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Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National
Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

CONSERVATIVEBLOG.ORG

Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

Google Needs More Diversity… of Opinion

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Alphabet, the parent company of Google, needs more diversity. It needs more diversity of viewpoint.

A new scandal involving the tech giant has National Center Senior Fellow Horace Cooper “very troubled.” He’s calling on company’s board to tear itself away from an obvious adherence to a hard-left agenda that he believes will ultimately be harmful to itself and consumers.

E-mails obtained by the Wall Street Journal indicate high-ranking Google staff contemplated changes to the company’s widely-used search engine that could have prejudiced results on the topic of immigration. While no action was apparently taken, the emails chronicled a discussion about the possibility of manipulating “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam,’ ‘Muslim,’ ’Iran,’ etc.” and “prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms `Mexico,’ `Hispanic,’ `Latino,’ etc.”

One executive reportedly replied being “very much in favor of Google stepping up,” asking others for input on “how partisan we want to be on this.” Another allegedly responded: “We’re absolutely in… Anything you need.” A company spokesman downplayed the emails as just a “brainstorm of ideas.”

On the Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.,” Horace told host Stuart Varney:

Our organization, the National Center, and its Free Enterprise Project, has been really, really hammering hard on the importance of the leadership of the Alphabet corporation – that they show that they understand that we are a diverse country. And there are conservatives and there are moderates and there are liberals – and that they are supposed to prosper by serving us all.

It looks to me – and this story reveals – there’s not that much interest in serving us all. There appears to be an interest more in a narrow hard-left agenda.

That is ultimately going to reflect in the stock valuation and the willingness of Congress to engage in regulation.

I call upon their board: reconsider this course.

This year, Alphabet opposed a shareholder proposal, brought by the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, to promote viewpoint diversity on its board of directors. As explained by FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq.: “We designed our proposal to urge Alphabet to take a broader view of diversity and consider a candidate’s belief system. This would help Alphabet overcome its obvious liberal groupthink problem and lead to more creative problem solving.”

Alphabet’s leadership opposed the FEP proposal, but did accept demands for a new rule requiring interviews of at least one female and one underrepresented minority for each open board spot. Danhof said: “Alphabet’s leadership did the exact opposite of what we suggested. In adopting this affirmative-action-type policy for its board selection process, the company is really creating a system that’s racist and sexist.”

A recently released video of a post-election company meeting that was held shortly after the 2016 election shows Alphabet and Google executives profoundly dismayed by the election results. The email discussion reported on by the Wall Street Journal occurred around President Donald Trump’s January 2017 inauguration.

Border Walls = Litter Prevention

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Environmental devastation across the U.S.-Mexico border is real, but the left says a border wall would make things worse. On the other hand, National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. thinks a wall would do well in deterring threats to the ecosystem.

In a recent article for the Arizona PBS affiliate about a report by the ACLU and other groups claiming a border wall would hurt the environment, Bonner said:

If you want to shut off the flow of people who demonstrably do cause environmental degradation now, on a very large scale on a local level, the best thing you can do is erect a barrier and keep these people out.

The threat illegal immigration poses to wildlife and critical habitat has been acknowledged and is being addressed by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

There has also been a lawsuit against the federal government on the issue. The Immigration Reform Law Institute is arguing that authorities are ignoring the National Environmental Policy Act by not enforcing border control, causing “the destruction of native species and habitats by trampling over the native vegetation; garbage dumping on a massive scale; water pollution; fires for the purposes of heat, cooking, or to distract Border Patrol agents (many of which turn out of control and destroy vast swaths of native land); not to mention the destruction of property, livestock, and the peaceful enjoyment of personal property.”

Arizona officials estimate that human trafficking produces more than 2,000 tons of trash in that state alone that must be handled through mutual public, private and tribal clean-up efforts. Yet the left suggests a static wall would somehow be a bigger threat to cultural sites, vast tracts of land and wildlife. As for wildlife, Bonner suggests inconvenienced animals will “just move on to someplace else.”

Migration? It’s legal for the animals to do so!

Putting this article quoting Bonner into perspective in this era of “fake news,” it’s worth noting that it was produced for Arizona PBS by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. That’s also one of the locations of News21, an investigative journalism program the National Center’s GroupSnoop program criticized in 2012 for being “sloppy and incomplete.” The National Center’s blog also posted a report that same year about the failings of the group’s analysis of voter fraud claims that has often been cited as proof that ballot integrity protections aren’t necessary.

What Did Colin Kaepernick Sacrifice?

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Roland Martin, who once had jobs at CNN and TVOne, is now hosting a new streaming webcast.

Having seen Project 21 member Christopher Arps’s recent Daily Caller commentary about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, Martin had Christopher on his show as one of his first guests to try to “school” him on the issue. Like some of the technical aspects of the less-than-a-month-old show, Martin wasn’t ready.

They focused their discussion on Colin Kaepernick, whose protests begat many copycats throughout the league that continue to this day.

While Martin claimed that Kaepernick’s inability to be signed is due to being “whiteballed” (a play on the term “blackballed” – get it?) by NFL owners, Kaepernick recently became the face of Nike’s new advertising campaign. In his commentary, Christopher wondered – considering the suffering of others – what Kaepernick has truly sacrificed by no longer playing football.

Questioned by Martin, he added:

I think with Colin Kaepernick – what you see with this situation – he may have lost, I don’t know, a few years of his football career. And we don’t know – his career may still continue.

But he has still been paid by Nike, and he has gotten a very large campaign – for this new Nike campaign where he’s going to be doing quite well. So… what has he sacrificed?

When Martin asked Christopher if he could name the exact value of Kaepernick’s Nike contract, Christopher replied that he didn’t know but that “I’m sure it’s much more than what you and I both make.” No challenge from Martin.

It’s likely in the many millions of dollars.

While the two went back and forth for almost 20 minutes, with Martin speaking over Christopher quite a few times, Christopher was nonetheless able to explain why the whole issue of players kneeling is hurting the NFL and the long-term profitability of the sport. This is why owners weren’t interested in signing Kaepernick:

I think part of the reason that he’s not being signed is because teams don’t want the publicity of what he brings. The bad publicity… You’re gonna have half of the fans in the stadium who are going to be rooting for him and the team, and you’re gonna have the other half – if they show up at the stadium – not rooting for him.

So, I think it was the same thing here when the Rams – Michael Sam, the gay player. No team wanted him. Part of it was because he wasn’t good enough to be in the NFL. But a lot of it – the team didn’t want the distraction that it brought.

Christopher pointed out that employers, including NFL team owners, should not have to accommodate employees – the players, in this case – protesting on the job and on the employer’s dime. Martin, apparently not realizing the limits of free speech in the private sector, asked: “The First [Amendment] allows for protest… So you’re mad that an American is exercising their right as an American to protest?”

Christopher then schooled Martin. He explained that, in a previous job as a UPS supervisor, he wore a Malcolm X t-shirt while subbing for one of his employees. Management asked him to change his attire because it was considered improper for that workplace. So he changed. “I was on my job. I was on their time.”

Just like Colin Kaepernick was. And now he’s not – but making a lot of money despite not currently playing a sport. So what was he forced to sacrifice?

Maxine Waters “Trivializes” Slavery with Immigration Analogy

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In her latest attack on President Trump, Representative Maxine Waters compared the enforcement of American immigration law to slavery. Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper rebutted her comments during a segment on the Fox News Channel, saying that such an outlandish comparison “trivializes” the plight of black slaves who were brought here against their will.

In a debate against attorney Leo Terrell on “The Ingraham Angle,” Horace suggested: “Let’s just admit it was over the top, and she shouldn’t have said it.” But Terrell, stridently defending the Waters claim, replied: “I think it’s a great position.”

During a recent event sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Waters made her analogy of illegal immigration to slavery based on how the law does not detain children in the same manner as it does adults who try to illegally cross America’s borders. “I know it is right to fight against separation of mothers and fathers and families because of what happened to us in slavery,” she claimed. “They separated us.”

Horace said:

Her trivializing chattel slavery from the 18thand 19thcentury, and comparing it to when people come to this country illegally, is unbelievably over the top, unnecessarily overheated rhetoric – and it’s painful to hear her say something like this and not be condemned by others.

Terrell chose to focus on those claiming to want asylum, and not on the many others who break the rules and enter the United States for the prospect of employment or other benefits. He claimed those who were caught were “victims without any type of recourse or redress.”

In debunking Terrell’s narrow assertions, Horace said:

For folks who use the race card for every single option to now turn around and say it can be just as casually used for people who come to this country – and, by the way, a few of them do come for asylum. But the overwhelming majority come here voluntarily to work. They seek to engage in labor. They do so unlawfully.

For those people to be treated the same as someone grabbed, kidnapped, put on a ship and brought here and forced to over their own will?

This whole country – we fought a civil war over this. That’s how serious that was. This? Trivial. It trivializes that.

Among the 57 policy recommendations in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” is a section that calls for an end to black households being forced to subsidize non-citizens. It is noted that illegal immigration has an estimated annual cost of $113 billion annually across various levels of government. Black citizens often pay more than their share for public assistance while the availability of programs and other assistance their taxes are supposed to pay for are reduced or unavailable because illegal residents are also accessing them.

To combat this inequitable distribution of services, access to educational opportunities and the undue financial burden it has on the black community, Project 21’s Blueprint specifically recommends:

  • Barring illegal aliens from accessing any public services, except emergency services.
  • Terminating federal funding of any social service agency that provides non-emergency services to illegal immigrants.
  • Prosecuting providers and recipients who allow scarce federally-funded social services to be used by non-citizens unlawfully in the country.
  • Ending states’ special programs for assisting unlawful immigrants and redirect those funds to needy citizens.

NRA Highlights Free Enterprise Project’s Investor Advocacy

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Over a dozen companies began an assault on the National Rifle Association immediately after the Parkland, Florida school shooting last February. Business deals were broken, and harsh words against 2nd Amendment freedoms were uttered. It’s something Justin Danhof, Esq., the director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), called an “inevitability” that fits an “all-too-common pattern.”

Justin recently authored a three-part series published by America’s First Freedom, one of the National Rifle Association’s most high-profile publications, that detailed how the left uses corporate America to try to roll back the constitutional right to keep and bear arms – among other things. (click here to read part 1, part 2 and part 3)

FEP attended dozens of corporate shareholder meetings this year alone – including ones where FEP representatives worked to protect the interests of gun rights during the meetings of Bank of America, United Airlines and Dick’s Sporting Goods. In venues where conservative and free-market advocacy is now sorely lacking, FEP openly and brazenly challenged corporate leaders on their hostility to gun owners, gun rights supporters and the Constitution itself.

Along with their assault on guns, leftists have used the strength of corporate America to do their bidding to halt the funding of free-market organizations, to oppose religious freedom, to remove gender restrictions in public bathrooms and more.

Justin wrote:

The repetition goes something like this: Leftist politicos and purveyors of fake news take up a cause. Radical activist groups create social media campaigns – such as #BoycottNRA – in an effort to bend businesses to their liberal will. Corporate America joins the fray, and that support is used to fund, bolster and justify the initial cause. It’s a simple yet decidedly effective pattern.

And when liberals find themselves out of power politically, as they do now (with conservatives controlling the White House, Congress, and a vast majority of state houses), this pattern goes into overdrive. When liberal political power wanes, corporate America becomes the left’s arbiter of morality…

As the director of the nation’s only full-time, conservative shareholder advocacy organization, I have witnessed these political battles firsthand. While the public advocacy efforts, buoyed by the mainstream media, play on the main stage, behind the scenes there is a massive progressive investment community that uses shareholder mechanisms to apply tremendous pressure on corporate America.

In the cases of legislation the left opposed but lacked political influence among state legislatures and governors, “it was corporations that moved the needle” and did the bidding of the radicals.

How did this happen? Justin chronicled a rise in liberal investor activism after corporate America and its representatives effectively beat back the proposed “Hillarycare” takeover of American health care in 1993. By 2009, after years of prodding from liberal investor activists, many of those same corporate entities fell into line with the left and actually backed much of the same scheme to bring health care under more government control when it resurfaced in the Obama Administration.

The left has become adept in its corporate strategy:

While there are many issues at play, one clear aspect was the dynamic rise in liberal investor activism. Until that time, investment activism was largely limited to good governance groups. However, the left soon realized the awesome power an engaged investor can wield over corporate actions.

There are currently dozens of liberal groups representing billions of dollars in assets that annually dedicate significant resources to influencing corporate America. They do so by filing shareholder proposals, staging protests, building social media campaigns and attending shareholder meetings. Perhaps the most powerful of these tools is the least well-known: shareholder proposals.

Liberal groups use shareholder proposals to shift corporate attitudes to the left on issues such as health care, the environment and philanthropy. Proposals provide the proponent direct access to high-level corporate executives. Corporations hate shareholder resolutions, so executive-level staff often negotiate terms for an agreement to withdraw a particular proposal. Liberal activists score major policy concessions as part of those negotiations.

This unassuming process is one of the ways that the left has been so influential at drawing corporations into its fold.

When that doesn’t work, there are always high-profile media campaigns like the heavy-handed effort to dry up corporate support for the free-enterprise-oriented American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Focusing on ALEC’s support of “stand your ground” laws, leftists used the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin to pressure businesses to drop their membership and support of ALEC:

Given the choice between fighting a public relations battle against liberal advocacy groups accusing your company of being racist and complicit in murder, or dropping your membership in ALEC, is it any wonder that so many corporate leaders chose the latter?

Call it advocacy, call it extortion – but it’s simple and it’s effective.

FEP is there, but it stands virtually alone in the fight to hold corporate America accountable for straying from the free-market and pro-liberty values necessary for economic prosperity and innovation. This is a problem. Justin pointed out:

If only liberals speak up on political topics, engage as investors, and “vote” with their wallets, then corporations have cover to offend conservatives with impunity. That’s why we at the Free Enterprise Project speak up for the silent majority on so many important constitutional and public policy concerns. But we need your help.

Without that help, the outcome is easy enough to figure:

[S]ince liberal shareholder activists exponentially outnumber conservative ones, corporate America has been drifting further to the left over the last decade and a half. That’s one reason why so many CEOs feel emboldened to take up liberal causes and dictate a progressive morality to the rest of us—they rarely encounter conservative pushback.

At the Free Enterprise Project, we are trying to level the playing field. We use the same investor instruments as the left does to counter corporate America’s moral virtue signaling.

Corporations virtue signal and carry water for liberal causes because the silence on the right makes it easy to do so. Conservatives rightfully see companies – large and small – as the driver of economic success that makes America the greatest country in the world. Therefore, conservatives, generally speaking, don’t boycott or protest or really bother businesses at all.

That silence has been at the peril of liberty.

And, as Justin explained, participation can be as easy as buying a few shares of a company’s stock in order to be able to attend the shareholder meeting and raise an issue:

Shareholder meetings provide a once-a-year forum in which CEOs directly answer questions from their investors. After the corporate backlash following Parkland, gun rights supporters had spoken on television, talk radio, online, and in person about their angst with corporate America’s moralizing and anti-Second Amendment stance, but the CEOs didn’t have to answer to any of that. When I confront them face-to-face, they don’t have a choice.

As chronicled in the series, FEP appearances did make a difference.

A public challenge to United was used by CNBC for a particularly harsh segment about United, and Inc. magazine did an informal survey of employees that showed disagreement with corporate leaders on guns and the NRA. Dick’s Sporting Goods executives were warned about their activism hurting their bottom line and shareholders’ return on investment – something they had to admit a few months later on an earning call with skeptical Wall Street heavyweights. And Justin’s pressure on Bank of America undoubtedly played a role in the company backtracking on a pledge not to make loans to certain gunmakers.

While companies deserve to have a political voice, it’s clear that not all companies are using it properly. They are sometimes being hijacked into supporting anti-business, anti-shareholder and anti-community positions because they think they are avoiding controversy. It’s up to conservatives to make sure they realize this radical drift is controversial and comes at a price.

Click here to read part 1, part 2 and part 3 of Justin’s series in America’s First Freedom.

Player Protests Cause Football Fans to Flee

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For the third consecutive year, the NFL’s first week ratings were lower than the previous season opener. The Washington Redskins, which boasts 50 straight years of sellout crowds, is risking that streak being broken for this weekend’s first home game despite having removed almost 10,000 seats over the past few seasons and discounting tickets on Groupon. Beer and food prices are falling at stadiums across the league as a potential way to lure fans back.

Of course, well-paid players ending their insistence on being able to protest racism/police violence/Colin Kaepernick’s not making the cut/America in general by kneeling or not showing up at all during the presentation of the colors and the national anthem could probably help boost ratings and ticket sales.  But the NFL capitulated to the players, and is now apparently paying the price.

In a new Daily Caller commentary, Project 21 member Christopher Arps writes that he is once again “ambivalent” about football season. “With ratings down for opening weekend,” Christopher noted, “I suspect many NFL fans are just like me.”

Christopher added:

In my view, fans believe it is disrespectful to kneel during the national anthem. We don’t want to see or hear someone’s political speech or opinions. We want to escape for a few hours to watch great athletes entertain us. Especially when we’ve paid a lot of money to watch.

I don’t know many jobs in America where you can protest societal grievances on your employer’s premises and time. I also don’t know many jobs where your employer has to allow you to negatively affect their financial bottom line.

Kaepernick and any NFL player has a right to express their First Amendment rights on their own time with their own resources. That’s the rub for so many of us content to miss the games.

His love for the game, Christopher explained, is compromised by the leftist hijacking of sport to become a tool of their protests. And protesting things like the claim that police violence is on the rise and targeting black Americans is pushing a false narrative undoubtedly causing once-loyal fans to equate players to Chicken Little and the boy who cried wolf:

[L]eftists have turned protest, once a tool of the truly powerless to get the attention of the powerful, into the first resort for anything they are unhappy about or don’t agree with.

Don’t like the outcome of an election? Protest! Don’t like the outcome of a jury verdict? Protest! Don’t like the fact you lost your job as a starting quarterback because you sucked? Protest!

Christopher didn’t watch any of the games last weekend. He may follow his beloved Dallas Cowboys. He may also take an interest in the post-season. But he won’t be watching like he did in the past. That means he won’t be watching the commercials or taking part in game-day traditions of snacking and such. On a large scale, this is going to affect NFL revenues and impact the crusading players. Maybe that will allow them to truly understand how important it is to fans that they respect the American flag.

To read Christopher’s Daily Caller commentary in its entirety, click here.

Billboard Markets Abortion in Black Community, Project 21 Responds

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It’s reported that 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in or near minority neighborhoods. Black women account for 28 percent of all abortions, far exceeding their proportion of the population.

When such disparities occur elsewhere, they are usually considered discriminatory. It should in this instance, too.

After all, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger wrote in 1938 that it is “a dangerous procedure to accept a way of life where the poor, ignorant, diseased and mentally and socially unfit maintain the stock of the population.” In a 1939 letter about the Birth Control Federation of America’s “Negro Project,” she explained nefarious ways of promoting abortion in the black community: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

This same sort of smoke and mirrors continues today. Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington spoke out against a new billboard campaign in Dallas that suggested abortion is “self-care” for black women. In an interview with American Family Radio’s One News Now, Stacy pointed out:

Last I checked, self-care is a manicure and pedicure or an afternoon out with friends. Abortion has eliminated almost 40 percent of the black population in America since Roe v. Wade.

The billboards, commissioned by The Afiya Center, read: “Black women take care of their families by taking care of themselves. Abortion is self-care.” In a tweet about the billboards, Stacy added that the abortion industry likening ending a life to “a day at the spa” for black women is troubling because they “don’t market this way to any other group.”

Stacy’s tweet received recognition from former congressman Allen B. West, who now lives in the Dallas area. He wrote that this campaign “demonstrates just how leftist North Texas is becoming.”

In an earlier interview with One News Now, Stacy criticized the billboard company for accepting such an ad, and suggested bringing its decision to do so up with other businesses using that company’s signs:

This advertising that they’re doing is such an insult to black women, black people, black babies and Americans in general that Outfront Billboards should have denied the request to run this ad. A backlash against them and anyone advertising on their billboard system would be an appropriate response.

Marsha Jones, the executive director of The Afiya Center, claimed to be shocked by the reaction of Washington, West and others. She told the local NBC affiliate, “[I]n a million years, I didn’t think that it would be this visceral.” That’s hard to believe, considering she sought to provoke confrontation. The Afiya Center commissioned its own billboards as a response to another billboard that appeared a month earlier at the behest of a local pastor and the Black Pro-Life Coalition that read: “Abortion is not healthcare. It hurts women and murders their babies.”

Jones told the local CW affiliate that the pro-life sign “sparked anger” in her. Her signs were an angry reply that, now that it has revealed an apparent callousness toward the notion of ending a life, she is trying to downplay as “creat[ing] conversation.”

Acknowledging the devastation that abortion has inflicted on the black community, Project 21 recommends a ban on race-specific abortions and the sale of fetal body parts as part of its “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.”They are among its suggestions for rebuilding ties between the black community and the faith-based organizations that have always been a stabilizing and strengthening force in them. Project 21 recommends the consideration of federal law similar to ones already adopted by eight states prohibiting gender-selection abortions. Such a law would require physicians to ascertain whether a mother wishes to abort her baby because of its ethnicity and, if this is the case, require the physician to inform the mother it is illegal to have an abortion based on race and refuse to perform the procedure. Civil and criminal penalties would be imposed for violations of the law.

Speaking about this Blueprint recommendation, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said:

Abortion is a billion-dollar enterprise. Planned Parenthood and other “family planning” providers profit handsomely from America’s silent genocide. But making a buck hasn’t stopped Planned Parenthood from sticking with its founder’s goals to go after blacks and the poor. Planned Parenthood clinics specifically locate near the neighborhoods of poor black women and as a result have achieved a devastating record: the’ve managed to kill the babies of five times as many women of color than whites. This targeting by race must end. No unborn child should ever lose his life because of the color of his skin.

Hard Truths Aired at Aretha’s Funeral

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At the funeral for legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin, Al Sharpton used his time to slam President Donald Trump, saying that the President needed to be taught the meaning of the word “respect.” Commentator Michael Eric Dyson reportedly screeched about the President: “You lugubrious leech, you dopey doppelgänger of deceit and deviance, you lethal liar, you dimwitted dictator, you foolish fascist. She ain’t work [sic] for you.”

There was an appeal for voter registration. The very controversial Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam was seated on the stage. Singer Ariana Grande performed in a barely-there dress (and was the subject of controversial touching by the officiating bishop).

Yet it was the eulogy given by Revered Jasper Williams, Jr. that caused the most controversy, and was called “distasteful.”

With all of these other things happening, what could Reverend Williams have possibly done to offend? He aired some hard truths about issues affecting black America, and how the community can fix a lot of these problems with a little bit of self-respect.

“At times, truth and the call for accountability can make us feel uncomfortable. However, in order for progress to be made in our communities, we must be willing to confront the realities that exist” said Demetrius Minor, a member of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network, who has been a youth minister and evangelist in his time.“It’s not meant to weaken or destroy us, but to strengthen our bonds with family and community.”

Reverend Williams is pastor emeritus of the Salem Baptist Church in Atlanta. He has long times to the Franklin family. Her eulogized Franklin’s father, civil rights activist and minister C.L. Franklin. In his rousing eulogy for Aretha, he made the case that “black America has lost its soul” by pointing out:

  • “Where is your soul, black man? As I look in your house, there are no fathers in the home no more.” He added that “as proud, beautiful and fine as our black women are, one thing a black woman cannot do, a black woman cannot raise a black boy to be a man.”
  • “Black lives will not matter, black lives ought not matter, black lives should not matter, black lives must not matter until black people start respecting black lives and stop killing ourselves.”
  • “There was a time when we as a race had a thriving economy. I remember we had our own little grocery stores. We had our own little hotels. They weren’t big and fancy, but they were ours. As bad as the days as Jim Crow and segregation were… it forced us to each other instead of forcing us on each other. We quickly come to realize that as a people, all we really have is one another.”

While comments on Twitter blasted Reverend Williams as everything from a homophobe to giving a “plantation-style speech,” Project 21 members say his eulogy for the Queen of Soul was a necessary dose of hard truths.

Project 21 member Donna Jackson, a graduate of the Charles H. Mason Theological Seminary in Memphis, said:

In the age of Trump, blaming the “other” has become all too popular. To my surprise, Reverend Williams reversed that scenario. Although the setting may not have been appropriate, I wholeheartedly agree with his community responsibility message.

Generational deterioration of the family has eroded the stability of the black community. I believe he rightly pointed out that we have to look inwardly to correct problems created by our own negligence. We currently have three generations of fatherless children. Far too often, our male figures have walked away from the responsibility of caring for their families and handed it over to the government. As a result, we have far too many dysfunctional youth exhibiting the kind of behavior that is destroying our communities. Incarceration is just a byproduct of the diminished low self-esteem and cries of help from those neglected offspring.

We need to deal with our inner issues before our circumstances in our communities will improve. As Reverend Williams noted, we can no longer blame the others without correcting our own shortfalls.

It was refreshing to see someone finally brave enough to acknowledge some painful truths. I believe that only by doing so can we move forward.

Project 21 member Derryck Green, Ph.D., who received his doctorate in theology and spiritual leadership at Azusa Pacific University in California, added:

Reverend Jasper Williams Jr.’s eulogy at Aretha Franklin’s memorial was, in many respects, an elegy on the death of moral, personal and cultural responsibility and respectability of American blacks.

His message has been labeled “controversial” because he committed the taboo – a sin, really – of blacks discussing their dirty laundry in public, particularly in front of white people. Furthermore, he did so in a manner that blamed black people rather than blaming white people.

What the Reverend said about black self-destruction was absolutely correct. Interestingly enough, what his critics miss is that – by emphasizing black accountability – Reverend Williams acknowledged black human dignity and his confidence that blacks can indeed control their own fate.

He was also right in issuing a clarion call to other preachers and ministers in churches across the country to be the shepherds of lost sheep, and to rebuild the moral foundation of black communities.

However, Reverend Williams neglected to mention that the needed moral redemption among American blacks will not materialize without transformational power of the Holy Spirit that accompanies a renewed life in Jesus Christ.

 

Nike Stinks Up the Stock Market

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After Nike announced Colin Kaepernick would be the poster child for the 30thanniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign, the sports apparel giant was blamed for pulling down the entire stock market in September 4 trading.

Justin Danhof, director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, called Nike’s move to honor the man whose actions largely began the practice of athletes and others kneeling during the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance at public events “a slap on the face to the company’s investors.”

The company had, at one point, lost $3.75 billion in value. People burned or otherwise destroyed Nike shoes, socks and other products they owned. #BoycottNike was the top trending Twitter topic. So much for investors’ return on their investment.

In a radio actuality produced by Justin, he added:

By promoting former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Nike is appealing to a small, radicalized market that supports Black Lives Matter and apparently hates the police. Just ask ESPN and the NFL how that’s working out for them.

FEP, which has participated in the last two Nike shareholder meetings, certainly has no lack of questions for this year. In 2016, Justin pressed Nike leaders to explain their support for removing gender barriers from North Carolina bathrooms. At the time, the company refused to directly address or adequately answer his questions. In 2017, they again refused to adequately answer about whether or not the radical positions of its leadership put conservative employees at risk.

 

“A Job Program Will Not Stop Cut-Throat Killers”

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You need to watch this video just to hear the anguished sighs of Leo Terrell.

Debating the issue of unrelenting violence in Chicago with Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper on the Fox News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Terrell tried to pin the problem of out-of-control violence in the Windy City on everybody but the ones who really deserve it – the criminal element.

In typical liberal style, Terrell complained a lack of jobs was the root cause of the high murder rate and other criminal activity plaguing the city.  But, as Horace explained, “[j]obs will never come to Chicago as long as it’s Beirut on Lake Michigan.”

Despite the great news about black employment prospects these days that Horace has cheered at other times, he pointed out in this debate that “[a] job program will not stop cut-throat killers.”

Cue Terrell’s sighs.

After a long diatribe about the need for jobs and his attempt to blame the lack of them on the policies of the White House and the governor of Illinois, host Laura Ingraham took Terrell to task. She declared: “Trump didn’t create Chicago… To imply that Trump caused Chicago is absurd and it will not stand.” She then turned the conversation over to Horace, who said:

Here’s the truth. The truth is it requires two basic techniques. You must increase the fear of apprehension on those who would mug, rob or rape grandma. The people who will not let Lucy go to school, and create an environment so Frank the father can’t get a job. You must obviously start with creating… a risk of apprehension.

For those individuals, once that risk is real – who do not change, who will not conform – they must be removed. That means five-, seven or ten-year sentences.

When that happens – which we know it worked. It worked in Richmond. It worked in New York City. It worked in Louisiana – New Orleans. It will work anywhere. When that happens, then we can talk about jobs and personal responsibility.

Throughout Horace’s statement, like Al Gore debating George W. Bush in 2000, Terrell’s hot mic picked up his multiple exacerbated exhales.

When Terrell tried the employment gambit again, saying local governments don’t create jobs, Horace contended: “We have set five records for low unemployment in just the first two years.” It’s just not able to apply to the areas of Chicago where criminals rule.

Clearly beaten, Terrell proceeded to interrupt Horace’s further explanation about how jobs can’t be created in such chaos by constantly interjecting “talking point.” Horace replied: “This is not a talking point. It’s a reality.”

When they can’t win, many people go low. And that’s exactly what Terrell did here.

 

 

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