Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21
In an interview with the American Family Association’s syndicated OneNewsNow news service, Justin lauded the grocer for being a “rare example” of a company willing to stand up to woke activists who want to impose their political agenda on the rest of America.
How did Trader Joe’s do it? Justin suggested that the fact that the company is not traded on the stock market is likely a big reason it could withstand the pressure from the mob:
Trader Joe’s is privately held, and in my view, that is the one singular reason that they can push back against the cancel culture, that they can push back against the mob. In this instance, the mob that was calling for them to change their “racist labels,” it was fake. It wasn’t real.
Certain ethnic foods at Trader Joe’s receive quirky labelling – including “Trader Jose’s” for Mexican fare and “Trader Ming’s” for Chinese. This helps them stand out on the shelves and, quite simply, accentuates the laid-back atmosphere the chain tries to present for customers.
After a few thousand people signed the online petition, Trader Joe’s was initially reported to have given in to the demands. But was getting that many signers really an accomplishment? After all, the petition has still only received less than 6,000 after a few weeks and with major national coverage. Justin suggested to OneNewsNow’s Chris Woodward: “You can get thousands of people to say that we should change Friday and Monday on the calendar.”
And it turned out not to have worked.
Store executives obviously recognized the extreme nature of the demands from the politically correct protesters. After all, it certainly wouldn’t stop with the product names. The radicals also took issue with – and would likely have demanded the chain change – its decorations, because the stores’ branding is loosely based on the Disney Jungle Cruise theme park ride and the novel “White Shadows in the South Seas,” which the petition criticized for allegedly promoting “racist tropes” and “exoticism at its worst.”
Trader Joe’s management, noting that “[t]hese products have been really popular with our customers,” declared in a note posted on the chain’s website: “We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions.”
Justin explained that much of the left’s activism is “astroturfing” – minor support that, in this case, received major backing from a politicized press. If the establishment media sees a story “that supports their liberal worldview,” he said, “they start running their scare headlines to get the companies to all get on board with the actions … it’s the media making a fake narrative.”
He added: “[T]hat’s how the cancel culture marches forward.”
Over the past shareholder season, FEP attended dozens of shareholder meetings for publicly traded companies in order to protect religious freedom, defend political viewpoints and fight the cancel culture against the onslaught of the woke mobs. While privately held companies such as Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby and Trader Joe’s do not have to deal with protests and pressure tactics from leftist investors, companies like Honeywell, KraftHeinz and Pepsi do. And that’s where you’ll find FEP.
To read the entire OneNewsNow article interviewing Justin, click here.
Despite their own privileged statuses, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey are now pushing the notion that they are held back by white privilege.
Obama complained that she is suffering from a “low-grade depression” that keeps her up at night due to America’s racial problems. Her friend Oprah has begun pushing the premise of the new book “Caste,” which compares race in the United States to the social stratification of India and Nazi-era Germany.
Horace and Project 21 member Niger Innis appeared together on “The Ingraham Angle” on the Fox News Channel to discuss this peculiar situation in which two of the most prominent women in America are explaining to the rest of America that they feel held back.
Assessing Obama’s and Winfrey’s sizable wealth and power, host Laura Ingraham judged the ladies’ positions as “overall, pretty darn good.” As to their personal complaints about race, she added, “the fact that they are two of the wealthiest, most influential and most admired women – not only in the country, but the world – shows you just how absurd their pandering really is.”
Horace pointed out they are actually borrowing from the same kind of discriminatory racial mindset that they claim to abhor:
There are two things here.
On the one hand, as you mention, they are people living an experience that fewer than one percent – one-tenth of one percent – of the people on the planet are able to.
But the other is they are yielding to a temptation that we saw in the 20th century, and we saw in the 19th century. And that is that people gain political power – they gain salience – by attacking other people on the basis of their race.
It’s an evil way to operate. And shame on them for all of the amazing things America has been able to do, and they’ve benefitted from, for them to act in this way.
Niger, who also serves as the chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, added that the pair are directing their rage at the very same people who have supported them and helped them rise to the exalted status they now enjoy:
Oprah Winfrey became a millionaire on the backs of suburban white women who watched her show by the legions. Michelle Obama is married to the man that got more votes from this racist caste system called America, got more votes than any political candidate got in the history of the United States…
You know, what’s really disheartening about all of this is Oprah came from the South. She comes – not far removed – from the Jim Crow era in the South when there was a real, palpable, concrete racial caste system against African-Americans.
And when they pretend to be billionaire victims, it’s an insult to my ancestors and to theirs.
A group of nearly 250 prominent conservatives, former government officials, former military officers and concerned citizens have signed a letter to Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, asking that a proposed rule be enhanced to ensure that all assets held by private retirement funds “are fully transparent consistent with the laws of the United States.”
Of particular importance to signers is a concern that investment in “Chinese companies that do not comply with basic transparency standards, and in many cases rely upon child- and slave-labor, is incompatible with fundamental American values and must be discontinued.”
The proposed rule, which the Labor Department finished accepting public comments for on the day the letter was delivered to Secretary Scalia, would require private pension fund managers “to select investments and investment courses of action based solely on financial considerations relevant to the risk-adjusted economic value of a particular investment or investment course of action.”
As the letter points out, the rule is important because it is “reminding pension managers that there is a place for politics and a place for sound investment decisions.” As more financial managers are increasingly pursuing political goals with other peoples’ retirement savings through environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment policies, they are following “unsuitable” strategies that “put politics over fund performance.”
Regarding China specifically, signers explain that the proposed rule for ESG investing “provides the ideal opportunity to exclude non-transparent Chinese assets from inclusion in our nation’s retirement portfolios.” They ask Secretary Scalia to “ensure that fund managers further increase the transparency of their investment choices” and to “require that private retirement investments be transparent, assuring fund managers and their beneficiaries that the companies they are buying are sound.”
This would help overcome problems inherent in an Obama Administration memorandum of understanding from 2013 that gave Chinese companies a waiver from U.S. transparency requirements and allows them to avoid having to meet the same auditing requirements as other companies.
“The effect,” the letter notes, “is to put U.S. retirement investors at great risk.”
The signers urge:
Now is the time to change this, by amending the proposed rule to require specifically that any company that wishes to be eligible for retirement or pension investing meet our nation’s statutory and regulatory standards for transparency.
In addition to Justin and Scott, the letter is signed by leading conservatives including former Reagan Administration Attorney General Edwin Meese III, former Reagan Administration National Security Advisor John Poindexter, American Conservative Union Executive Director Daniel Schneider, Conservative Partnership Institute President Jim DeMint, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning, National Legal and Policy Center President Peter Flaherty and American Family Association Director of Governmental Affairs Sandy Rios.
The entire letter, and all of its signers, can be found here.
Even though prominent historians have found serious discrepancies in the reporting and assertions of the New York Times’s 1619 Project, it still won staffer Nikole Hannah-Jones and the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize. Now it is being incorporated into school history curricula. And its premise that slavery and anti-black discrimination are intrinsic to the founding and evolution of America certainly helped catalyze animosity that led to recent Black Lives Matter rioting.
Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, in an interview with Steve Malzberg on RT America’s “Eat the Press” program, said this “number of inaccuracies… [and] mischaracterizations” calls the integrity of Jones and the Times into serious question.
Disputing the premise that American history actually began with the introduction of slavery in 1619 – more than 150 years before the Revolutionary War – Horace pointed out that colonists and subsequent generations of Americans were unique to slavery only in the fact that they actually ended it in the United States:
The more realistic point is that, instead of starting “America’s history” with the arrival of slaves – which, by the way, came… not as a result of Europeans conquering countries in Africa, but because of a vibrant and thriving slave trade that happened in Africa, and which continued happening in Africa. And, by the way, into the 21st century, Africa is ground-zero for slavery.
None of their coverage discusses or understands or puts [this] in context. At the same time, America, the United States Constitution… created an amazing and exceptional idea. And within 75 years of the creation of that document, slavery was banned in all of the United States.
So this idea that this Project covers what really happened in America – this Project actually covers up what actually happened in America.
Also largely unreported is the radical nature of Jones herself.
While in college in 1995, Nicole Hannah (as she was then known) wrote a letter to a Notre Dame publication that claimed “the white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager and thief of the modern world.” She also called whites “bloodsuckers,” and wrote that Christopher Columbus was “no different than Hitler.” Subsequently, she expressed pride that urban upheaval in the wake of the death of George Floyd was being called the “1619 riots.”
As the cost of the damage of the riots began to rise, Jones defended them by saying that “[d]estroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.” Horace took exception to her radicalism:
This is amazing.
It started with her bigotry. And the whole idea of the 1619 Project is imbued with this kind of bigotry. The idea that there are hundreds – if not thousands – of Americans all across the country today who have lost their livelihoods. Property has been destroyed. The idea that should not be of consequence…
Explaining that there are significant repercussions to the rioting that will be felt for years to come, particularly in black communities where there was significant damage to businesses, Horace added:
A lot of folks lost their income, and they had to stop paying their insurance. Their property actually isn’t going to be replaced.
This evil idea is being promoted by the genesis [of the 1619 Project].
At the New York Times annual shareholder meeting in April, the National Center’s Project 21 and Free Enterprise Project urged the newspaper to “go back and correct the record with the same vigor with which it distorted it” and ensure school curricula is factual. But Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger called the debate a “real value” and demurred on responsibility by saying that “we’ve tried hard… to encourage dialogue.”
Members of the U.S Armed Forces have a lot to worry about, and the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) tries to ease the hassle and worry of frequent moves by arranging for the safe relocation of the possessions of servicemembers and their families.
Now taxpayers can feel more comfortable about how their money is being spent, since TRANSCOM has pulled out of a strange arrangement and could – at the very least – save billions.
In a Newsmax commentary, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper chronicles how TRANSCOM is reassessing a proposed contract with American Roll-on Roll-Off Carrier (ARC) that was estimated to cost the military over $7 billion. The company to be awarded this contract is supposed to be central to military efforts to streamline what Horace describes as a “labyrinthine process” for servicemember moves. The goal is a centralized “Global Housing Good Contract” replacing dozens of offices and countless moving companies.
Shockingly, ARC won that contract despite costing $2 billion more than competitors’ bids. Even more shocking, ARC might have violated transparency rules and the contracting process by not reporting past criminal violations of its parent company. Other bidders complained, and an investigation of the contract was opened.
But, as Horace writes:
Rather than being an open and shut case of a contract application violation, this award is playing out more like a magician’s bait and switch trick…
When TRANSCOM announced that it would take “corrective action” many assumed that the contract would likely be permanently rescinded. But instead after less than 2 weeks DOD abruptly changed course – and like a rabbit jumping out of a top hat – it announced that there wouldn’t be taking any corrective action after all, and simply re-awarded the contract to ARC.
There’s a murky tale of newly-formed companies and subsidiaries that would allegedly make ARC scandal-free and eligible for the contract. While this controversy is enough to cause concern, Horace points out that “[e]ven if this were true, one wonders how a company can expect to effectively service a $7 billion contract when it can’t submit its own ownership record properly in its application.”
Horace explains that TRANSCOM’s pulling back the contract with ARC helps clear the air on how the military will be able to address a very important obligation to servicemembers:
Our men and women in the military absolutely need an efficient and cost-effective way to organize relocations all over the globe. Even with your eyes closed and the sound of hand clap to distract you, most taxpayers know that a contract billions of dollars over and above alternate bids from a company with a questionable criminal history isn’t the way to accomplish that.
To read all of Horace’s commentary – “Lack of Transparency in Govt Contracts Hurts Service Members” – click here.
Things have gotten so biased in the American media that Free Enterprise Project Deputy Director Scott Shepard wrote that people today need to look at reporting in the same way people did in the old Soviet Union:
Any sensible person understands that one must treat the former American press, including the ABC propaganda outlet, the way Soviet citizens used to read Pravda: try to figure out what’s true by noticing what the stories do not mention or are clearly trying to obscure.
In particular, “ABC News has completely abandoned even the illusion of providing objective news,” Scott points out in a Townhall Finance commentary.
This, he suggests, poses a problem for its parent company – Disney – because publicly-traded companies “have legal obligations to be genuinely truthful in their statements of purported fact to the public about matters relevant to their businesses when that public includes current or potential shareholders – which is to say, always.”
As an example of this peril, Scott explains that ABC may have misreported the mechanics of Disney ad buys on social media. The left is trying to pressure Facebook right now to get in line with other social media companies in policing speech. A boycott is underway to bring the company to heel. Disney is purportedly in on the boycott.
But is it really? Maybe this is just a cover, Scott asserts, for a downturn in the company’s performance. Perhaps ABC is spinning a story that helps Disney lie to its investors. He writes that the boycott “in reality [could be] a cut in advertising in response to diminished revenues because of the shutdown.” To back up his case, Scott explains:
Twitter’s advertising has also fallen dramatically over the same period, despite Jack Dorsey being totally down with politically biased speech restrictions, and despite no faux boycott having been declared there.
And there’s also trouble at A&E, co-owned by Disney, where viewership has been cut in half after the network cancelled the “Live PD” program in the wake of George Floyd’s police-involved death.
While all this could just be coincidence, Scott nonetheless writes that it “raises a question for shareholders who are tired of the abandonment of truth and objectivity by their corporations’ ‘news’ divisions.” At some point, there is a legitimate concern that “they breach actionable legal duties.”
To read all of Scott’s Townhall commentary – “When Will ABC’s False Reporting Require Daddy Disney’s Discipline?” – click here.
As America has become safer, more prosperous and more equal, agitators on the left seem to be actively trying to reverse the progress.
“The left wants this to happen,” asserted iconic game show host Chuck Woolery on his “Blunt Force Truth” podcast with guest David Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Invited to discuss the National Center’s new “ScoopTV” web series, David discussed with Woolery and podcast co-host Mark Young a wide range of issues revolving around the current chaos threatening to tear America apart.
Woolery was referring to an incident in St. Louis in which armed homeowners confronted a mob that had broken into their gated community with obvious mayhem on their minds. That couple is now facing charges filed by the local prosecutor, while angry and violent activists there and elsewhere across America appear to go unchecked.
“It’s only going to get worse with the fact that we haven’t been supporting the police,” David warned, adding:
The ironic part of this is that, all along, they’ve been telling us: “you know, you don’t need to get yourself a handgun or a shotgun or anything else for defense. That’s why we have the police.”
Well, in a lot of places, we don’t have the police now, do we?… They’re just not showing up.
Bringing up efforts to defund police departments, David noted that the left is destabilizing communities by depriving them of adequate police protection. This lack of safety can have crippling effects on businesses, which then have an impact on the residents in those crime-plagued communities in ways that reach beyond safety issues. Speaking about the need for police, David said:
It’s certainly important, and especially for minority communities.
You ask any minority business owner. What they need is safety. That’s what they need, and that’s provided by the police department. And if you don’t have that, you can’t have minority businesses. You can’t have businesses in black communities.
This is critically important. The police are critically important to the advancement of black and Hispanic communities. But that’s not what [the left] wants.
In Portland, resistance by liberal local officials to federal assistance appears to be more posturing – “hoping for the visual” – than anything else. David said these fringe public officials are two-faced, and are grandstanding to score political points with their radical constituencies:
I think that they actually want the government to come in. They want to be standing up against the federal government. The mayor. The governor. It’s all about the political situation.
Woolery called it “looney.” David agreed.
Divisive notions of “white privilege” and “systemic racism” have also been thrown around with the recent unrest. David explained that the idea of racial privilege comes from a hateful mindset:
I can’t imagine a more racist thing to say than someone has white privilege.
Because you’re taking a look and – unlike what the Reverend Martin Luther King said, we should be judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin – this is judging us [by the color of our skin].
Referring to a now-withdrawn chart developed by the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian Institution that claimed to explain “whiteness,” David admitted to Woolery and Young that “I don’t have more than half” of the aspects the chart’s authors tried to ascribe to white privilege.
Yet he did say that there is one aspect of the so-called black experience that he – even though he is white – also experienced within his family: “the talk” about how to handle encounters with the police:
There were conversations that my mom had with me about what you do when you have an interaction with police, when they pull you over: You be very respectful. You don’t make any sudden moves.
These are the same things a lot of white parents, if they’re not telling their kids, they ought to. Because one of the most dangerous parts for a police officer is pulling over somebody and not knowing who is in that car. And that is irrespective of the color of your skin.
Woolery asked David how black Americans can move up the socioeconomic ladder amidst all of the chaos happening right now.
“The irony is,” David replied, “that we were… getting there” when troubles erupted. He continued:
If you look before COVID-19, the unemployment rate among the black population was at an all-time low… Young black men, who tend to have a more difficult time getting work, also all-time low unemployment rates.
A great deal of wealth generation being created. A lot of blacks moving out of cities, by the way, into suburban areas. We were on that track.
COVID, riots and the perpetuation of the idea of white privilege are taking a disparate mental and fiscal toll on the black community – possibly by design:
I think there is a political motivation for wanting to keep the black population exactly where it is…. They’re not as successful as other population groups.
While the left peddles the government as the answer, David told Chuck and Mark that the solution is exactly the opposite:
The key to success is being able to be independent and provide for yourself and not have to go to the government.
To listen to the entire interview – “The Truth About Privilege” – on Podcast One’s “Blunt Force Truth,” click here.
To emphasize that black lives matter, people are supposed to say the names of those who have been lost. Bernell “Ras” Trammell did. But he can’t anymore – because he has joined the ranks of those lost. He was assassinated – perhaps because of his political beliefs.
And yet no one in the Black Lives Matter movement seems to want to say his name. Is it because it’s speculated that Trammell was murdered because of his outspoken support for President Donald Trump?
In an interview on the Fox News Channel program “The Ingraham Angle,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said the silence about Trammell’s murder is “just another example of how they jump to conclusions first and investigate later” on the left.
“The conclusion is that Mr. Trammell’s life doesn’t matter,” Horace suggested. “The conclusion is there isn’t ever any instance of any violence… brought upon because of their political views.”
So Trammell has become a statistic rather than a possible indicator of the lengths that leftist intolerance can go.
For decades, Trammell ran the political and religious eXpressions Journal from an office north of downtown Milwaukee. He was well-known for his support of Rastafarianism, Black Lives Matter and some liberal local politicians. But Trammell stood apart because he was also a strong proponent of President Trump. He sometimes stood outside his office on the sidewalk with a sign supporting the president. This kind of activism in that kind of neighborhood sometimes caused disruptions that, by their own accounts, social workers had trouble handling.
Trammell was sitting outside his office on July 23 when a man rode up on a bicycle and shot him dead. Then the man rode away. In this time of hypersensitivity to violence perpetrated against black Americans, this cold-blooded killing is being virtually ignored.
Why didn’t this black life matter enough to the media? Horace wanted to know:
We’ve got the vaunted 1619 Project – where we’re so interested and motivated by this idea that the race of America was its starting point… Why is there silence from the New York Times?
Horace also castigated left-wing political activists – including the Black Lives Matter movement – for “exploit[ing] people for political power and its own ambitions. Why aren’t they being called out? Why haven’t the media just raised some basic question?”
But it would seem that black conservatives and – in this case – black Trump supporters don’t really matter because they fall outside of the leftist agenda and narrative. Thus there’s an uncomfortable situation created in which the left just tries to forget them altogether. Horace explained:
This is a pattern we have seen since the 1800s, the 1900s and now in the 2000s – heading deep into the 21st century. Where is the understanding that free people, regardless of color, have the right to express themselves, to think what they want to think?
And where is the outrage that someone can be killed over this…?
Milwaukee police have photos of a suspect in Trammell’s murder, but are still without substantial leads.
Over three dozen conservative leaders – including National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof, Esq. – have sent a letter to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, demanding that he explain why conservatives appear to be routinely censored by the company’s Google search engine.
Nothing that Pichai is scheduled to testify before Congress on July 29, the signers issue a stunning challenge in their letter:
Google deliberately censors conservatives. We dare you to deny that under oath.
Noting that the testimony is to be before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, the letter further proclaims:
It’s time for the federal government to consider antitrust solutions for companies like Google and the rest of the Big Tech industry that have grown too powerful and too irresponsible.
On July 21, it was discovered that many popular conservative websites were inaccessible from the Google search engine. The company blamed the problem on a “technical glitch,” which a former Google employee suggested could reveal an anti-conservative blacklist.
Signers to the letter say this incident is just the latest in a pattern of abuses that approach a level of censorship:
It’s the same old game. Censor conservatives, wait for someone else to call you out on it, then blame the algorithms or another technical problem for the censorship. Somehow you never manage to discover your own glitch. It’s always your victims who do.
And Google’s “approach to this scandal” shows “an utter lack of transparency” that is now “second nature to you and your organization.” The letter goes on to ask Pichai four relevant questions:
And it puts forward one rhetorical question:
How many more times will Google censor conservatives, and then lie about it before Congress has to take action against your company?
Besides Justin and Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell – who spearheaded the letter – other signers include conservative media executives including Will Chamberlain of Human Events, Craig Strazzeri of PragerU, Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com, Floyd Brown of The Western Journal, R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr. of The American Spectator and Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily as well as other conservative leaders.
Big Tech’s current exemption from scrutiny as a publisher of content, its obvious abuse of this benefit bestowed on it by the Communications Decency Act and a recent Trump Administration executive order challenging the exemption are addressed in the latest edition of National Center President David Ridenour’s “ScoopTV.”
To read the coalition’s letter to Alphabet’s Pichai in its entirety, click here.
A new rule proposed by the Trump Administration would require that “[f]inancial managers must maximize pension beneficiaries’ returns; they may not imperil those returns by investing on any other basis.”
Most people probably thought that this was already the professional duty of their investment advisors and pension fund managers. But there’s been a lot of market activity lately based less on profit and more on politicized environment, social and governance (ESG) goals. The new U.S. Department of Labor rule is important because it is aimed at “prevent[ing] financially risky advocacy for a social justice agenda on someone else’s dime.”
Project 21 and the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project have submitted separate public comments to the Federal Register supporting the proposed rule. Nedd’s commentary is largely taken from Project 21’s comment.
The Labor Department’s proposed rule applies to the work of private pension funds – something that Council calls a “best bet for black retirement security.” Unfortunately, “too many black Americans are financially unprepared to retire,” he says. For one thing, blacks have been called “bad savers” – some of this coming from “economic conditions, distrust of institutions and an overall lack of planning.”
That is why this rule is of vital importance, especially to black Americans:
[A]ny impediment to their ability to build retirement security that is identified and yet still allowed to continue unabated is a disservice to black lives.
That’s why the Trump Administration’s proposed rule clarifying the “investment duties” of certain pension plan managers matters. It addresses a clear and present financial danger in which too many fund managers are making investment decisions for the purpose of broader social justice goals rather than giving beneficiaries the best possible return on their investment.
This is specifically important to blacks since:
This is also important because “these pension plans may be the only guaranteed income available for their retirement outside of Social Security – of which full benefits are currently projected to run out there within the next 17 years.”
“But pensions can only help if they have proper stewardship,” Council concludes. “That’s the aim of the new Trump Administration rule.”
To read all of Council’s commentary – “Trump Pension Rule Will Benefit Black Americans” – at the Issues & Insights website, click here.