Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21
You may not recognize Ben Crump’s name or face, but there’s no way you don’t recognize his handiwork.
A lawyer for the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Jacob Blake, Crump is practicing what Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper calls “a new strategy” for pushing what Crump and his allies consider civil rights progress.
In a Newsmax commentary, Horace laments that this new strategy relies upon “using individuals whose lives and behavior are a wholesale rejection of American culture” and employs “a new and ever-expanding definition of equality and civil rights grievance” that “denies the significant racial progress America has made.”
Why has this happened? Horace suggests race relations in America have gotten to a point where things have become so serene that hyperbole is the only way that those who trade in race can maintain their bases of power:
Perhaps because racism and bigotry have receded so far from the center of the public square that efforts to rally our nation into a race or equality discussion isn’t as easy to initiate and for those who “profit” from this discussion, it certainly wasn’t as lucrative.
And there is a definitive downside, since by-products of this new strategy including worsening race relations and the accusations and flared tempers we now see on a regular basis:
As night follows day, once [Crump] shows up so do the protestors and soon thereafter the looters.
Coincidentally, the protests and looting end once a settlement agreement is reached. Lucrative for his law firm, and painful for the rest of America.
While this has benefited Crump and those who subscribe to this new strategy, it’s led to billions of dollars of damage to our cities, devastated businesses (many of them black-owned) and more unjustified deaths than were originally being protested. It’s also being used by the radical left to try to tear down our nation’s cherished institutions that have created a society that was quickly fixing and atoning for the racial disparities of its past.
All of this also does a great disservice to the legacy of civil rights icons such as Rosa Parks, whom Horace notes epitomized the way the civil rights movement successfully sought justice:
[That] model – supporting upstanding members of the community when their rights are violated – proved highly successful and ultimately led to a broad consensus in America for the full implementation of our Founders’ vision of citizen equality before the law.
One major additional achievement was that it was an occasion for blacks and whites to work together albeit at great sacrifice – personal and financial.
But those days are over, thanks to people like Crump:
Redefining civil rights to include a license for criminality has taken the noble cause of racial equality down an unfortunate path that must be reversed.
Black America must reject the temptation to support this initiative.
Horace advises: “Elites in the media and within the civil rights community would be well served to remember Rosa Parks’s legacy. She was decent and morally upright.”
To read all of Horace’s Newsmax commentary – “Blacks Must Reject Redefining Civil Rights to License Crime” – click here.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has hit a very bumpy patch of pavement. Caught trying to go woke, it is now on the defensive to avoid losing customers and going broke.
But Scott warns that Goodyear “had better act quickly, clearly and loudly” in order to retain its conservative and moderate customers – presumably the most reliable customer base for the company’s automotive products. All of this is necessary because, in a competitive marketplace, Goodyear’s decision to endorse a political message has made it “vulnerable to getting crushed.”
Recent reports indicate that Goodyear was promoting a selective “zero tolerance” dress code for workers in its Topeka factory. While allowing “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) and pro-homosexual messages on clothing, it would not allow “blue lives matter,” “all lives matter” or pro-Trump messages.
After the company’s initial denial was found to be less than truthful when both visual and audio evidence became available, the company issued a statement that employees “can express support for law enforcement through apparel at Goodyear facilities.”
Partisan clothing is still banned due to “a longstanding corporate policy that asks associates to refrain from workplace expressions in support of any candidate or political party.” Fair enough. A workplace should be politically neutral.
While all of this is a good start, Scott writes that Goodyear “must do more” to stay neutral:
Only real, enforceable guarantees that Goodyear will not discriminate against its employees because of their views seem fit to end this controversy and allow the company to retain the vast swathe of disaffected customers who now look set quietly to buy their tires elsewhere.
Scott notes that the initial denial from the higher-ups at Goodyear was “crawling with weasel words,” and that even the allowance for pro-police sentiment on workers’ clothing still “aggressively misses the point.” In the initial policy, the company took a stand that it has not clarified or denied:
[T]he company seems to have determined that BLM, and everything that the organization and its leaders endorse, is neutral and to be celebrated, because it relates to “social justice or inequity or equity,” while other opinions and positions – either opposing or simply incongruous – are so inflammatory as to require immediate dismissal…
But there is no way to declare BLM’s and its allies’ undeniably race-based and race-ranking theories to be inarguably neutral, beneficent policies so definitely in clear-eyed pursuit of “justice” that they transcend politics.
So what’s the existential threat to Goodyear? Scott points out that “the average tire buyer is not likely to think fondly of Goodyear’s straight-up discrimination.” And there is nothing that Goodyear makes that cannot be supplied by a competitor.
That’s why this requires the kind of action that FEP has been advocating for years:
What Goodyear must do now is to write real, enforceable viewpoint-discrimination protections into its employee hiring and retention policies. It must treat all employees, and all ideas that any of those employees espouse, equally. This doesn’t mean that it must make Goodyear a political and philosophical free-for-all. It could ban all expressive garb. Or, for all employees and all of their ideas, it could ban anything connected with candidates, parties and campaigns, but allow expression in support of ideas (which would include support for Black, Blue and All Lives Matter, and all sorts of other philosophical expressions) on an equal footing. There is a long spectrum of possibilities, so long as Goodyear makes no distinction between employees of different viewpoints.
For years, FEP has submitted shareholder proposals at publicly traded companies asking for them to institute employee protections against discrimination both for their political activity outside the workplace as well as their political beliefs in general.
It’s time for Goodyear to join companies such as Walmart, Pepsi and Walgreens in making sure employees are free from political persecution in the workplace.
In this partisan environment – where executives have a responsibility to investors, employees and consumers – big business needs to move back to neutral when it comes to politics.
To read all of Scott’s commentary – “How to Turn Around Goodyear’s Very Bad Week? Viewpoint Equality” – at the Townhall website, click here.
Appreciation of Beethoven and Mozart is apparently now a sign of white supremacy.
According to the New Yorker magazine, America’s “white majority tended to adopt European music as a badge of its supremacy.” And the Vox website reports that classism related to the appreciation of classical music is hurtful because it reminds women and minorities of “exclusion and elitism” that is targeting them or has targeted them.
Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper called this most recent effort to tear down Western culture “really, really dismaying.” In a discussion on the Fox News Channel program “Fox News @ Night” with host Shannon Bream and KTTH-Seattle talk radio host Jason Rantz, Horace said this assault on a form of entertainment that may be largely appreciated and performed by whites still has “almost no logic or reason whatsoever” behind it.
New Yorker music critic Alex Ross focused his rage by calling the modern faults with classical music “an American problem.” He pushed the systemic racism narrative found at the tip of the left’s spear in its crusade to tear down and rebuild America by its specifications. Tearing down Ross’s claim, Horace said that opportunity – a facet of American culture that has been a key element in making the nation more equal since its founding – can reshape classical music’s demographics at any time.
History is on Horace’s side. He explained to Bream and Rantz how the leftist media’s criticisms lack intellectual merit:
There was a time in America when pop music, when rock music, was overwhelmingly dominated by whites and blacks weren’t encouraged to participate. There was a time when entertainment – in movies and on television – was the same way.
You know what changed? It had nothing to do with some concentrated effort to end “white supremacy.” Talented people – when they were given a shot – participated. And it turned out that there were so many talented people. They dominated. In fact, you see this in sports. You see this in entertainment.
And if black Americans or any other group is interested in classical music, and they wish to participate, and they are talented, they will be welcomed and they will be celebrated.
Commenting on the veracity of this leftist media assault on classical music, Horace added:
It’s just sad that someone would want to make this argument in this way as an example of bigotry when it’s just – the logic and data just don’t show it.
And, similar to the recently discredited critical race theory poster that was distributed by the Smithsonian Institution that attributed stable families, hard work and delayed gratification as white racial traits, the Vox article also suggested that accepted behavior in classical music venues serves as a “gatekeeper” that is “policing who’s in and who’s out” at concerts.
Besides only clapping at certain points and remaining seated during a performance, Bream noted that expecting people to arrive on time for a concert is also an apparent sign of intolerance.
Horace was insulted by this notion:
Saying being on time is somehow a white supremacy idea?
I mean, this bigotry that undergirds the so-called move toward tolerance is really, really shocking.
In a new commentary for Congressional Quarterly, National Center President David A. Ridenour asserts that the Trump Administration’s decision to begin the process of withdrawing the United States from the United Nations’s World Health Organization (WHO) is “well-timed.”
The July 7 announcement that began a year-long process of withdrawal also gives the WHO “ample time to show it is making good-faith efforts to reform” itself.
In a pro-con feature, Carolyn Reynolds – co-founder of the Pandemic Action Network – tries to counter David by asserting that the president’s action was “scapegoating.” She claimed that “America needs the WHO, and the WHO needs America.”
But, as David explains, what the WHO needs from America is pressure to fix itself. No matter what Reynolds can say about past accomplishments, the agency’s recent performance proves a need for “urgent reform.” The clock for a U.S. pullout promises “the leverage to secure meaningful reform.”
David notes that the WHO’s “handling of every pandemic this century has been disastrous.” This includes:
He points out:
The WHO’s disastrous responses to H1N1 and Ebola triggered multiple investigations. Now, under member pressure, the agency is submitting to another one. But it does not need more investigation: It needs to implement past investigations’ recommendations.
As for specific reforms, David recommends:
“President Trump’s proposed withdrawal,” David writes, “is the vehicle for achieving this.”
To read all of David’s commentary in Congressional Quarterly (subscription required), click here.
With professional football set to kick off in a blaze of social justice glory, the future of the sport may be at risk.
In a new commentary for InsideSources, National Center Vice President David W. Almasi writes that National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell “has abdicated authority to the woke scolds.” David suggests that it is up to team owner Dan Snyder to bring things back to neutral before it’s too late.
“While it’s unclear what might emerge from this Pandora’s huddle,” David notes, “it does seem likely to turn off many loyal fans.”
This year it is expected that players will be allowed to kneel for the national anthem – and will do so in large numbers. Polling already indicates that this will have an impact on fans:
A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll found a majority of NFL fans want players standing. More important, fans opposed to kneeling expect to watch markedly fewer games (and the lucrative commercials that play during them) once the NFL goes woke.
That’s where Snyder can be key. He is the owner of the former Washington Redskins. He was pressured to change the team’s name a few months ago after years of pressure peaked during the initial Black Lives Matter rioting. David points out that Snyder has created “a unique opportunity” to “make a statement about the politicization of professional sports.”
David urges Snyder to take things over the top and “make gameday a politically correct spectacle”:
In a stroke of genius, [Snyder] didn’t quickly settle on a new name. For now, the controversial former Washington Redskins are the bland Washington Football Team. Critics call this “ridiculous,” but it’s certainly not offending anyone like the Vikings, Chiefs and 49ers do.
It’s time to go the full nine yards. It’s time for Snyder to take one for the team. It’s time for him to take one for the NFL.
Among David’s suggestions to Snyder:
When it comes to anthems and kneeling and anything else political, ban it all:
[N]o anthems. No national anthem, no Black national anthem. No bands. No tributes to veterans, volunteers or victims.
In other words, no fun.
“In making a spectacle, at least for one game,” David writes, “the Washington Football Team could draw enough attention to football’s dystopian future to bring sanity back to sports.”
To read all of David’s commentary – “Washington Owner Could De-Politicize NFL by Making It Boring” – which has appeared in newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel, Rome News-Tribune and Finger Lakes Times, click here.
InsideSources syndicates to almost 300 newspapers nationwide with a readership of over 25 million people.
On MSNBC, Yamiche Alcindor – the White House correspondent for taxpayer-subsidized PBS – claimed that black Americans “understand that they are being treated like second-class citizens” by the Trump Administration and its conservative supporters and that they are “simply fed up.”
Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper contends that nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, he believes that there is “a reckoning coming” as the differences between how conservative and liberal policies affect black Americans, and Americans in general, are becoming more apparent. This vast ocean of difference “is really what’s gonna be the deciding factor for black Americans” when it comes to the possibility of a political realignment.
In an interview with Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle,” Horace explained that conservatives are seeking to meet the actual needs faced by black Americans while liberals are playing on fear and prioritizing extreme issues in their name:
[Y]ou’ve got conservative policies that are good for your family, good for your pocketbook, good for your communities.
Black Americans are saying we want more law enforcement – we don’t want to defund the police. Black Americans are saying we want better schools. We want school choice. And black Americans are increasingly [asking]: “Why are abortion clinics only in our communities?”
On the other hand, the progressives are going around saying misgendering – that’s the biggest problem that faces your community, and we’re gonna make sure that that’s a priority. Oh, by the way, don’t let the bad boogeyman racists get their way.
That’s about the extent of what our options are…
Horace also believes the Trump Administration doesn’t deserve the amount of demonization it has received from the mainstream media:
We had eight years of the Obama-Biden policies, where black Americans suffered at the front of the line. Lost more jobs. Had to have more food stamps. Lost opportunity. Didn’t get the keep their houses due to foreclosures.
It is going to be very difficult to trick people into saying the racial boogeyman is so bad that I want to wipe out all of your economic opportunity.
And, by the way, you contrast that with what happened over the last three years – this is recent. The American people, particularly black Americans, are saying they won’t be fooled again.
Despite Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler claiming “[t]here is no place for looting, arson or vandalism in our city,” there have been nightly protests there – with well over a dozen incidents classified as riots causing tens of millions of dollars in property damage.
After President Donald Trump offered federal assistance to restore peace to the City of Roses, Wheeler rebuked the White House in an open letter, saying “[n]o thanks” and that “we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face.”
He made this assertion as he prepares to move from his luxury condo – saving his neighbors any more of the multiple attacks on the building by the same protesters with whom he seems to think he is in good stead.
What we’ve been looking at is a situation where people are finding rioting, looting, arson and mayhem, and it’s caused by groups that have been around for some time. And they’ve been coddled by the left and progressives.
Horace noted that there has been “a lot of pushback” on the president’s efforts to work with mayors and governors to re-establish order and bring offenders to justice in these crime-plagued areas. And he added that even though anarchy seems to reign in cities such as Portland, Seattle and Chicago, there are a “large number of critics – both in the media and among progressives – who said that [federal assistance] was a step much too far.”
But with politicians such as Wheeler trying to put the blame for the urban unrest on President Trump, Horace remarked:
You can’t have it both ways. Either you can let the president and others… take the actions necessary to stop the problem or you can wait 90 days then say “we blame the president for his failure to stop a problem that we opposed him attempting to stop.”
In the panel discussion, liberal commentator Ethan Bearman argued that federalism precluded the president from employing resources such as the National Guard. Horace replied, “That’s not true!” He explained:
The Constitution explicitly gives the president the authority to quell insurrections. And that’s what we are seeing.
This is a legal, lawful power. And it has been exercised by presidents since Eisenhower.
Too many liberal shareholder proposals enjoy undue influence. That’s because fund managers who control vast amounts of stock owned by other people have “farmed their duty” of due diligence out to politicized proxy advisory services – relying on third-party advice on how shares should be voted.
But the government has issued a new rule that makes fund managers more transparent and beholden to the interests of their clients. For smaller investors, it may be a shock to find that – until now – their investments have likely been used to support causes they don’t agree with, at an undue risk to their own bottom line.
In a Townhall commentary, Scott Shepard – the deputy director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project – writes that this new rule announced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requiring proxy advisory services to “provide their clients with corporations’ rebuttals to the services’ advice” is a win for accountability to investors as well as a strike against proposals that are “business-stifling and overly political.”
Every shareholder season, there are literally hundreds of left-wing proposals promoted as good for corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. But Scott notes that this is not always the case:
Most of the time, these ESG proposals… are not well-reasoned, politically neutral attempts to advance their stated purposes. Instead, they are partisan proposals backed up by self-serving and incomplete research into the efficacy of the proposal on the company at which it has been made.
And, too often, these ESG proposals are either accepted by businesses, passed because of these fund manager/proxy advisory services alliances, or receive a large enough number of votes at shareholder meetings to make an impact on corporate policy.
Hence the threat of the enormous influence of shadowy proxy advisory services.
As Scott explains, the government’s new rule addresses the problem that these proxy advisory services previously “had no obligation to explain the rationale for their recommendations or share any conflicting information (even from the target corporation) with their clients.”
Scott continues: “Too many risks and too much evidence have been ignored.”
Under the new rule, “[t]he SEC has reminded fund managers that they cannot avoid their fiduciary duties to their clients simply by relying on the black-box mechanisms of proxy advisor.” This means it “will require the fund manager to reach an objective and properly researched conclusion about the economic value of the proposal to the shareholders.”
Scott suggests multiple outcomes:
One of three things is likely to happen as a result of the SEC’s new rule. The quality of ESG-backers’ research in favor of their proposals could improve. The proposals themselves could become more genuinely about improving firms’ value rather than jamming left-wing politics into the shareholder proposal process. Or the number of such proposals offered each year might decrease.
He added that “[a]ny of these results would be a win.”
To read all of Scott’s Townhall commentary – “New SEC Rules May Force More Honesty From ESG Proponents” – click here.
As American cities burn and businesses are destroyed, the media is brazenly portraying rioting and looting as peaceful. Even when the violence is undeniable, like when MSNBC’s Ali Velshi reported in front a burning building in Minneapolis, the level of chaos and its consequences are downplayed. In that particular instance, Velshi suggested to viewers that things were “not, generally speaking, unruly.”
On the Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Carlson asked Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper: “Who is helped by transparent lying?” and “What’s the upside” for the media to water down their coverage of anarchy?
Horace said misreporting helps the “problem-solving class” that is seeking to promote the left-wing agenda of the rioters through calmer means. And the media aids them by advancing a narrative that this is simply unrest instead of outright mayhem:
It is remarkable how this behavior, which is so harmful to the American people, and particularly to the minority community, is being promoted as a positive by our media.
Carlson told Horace that he made “such as smart point.”
Horace injected some humor into his analysis of the situation:
Clearly, the problem-solving class benefits from it. But not the people who pay the bills. And not the people for whom these services are supposed to be provided.
When it’s “fiery, but peaceful,” it’s reminiscent to me of someone saying, “Hey, drink this glass of water – I’ve just put a couple of taps of urine in it, but it’s mostly water.”
A little bit of something bad ruins things.
Horace also pointed out that the mob’s behavior creates winners and losers, with those who are the most at risk suffering the greatest:
More Americans – since the start of the “peaceful protests” – have lost their businesses and their livelihoods. More Americans have died – some three to four times as many American have died – as a result of this period of “defund the police” and “peaceful protest” than were the number of people that we say we’re concerned about.
Earlier this year, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) took this media bias issue to the annual shareholder meeting of Comcast, MSNBC’s parent company. Presented with the Velshi segment by an FEP representative, CEO Brian Roberts said, “I think the coverage continues to inform and educate our society.”
Obviously, in this case, the media and its bosses have indicated they see no reason to end their complicit behavior.
To read the Fox News article about this interview of Project 21’s Horace Cooper by Tucker Carlson, click here.
While the left complains about “structural racism” and “systemic racism” being so prevalent in American culture, it’s important to note that festering racial animosity is actually cultivated and maintained by those same people on the left who then complain about it.
That’s what Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper pointed out during a recent appearance on the Salem Media Group’s “America First” podcast with former Trump Administration senior advisor Sebastian Gorka.
Gorka bluntly posed the question to Horace: “Where, on the political palate in America today, do we find the most divisive actions and voices when it comes to race relations?”
Clearly on the left. Clearly on the far left. What we have been seeing is a coordinated effort to make this country believe that the only way for us to organize ourselves is on the basis of race.
Horace went on to explain that as part of the left’s strategy to control the political agenda through “collective guilt,” certain racial groups are allowed to promote their perceived pain while others are told their concerns really don’t matter:
[W]e have created a problem where people are told – if they have a struggle, if they have a setback, if they have a difficulty, and they’re black or brown – it’s okay to express those struggles and attribute them to their race. But if you’re not black or brown and you have a setback, you have a struggle, you have a difficulty – you’re supposed to say “Suck it up, Buttercup, I don’t have problems”…
All Americans ought to be free to express those [thoughts] and not be told – as the radical left says… only a few people in America have any problems, and only those people are free to attribute to every other person not like them as the cause of their problems.
But there are efforts to tear down the left’s structural racism. One of these efforts, being spearheaded by the White House, focuses on one of the most politically toxic of environments – higher education.
The Trump Administration recently informed Yale University that a Justice Department investigation found the institution in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it actively discriminates against white and Asian-American applicants. This discrimination, Horace explained, “singled out, properly” a process diminishing the test scores, grades and accomplishments of talented students who might otherwise be offered admission but for them not meeting the school’s preferred racial demographics.
And this discriminatory behavior, if allowed to fester, could end up hurting those the left claims they are protecting through its political malevolence.
“My concern is if they could do it to Asians, they could do it to Jews. They could do it to blacks,” Horace remarked. “They could do it to any group.”
Horace questioned why schools imposing racial preferences are rewarded with taxpayer money if they are violating civil rights laws:
Why are we allowing them to receive Pell Grants? Why are we allowing them to receive student loans or research grants in the hundreds of millions of dollars if they have a policy of discriminating on the basis of race?
Project 21 members recently spoke out in support of the Justice Department’s warning to Yale.
When Gorka asked about the significance of the Justice Department’s warning, Horace predicted it could have a wide-ranging impact in bringing schools toward the race-neutral policies that are more in line with the dreams of traditional civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
I think that we’re gonna see other universities that are also going to get their notification. And we’re gonna see schools remember that it isn’t 1954. It’s 2020, and – regardless of race – there’s no value being brought to the university by selecting people on the basis of race.
It was wrong then. It is wrong today.