to get into the activism part of what YAF is and we’ll be able to disseminate conservative ideas as well,” Moore said.

Clara Zoummar is the secretary of the YAF chapter. She became interested in politics mainly after the 2016 presidential election, and feels that there is an unfair stigma against people who hold even moderate conservative values like herself.

“Everyone thinks that we’re the bad guys and that we’re racist and homophobic. With this club we’re trying to get rid of that stigma, at least in BHS. It’s hard to even have a conversation right now with someone on the other side of the aisle,” Zoummar said.

Zoummar said that many of the club’s members, especially freshmen, wanted to join because they were worried about backlash that might come about from expressing their beliefs in a different setting.

“On the form to sign up for the club, there was a section explaining why they wanted to be part of the club. I noticed that the general theme in all of their answers was that they wanted to find other people who they could talk to about their opinions freely without being judged or harassed,” Zoummar said.

Derrien said he worried that in this divisive political climate, we are “losing our humanity” by losing an important sense of mutual, interpersonal respect.

“I know for me personally when I’m in front of a person, the last thing on my mind is their political position, because the person is so much more than what they think about a particular issue, like $15 minimum wage,” Derrien said. “Some issues can touch on very important things and people can get heated and feel deeply about them, but a single person is more valuable than a particular law or policy.”