Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21
In his latest Newsmax commentary, Project 21 member Jerome Hudson assures that “all opinions matter.” That being said, he also counsels: “let us not fail to see the truth as it is and let it trump and persuade the ignorant.”
To make his point, Jerome invokes the opinions of celebrities – and women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe in particular. He notes that she is among the “latest wave” of athletes shunning the national anthem, and writes that there is “no need to bring more ink to this tired way of protesting.” But he does suggest:
[L]et her most ardent supporters (and those of us who like to support those who stand for the flag) remember that not everything that our more famous compatriots do is objectively truthful.
Hence the problem with political celebrity endorsements.
Jerome notes that “[i]t is natural to support a social media post by the famous persons that you agree with.” He explains that “[m]any of us feel as if we are a part of a community with our more celebrated brethren from the music industry or Hollywood when they (if they) share opinions like our own.”
But Jerome nonetheless believes that “the problem seems to come when we accept everything that they… write, post or say as being all truth and nothing but the truth.” Among celebrities, “it seems that it is more about how they feel too many times.” This is a problem.
As Jerome explains:
This kind of echo chamber behavior would never work in an actual court room, but in the court room of public opinion, too many celebrities win without laying out solid evidence for their case. Why would you even need evidence when the jury is basically stacked with your fan club?
Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham wrote an entire book about this in which she advised entertainers to Shut Up and Sing. She specifically told LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” after the basketball star called President Donald Trump a “bum.”
But it pays to be scrupulous with celebrity statements. Raquel Welch once told Larry King in an interview that there were 52 states. Camille Cosby (Bill’s wife) falsely claimed in a USA Today commentary that blacks would lose their right to vote when the Voting Rights Act expired (prompting a response from the Justice Department). And then there are the current accusations by celebrities such as Alyssa Milano that the Border Patrol operates concentration camps for illegal aliens.
So be vigilant about fact-free tweets and the like!
To read all of Jerome’s commentary for Newsmax – “The Political Opinions of Celebrities Matter But Facts Do Too” – click here.
When the radical and racial statements of Representative Ilhan Omar forced the congressional leadership to act, the result – after much agonizing – was a muddled resolution condemning a broad range of “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry” that did not actually address Omar directly. But these same leaders were quick to push for a vote on a resolution calling out President Donald Trump by name and assigning racism to his criticism of Omar and other arch-left members of Congress for their wide-ranging complaints and intentions to fundamentally change America.
Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, during a panel discussion on the Fox News Channel program “The Ingraham Angle,” said these members – now referred to as “The Squad” – are considered “too precious for anyone to criticize.” As for what they are saying, Horace declared “[t]here is hatred here” rather than with the President and his tweets.
Horace explained how the radicalism of The Squad – which is comprised of Representatives Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley – is based in a deep antagonism for America, and how President Trump’s comments were a common sense reaction to them:
People have to acknowledge what’s going on here. Their criticisms aren’t about improving America, aren’t about making some moderate changes. They literally do not accept America as it is.
The President called them out because our President loves this country.
In her discussion with Horace and fellow panelists Leo Terrell and Dr. Qanta Ahmed, host Laura Ingraham noted that President Trump is uniformly critical in these situations. She said that criticism of members of The Squad is not necessarily due to their race, suggesting that the President might also tweet something similar about someone who immigrated from France and professed similar complaints. Horace pointed out that President Trump did recently use such language about the British ambassador, who recently resigned in disgrace after leaked memos highlighted his disdain for the Trump Administration.
Horace said that President Trump was reacting to The Squad’s assault on American exceptionalism; it was The Squad’s attack on American ideals and opportunities – and not their races – that motivated his tweets. Horace said:
All the President was saying is: You don’t like this place. This place has been great. This place gives great opportunities. And you hate it. You don’t just dislike it. You don’t have mild criticisms. You hate it. Maybe you might be happier somewhere else. That’s all he was saying…
There’s nothing racist about that at all.
There is something curious about how this country has allowed people from every background to go to Congress, even to enter the White House, to join the Senate or even the mansions in California where the richest are. You can be any background in America – that’s what’s possible.
These people – they hate that.
Roseanne Barr essentially lost her career last year after she made vicious remarks on Twitter against former Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett. Barr claimed her tweets against Jarrett weren’t racist, but she was fired from the television show that she had created and which had jumpstarted her career.
After it was all over, a chastened Barr said, “I made a mistake obviously. It cost me everything, my life’s work. And I paid the price for it.” To Jarrett, she added: “I’m sorry you feel harmed and hurt because I never meant that.”
As they say in Hollywood, she’ll never work in that town again. But it seems different for liberals.
While not condoning Barr’s behavior, Project 21 is pointing out an apparent double standard when it comes to the treatment of bad behavior on the part of liberals and, in the case of Barr, those perceived to be conservative or who are actually conservative.
For instance, why did Megyn Kelly lose her talk show and get fired from her network for simply questioning the outrage over people dressing in blackface, when the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project uncovered that Joy Behar and Jimmy Kimmel never seemed to be in danger at their network (Roseanne’s network) despite having dressed in blackface.
And the same standard usually applies in politics. Days after Florida’s conservative Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned because photos surfaced of him in blackface during his youth, liberal Virginia Governor Ralph Northam admitted and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to being involved in similar incidents. Despite calls for their resignations, both stayed in office – with Northam reversing his admission and Herring still intending to run for governor in 2021.
It’s because of this double standard that Project 21 members want to help in “Raising the Barr” of decency.
“Raising the Barr” is a new blog from Project 21 that will call out the bad behavior of celebrities and politicians and the hypocritical reactions of the establishment when it comes to issues that hurt race relations. It asks: “Shouldn’t all celebrities be held to the same standard of decency as Roseanne Barr?”
As Project 21 member Derryck Green explains:
There’s absolutely no question that political and moral double standards exist between leftists and conservatives. To the point, the left doesn’t acknowledge, nor is capable of living up to, the standards it sets for conservatives.
Take racism, for example. Leftists have rushed to label Donald Trump, Jr. “racist” for retweeting a tweet – from a black man – that questions Senator Kamala Harris’ racial identity. Yet barely a peep was made when, while then-senator Barack Obama was running for president, “60 Minutes,” Time magazine and Stanley Crouch all questioned Obama’s racial identity – inquiring whether he was authentically black enough to garner the black vote.
Further, since the 2016 election, leftists have repeatedly called President Donald Trump a racist. But they haven’t repeatedly called Virginia Governor Ralph Northam a racist, even after he admitted and apologized – and later rescinded both – for being photographed in either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan costume in his medical school yearbook.
These double standards exist because the left refuses to judge itself by the standards to which it holds conservatives.
The first post in “Raising the Barr” talks about the U.S. Women’s National Team that recently won the World Cup. While there are those who see the players as role models, their actions – particularly the behavior of goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris – call into question whether they can appropriately fill that role.
Read the post by clicking here.
After a campaign of little substance, liberal President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used his inauguration to proclaim to the American people that the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” And then he went on to promote a radical agenda that transformed America while prolonging the suffering he vowed to address.
Modern liberals are still using the same sort of fearmongering to promote their agenda. And they promise an FDR-style transformation of America if they get their way. Their means of gaining power is usually through the demonization of President Donald Trump and his allies. But that tactic appears to be failing.
For example, people are recognizing that Trump policies are benefiting black America. Robert Johnson, the black billionaire who created BET, recently said he would give the President an “A+” for his handling of the economy and the effect it has had on black economic prospects.
In a discussion of liberal agendas on the Fox News Channel program “The Ingraham Angle,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper made the case that the quest for financial stability and prosperity motivates people more than fear:
Every American – black, white and brown – every American votes their own interests. And guess what? When the March on Washington – the original March on Washington – when Martin Luther King spoke – it was originally as a jobs rally because people want to have control over their lives and their destinies and improve the lives of their families.
This is what happened over the last two years of the Trump Administration. And they like it and they know it.
And it’s not just a theory. In the last election, this campaign of fear was not as successful as the liberals had hoped it would be. Horace gave the American people credit for knowing what they wanted and not succumbing to the fear tactic. He noted:
In 2018, they tried it with those “radicals” running in Georgia, running in Florida, running in Texas. And guess what? It wasn’t just white Americans – black Americans refused to vote for black candidates at the top of the ticket because they were talking crazy.
One of my favorite authors is Charles Murray. He wrote a book called Losing Ground. That’s what could be written – Losing Ground II – for what happened the [eight] years of the Obama Administration. In every single category, black Americans lost ground. Just like the rest of the country.
It isn’t true that… we are about where we were on Election Day. The truth is – from 2008 to 2016 – a whole lot of people lost a whole lot of their assets, their income and the livelihood. It started to turn around in the end.
In the days leading up to the White House-planned Independence Day “Salute to America” on the National Mall, there was a loud hue and cry from the media and the left about the event. Critics lamented the tanks that were brought in for display and the shifting of Park Service dollars to pay for events on or near the Mall.
Most importantly, and undoubtedly a shock to critics, the event was apolitical.
The left overpromised. The President under-delivered.
Before Donald J. Trump’s July 4 Salute to America, his foes described this event as, at best, a parade of partisanship, narcissism, racism and divisiveness. At worst, they billed it as a pageant of despotism or a prelude to martial law…
By 7:32 p.m., when Trump finished speaking at the Lincoln Memorial, he had reduced these hyperventilated warnings into flaccid windsocks. And those who had screamed from the rooftops looked like rejects from Klown Kollege.
Project 21 member Emery McClendon feels the “Salute to America” served a very important purpose for those who were able to take part in it or watch it. It’s something he hopes will continue. Emery writes:
Along with countless others, I agree that last week’s expanded Independence Day celebration in Washington, which President Trump dubbed a “Salute to America,” was a very monumental event.
And it took place at a critical time in our nation’s history.
The timing of our President in trying to bring this apolitical event to fruition is incredibly important.
Americans have become too divided. I pray it is not too late.
This was an event that should have united Americans and given us all a renewed sense of patriotism. But the media and others who bear ill-will toward our President and his supporters seemed willing to do everything they could to smear the celebration before it even got out of the planning stages.
This is an event that should have been televised on every major television network and given the opportunity to be admired by all Americans – regardless of their political leanings.
It didn’t happen because many of the media outlets chose to ignore the celebration altogether. Those that did cover it, like CNN, cut away for commercials and commentary that was disrespectful during a salute to our military.
As a result, many of our citizens missed a great opportunity to learn about our nation’s history, its greatness and the important role that many Americans played throughout our nation’s history – including the role of those who have served and are still serving in our armed forces to defend our freedom and the American Dream.
We need more events like the “Salute to America” to rebuild our love of God and country. We are finding ourselves lacking when it comes to the history of our nation and the knowledge of our founding principles. People need to be reminded, especially those who are younger and may never have properly learned this history at all.
It is time for all of us to reflect on what it means to be American. Our President, and those involved with planning this event, have given us a glimpse of why we should be proud of our country.
It’s our duty to celebrate and give a united salute: To America! And not just this year, but every year.
The entire “Salute to America” can be seen here.
A Newsmax columnist highlights Project 21 in a recent commentary about immigration policy, noting that the recommendations found in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” are being wholly ignored by the liberals’ political superstars.
Clarence V. McKee, commenting on liberal presidential candidates, writes that they “only care about protecting illegal immigrants; that is, giving them free health care and other benefits as well as decriminalizing illegal entry across our borders.”
He further suggests that “[a]ll other Americans — black, white, brown, veterans, seniors, the middle class, permanent residents, and naturalized citizens — are not a priority” to these liberal leaders.
As for a solution, he notes:
Project 21, an organization of black conservative leaders, supported the president’s enforcement policies to “stop the unfair strain on public services caused by illegal immigration.”
Its report, “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” observes that taxpayer funded programs are “being reduced or unavailable to black Americans in too many communities due to illegal residents taking advantage of them.”
Project 21’s Blueprint specifically states that black Americans “shouldn’t be forced to subsidize people who are not in the United States legally” For immigration reform, it recommends:
Echoing Project 21’s concerns, McKee writes:
Illegal immigration drives down wages in the low-skilled labor market and hurts blacks and others who are disproportionately concentrated in that sector…
What’s truly sad is the silence of most black civil rights and political leaders on the negative impact of illegal immigration on their own communities.
As for action on the Blueprint’s recommendations, McKee laments, “[t]hey haven’t seen anything yet!”
To read all of McKee’s commentary at Newsmax, click here.
Among his many accomplishments, Clarence V. McKee is a former chairman of the Florida Association of Broadcasters and former co-owner of WTVT-TV-Tampa. He has served on the boards of directors of Barnett Banks, Florida Power, Checker’s Drive-ins and American Life Insurance Company. During the presidential administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, he was vice chairman of the board of the Legal Services Corporation.
Colin Kaepernick take over Facebook?
For a short time, that was a concern some people had. While untrue, the environment that created it – the real censorship of conservatives and the refusal of Facebook to work with them – justifies people being on a hair trigger
Early on the morning on July 3, users of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger – all run by Facebook – began experiencing glitching on those apps. For a 12-hour period, people had problems uploading photos. For some conservatives, there were thoughts that this was on purpose.
The previous day, news broke that Nike recalled a new line of shoes featuring an American flag because the man who is the face of the company’s advertising – failed professional football player Colin Kaepernick – called the flag offensive. Conservatives were outraged, and many went to Facebook to protest Nike and Kaepernick by posting photos of the “Betsy Ross flag” that was on the recalled shoe.
Some of those people found their patriotic photos weren’t posting. It created an Orson Wells-“War of the Worlds” situation where people began believing and spreading the rumor that there was an effort by Facebook to censor the American flag. It was only, Facebook said, a technical issue.
But there’s reason enough to wonder. When the Nike story broke, the left reflexively railed against the Betsy Ross flag, calling it offensive today because it was flown during days when slavery was legal. Presidential candidate Julian Castro even compared it to the Confederate Battle Flag. In the current environment, it’s not going out on a limb to expect Facebook to quickly fall in line and perhaps start banning images of the flag.
The July 3 outage gave what was called a “peek behind the digital curtain” that showed how Facebook’s artificial intelligence (AI) was reading photos. It was recently alleged that Google is skewing its AI technology against conservatives, and also dissolved an AI advisory board over the inclusion of a prominent conservative in that board.
Facebook has also long been criticized for an anti-conservative bias, including:
The left – even its most radical elements – appears to be immune from such treatment. Groups like Antifa continue to have a seemingly unfettered presence on Facebook.
On the same day as Facebook’s photo outage, a coalition of conservatives challenged Facebook to do something about Antifa. Noting that there has not been a similar effort to de-platform Antifa on Facebook in a way similar to actions against conservatives, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said “Facebook is enabling these extremists to commit more violent acts and further spread their hateful message.”
FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. added:
By continuing to allow Antifa-related groups to spew hate on its platform, Facebook executives and its board of directors are now tacitly encouraging violence against conservatives. Facebook’s opposition to my proposal seeking ideological balance on the company’s board is proof positive that it has no interest in hearing from conservatives. But this latest instance of Antifa violence against conservative journalist Andy Ngo – and Facebook’s unwillingness to take down Antifa pages – proves that the company needs to hear from conservatives if it’s going to operate as a neutral platform.
Gary Bauer, a former presidential candidate who currently head American Values, said:
The hypocrisy of Facebook is stunning. It shamelessly censors conservative opinions while allowing Antifa, which routinely assaults journalists, to operate freely. The FBI has classified Antifa as “domestic terrorists.” Big Tech must be held accountable for its abuse of free speech.
The Great July 3 Social Media Blackout may have been a misunderstanding, but it shows the concerns that many have about the true freedom they have on these alleged open platforms. And the conservative movement’s desire for political neutrality on the part of Facebook and other Big Tech companies is paramount.
Nike made the stunning reversal after its advertising pitchman, failed football player Colin Kaepernick, called the flag offensive. In a press release, Project 21 member Christopher Arps said: “Unfortunately for Nike, they are going down the same disastrous path as ESPN by destroying their iconic brand with their political activism.”
On two Fox News Channel programs, Project 21 members and their views helped guide the discussion – providing an alternative to the leftist narrative that the “Betsy Ross flag,” the 13-stars-in-a-circle design recognized as America’s first flag that served as the national flag between 1777 and 1795 – is offensive, and that hiding it was a good move for Nike.
In a panel discussion on “The Ingraham Angle,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper told guest host Tammy Bruce that he has no disdain for any American flag and that “you’ll see one flying out on my house right now.”
Speaking on the controversy that Kaepernick created, and the eagerness of the left to validate his opinion while trampling on a flag that guided the American Revolution and hung above both inaugurations of the first black president with no complaints, Horace noted all of the controversy is either a sick gimmick or an ugly revelation of just how much the left hates America. He said:
Either we’re watching a fairly elaborate ritual or publicity stunt, or there’s out-and-out hate being manifested.
There isn’t any way to look at how someone can say they are offended by the idea that as we approach the Fourth of July – the day that this American concept came into being, a concept that has impacted the planet for good.
If you are offended by that, you either are part to hate, or it’s a publicity stunt. I don’t see any other options.
When panelist Anthony Tall tried to parse the discussion and say it is just the Ross flag he is against – claiming he’s proud of the current flag – Horace reminded him that his views were not shared by Kaepernick.
Critics complain that the Ross flag is insensitive to black Americans now because slavery was legal at the time the flag was flown as the national flag. But, undercutting Tall, the current flag flew during a time of segregation and Jim Crow laws. By that logic, Tall should be deferring to Kaepernick – who extends his opposition to the current flag because he believes America is “a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
On the program “Fox News @Night,” Christopher’s comment about Nike’s poor business decision to drop the shoe was the focus of a panel discussion featuring former congressman Jason Chaffetz and lawyer Robert Patillo.
So it is about the flag.
The liberal chattering class scolded the rest of us for being critical of failed professional football player Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during game-time observances of the national anthem. They said his protests on the field during the 2016-2017 NFL season was about more than a song or a flag.
In The Nation, Dave Zirin called it “willful ignorance” to think it was about the flag. He even alleged that “many in the mainstream media are being willfully obtuse in their headlines and reporting.” But even Zirin couldn’t put his finger on what exactly motivated the player protests that Kaepernick inspired. In his opinion, it was “police violence” and/or “racial inequity.” John Brennan, an Obama Administration CIA director, decided Kaepernick was against “racial injustice.” Brennan tweeted that Kaepernick knelt “not to disrespect our flag but to give meaning to the words of the preamble of our Constitution—’in order to form a more perfect union.’”
Did he though?
Brennan and Zirin made their assertions in 2018. It was two years earlier that Kaepernick clearly stated: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” That seems pretty clear. And he made his contempt for the flag even clearer when he was apparently able to single-handedly get Nike to possibly destroy an entire line of shoes because it featured the “Betsy Ross flag” with the 13 stars in a circle on each heel.
While the 50-star flag allegedly symbolized police violence, racial injustice/inequity and maybe even how Little Nas X not being recognized as a country singer, the flag on the shoe – which was a national flag between 1777 and 1795 – made Kaepernick think about when blacks were enslaved. This, by the way, was the flag at the time the Constitution was written an ratified. Did you know that, Mr. Brennan?
Is it the flag? In this case, yes it is.
And there could be a price to pay for Nike in that many people might not want to pay for Nike’s products after their capitulation of Kaepernick. Plenty of folks weren’t happy with Nike in 2018 when the company made Kaepernick the poster boy for their 30thanniversary of the “Just Do It” ad campaign This just opens old wounds and makes them deeper.
Already, many members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network spoke out against Nike’s decision to scrap its patriotic shoe line over Kaepernick’s complaint. In a press release, here’s what some of them said:
Adding to their voices is Project 21 member Richard Holt:
This is just another example of history gone wrong – a typical trope of the social justice warrior class.
The United States has spread democracy and freedom around the world since being founded in 1776. Nike should have held their ground – celebrating American history.
Colin Kaepernick doesn’t represent mainstream America, but you’d think Nike would know by now that the flag is an American staple. Without the people who made this flag, there would be no free country for Kaepernick to criticize nor a home base for the Nike company.
Kaepernick is just a loser. A flat-out loser who lost his NFL career and now wants to continue waging war on our cultural history and values.
Blacks are “at the back of the political bus” in the current intersectional pecking order of progressive priorities.
This observation was made by Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper in a recent segment on the syndicated “Armstrong Williams Show.” He was joined on the program by Shelby Emmett, another member of Project 21 who works as an attorney for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Horace, Shelby and political commentator Paris Dennard talked with Williams about possible black political realignment due to factors that include good policy results from the Trump Administration on issues of importance to black Americans and a growing disinterest toward those same concerns on the part of the liberal establishment.
Talking about the growing inattention, Shelby said she finds it “quite insulting,” and that black people are “very upset” that special interest groups are “stealing our narrative as black Americans.” She explained:
Anything from illegal immigration to transgender to whatever new group we’re creating now in this country is now: “Oh, it’s the new civil rights movement. It’s just as bad as what’s happening to you. It is your history.”
And I think a lot of black people are very upset about that.
Horace noted that the emphasis that the liberals place on these other groups’ issues is also being noticed. He suggested there is a growing gender-gap in political support for the liberal establishment in the black community. He referred to H.R. 40, the bill that would set up a commission to look into a formal apology and potential reparations for slavery, as an example of liberal intersectional priorities – saying that their emphasis on this bill “is actually a backfire.”
Horace pointed out:
Look at the LGBTQ community. Look at the Latino community. Look at the green-eco community. In the House of Representatives, run by the progressives today, they’re getting votes on real, comprehensive legislation – some of it amounting to trillions of dollars.
What are black Americans getting? A study! A study – that’s all that counts for you because now, with progressives, blacks are at the back of the political bus.
The order of operations. I don’t know who tops us, but black people have gone to the bottom in the narrative. And everyone else is taken hostage over it.
And they got real benefits. They get real priorities. Their issues are mattering.
And so when you see that you’re getting – now – better jobs, you’re getting better opportunity, you’re getting a brand new pickup truck. Or, if you’re not getting a brand new one, you’re getting a decently used pickup truck for the first time in 10 years.
You notice that. If someone wants your vote now, they need to tell you they’re gonna do better than that. And a study is not gonna count.
“The Armstrong Williams Show” can be found nationwide in 171 television markets.