Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21
After a grand jury found only enough evidence to indict one of the Louisville police officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor during a police raid of her apartment in March, mobs in Louisville and cities across America engaged in violence and looting. Two Louisville officers were also shot during the mayhem.
Despite the American legal process doing its job, radicals say this justice is not enough for them.
For instance, Martin Luther King III – the son of the iconic civil rights leader – said that “justice has not been served” and “the system must be broken down” in the wake of what he considered to be an unsatisfactory grand jury process. This is interesting and troubling considering that, as Project 21 member Derryck Green has pointed out, King’s father and the movement his father helped lead in the 1950s and 1960s was so much more successful than its extremist “black power” counterparts because MLK, Jr. was willing to work within the system.
Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, during a panel discussion with Candace Owens on the Fox News Channel program “The Ingraham Angle,” similarly said that the radicalism of today – like that of the past – will “backfire.” And this will likely hurt the black community in the process.
Owens said that liberals are “fostering this race narrative” that alleges systemic racism in modern America simply to promote a political agenda. Noting the example of a rental truck showing up to outfit a group of Louisville protesters with signs and shields after the announcement of the officer’s indictment, she remarked that “it didn’t matter [what the grand jury did], they were already ready” for mayhem.
Horace confirmed the suggestion made by Owens, stating:
This entire summer, all I have witnessed has been a systematic effort to get black Americans ginned up with this idea that – instead of a rule of law, instead of a legal process – we’re going to let the mob decide how things are done.
Horace explained how, rather than being a means of achieving real and lasting change that can benefit black America, history has proven that the result will probably be nothing like what earnest protesters are expecting:
[T]he irony… about all this is that when you just roll back the time clock, what you see is black America consistently loses when we have mob justice.
We all benefit from the idea of equality before the law. We all benefit if we have a system in which we have the rule of law where people aren’t singled out because of their race or their background.
This police hatred? This riot, looting attitude? It ultimately is going to backfire. The American people are going to reject it.
The Taylor family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, whom Horace recently criticized in a Newsmax commentary for “[r]edefining civil rights to include a license for criminality,” made the extreme claim after the indictments that “police are killing us outside the courtroom, and the system is killing us inside the courtroom.”
This exaggeration, Horace said, will not resonate and will have consequences:
Our political system is going to reject it. And, if too many black people get involved in it, they are going to be the losers.
In a panel discussion on RT America, Rich said that people should “not forget” that liberal city council members and other elected officials need to shoulder the blame for “creat[ing] the economic conditions that have deprived black people of opportunity, of education.”
“They’re responsible,” Rich stated. “Put this on their hands – not the police officers.”
Facing off against Salon editor D. Watkins in an interview taped at the height of the violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Watkins said there needs to be “serious police reform.” On that, Rich could find some agreement.
Citing some of the recommendations that can be found in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” Rich said that many officers have been dragged off their primary mission by elected officials and the bureaucracy. They shouldn’t be spending their time on expired license plates, broken tail lights and other minor infractions that are often used to fill local government coffers with ticket money. He said that this has sometimes led to deadly outcomes.
But there’s a lot more to consider when it comes to the rioters and the proper public response. Quite frankly, Rich didn’t see the protests helping him as a black man:
We also have to take into consideration that many of the protesters… are making a complaint about pockets of law enforcement and racism that do exist, but… there’s no reason for them to destroy the community.
These are mostly white protesters who are causing havoc all over our country. And for what? For me? I mean, they aren’t making me any safer.
But BLM protesters have killed more black people than the Klan has killed through the entire 20th century just in the past six months.
Something needs to be done about them – as a movement.
Host Christy Ai noted that protesters and their supporters have demanded that names of law enforcement officers should be made public if they are involved in cases of alleged abuse. Watkins said “they need to be named” because “they work for the people.” But Rich had a very different view of this doxing of the police:
I completely disagree with his point.
These police officers volunteer – and they do get paid – but they volunteer to work for us, in our communities. And we need to protect them, too, given the irrational behavior of these protesters. And burning down stores – burning down a store that even says “black lives matter” on it. Could you imagine what they’d do if they had police officers’ addresses? That’s a terrible proposal.
I think they need their anonymity. The violence that these protesters are responsible for is the perfect example of that. It’s incredibly dangerous to be a police officer now.
While Rich is skeptical of the performance of liberal lawmakers, he retains his faith in the American system of government. He suggested that a proper pairing of the government and its citizens is the correct answer, not the rants of the rioters:
We need to trust our system to work.
We are a democracy. We elect our judges. We elect our city council members who are largely responsible for the problems we’re having with law enforcement right now.
And so I think we need to trust our system to work, because it will work with citizens being vigilant.
During an interview on Newsmax TV’s “National Report,” Vince discussed the damage that critical race theory has caused, and said that “Che Guevara [and] Fidel Castro would be smiling at this type of manipulation and mind control” being used against the American people.
The Trump Administration recently moved to ban the use of critical race theory in federal offices. Vince called this racial theory an “anathema to freedom.”
Detailing the problems of critical race theory and how it attacks American exceptionalism, Vince said about the secret to success:
It has nothing to do with the color of your skin. It has more to do with how hard you’re willing to work. Whether you’re going to get yourself a good job. Whether you’re going to be a good Christian, Muslim or Jew. And whether or not you’re going to arm yourself with knowledge for the wise man and a gun for the fool. And walk proudly and strongly in the country of your birth. And be satisfied and content and happy.
Critical race theory says this is not possible for black men in America – that they have to depend on the forbearance of racists and that they have to ask them for respite. And that we cannot conduct and live… properly in the country of our birth lest we are given permission from white society.
And that’s ridiculous.
Vince added that promoting unrest by blaming it on allegedly inherent racial disparities is used to cover up for the failure of liberal policies in urban areas where black Americans live in greater numbers. Poor government-run schools, religious intolerance, anti-gun laws and policies that break up stable families – policies typically instituted by liberal lawmakers – are more of a threat to black Americans than any conspiracy theories being promoted by critical race theory trainers.
“It’s a deflection,” Vince noted.
Regarding the focus on police violence, he remarked:
And they take this violence – and this canard that we are going to be shot by police – and they use this to cause all of these riots and all this burning and all this looting…
[T]he left has taken this canard, and they’ve convinced us that this is our biggest problem in the black community right now.
Instead, this is part of a strategy that’s been used “all over the world” to “take over America,” Vince said. This rioting, he warned, is “a precursor for them taking over.” Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists, he noted, are key to this strategy.
Project 21 applauded the Trump Administration for pushing back against critical race theory and for beginning the process of cancelling all contracts promoting it in federal training.
When teachers refuse to teach, they are often putting their students – and those students’ parents – at risk.
The Trump Administration is seeking to reopen America’s public schools as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be abating, a vaccine seems within sight and the transmission rate among the young is thought to be miniscule.
Yet many teachers and their unions are refusing to resume in-school studies. As Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pushed back by threatening to transfer federal funds from places where in-person learning options are denied, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten charged that the White House’s “goal isn’t safety, it’s politics.”
But National Center President David A. Ridenour writes that “it’s Weingarten who’s playing politics, without concern for safety.” In a commentary published by The Federalist, David remarks that “[f]or many families struggling with disabilities, school closures aren’t just inconvenient, they’re cruel.”
David – who has a son with autism as well as bipolar and seizure disorders – knows firsthand how the unions’ unwillingness to teach according to the rules of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) can deny “free appropriate public education” to 7.1 million American students.
He shares his personal story in the commentary.
When schools closed in March, many disabled students lost access not only to their education but to all the supports that keep them safe. This deprivation is in violation of the law.
That number, by the way, constitutes around 14 percent of all students in government-run schools. And, if race is brought into the debate, 86 percent of those students aided by IDEA are minorities.
Too many students like David’s son who are helped by IDEA-related teaching cannot be accommodated remotely like most other students are right now. They need special assistance in areas including:
This is a clear and present danger to these children:
Many of these services stopped months ago, and the kids losing them not only ceased making progress, they lost skills. Even worse, the schools placed many kids and families in danger. Public education for the disabled is about a lot more than education: It’s a key part of our nation’s social safety net.
Furthermore, as David explains, it is a clear and present danger to families:
Just imagine a single mom being told in March she’s on her own with a child requiring 24/7 care. Not being able to work is the least of her problems; finding appropriately trained caregivers is nearly impossible, and her life is one of fear and toil without respite. She has no meals out, no time to socialize with friends, no movie nights, and no breaks of any kind.
Unable to leave her child at home, she takes him everywhere, even to pick up a few groceries. It’s also not uncommon for many disabled children when placed in unfamiliar circumstances or exposed to loud noises, to react violently, which could easily be misinterpreted and trigger a call to police.
Rather than trying to find any sort of compromise, teachers and their unions have resorted to exaggerated publicity stunts, threats and insults. And children are still largely at home – underserved, in the case of IDEA students.
Weingarten calls the Trump Administration’s push to reopen schools “evil” and “cruel,” but what’s evil and cruel is keeping schools shuttered. While it makes sense to continue remote learning for kids whose parents aren’t comfortable sending them back, it also makes sense to open schools for the many disabled children who are entitled to receive an education under the law. Those children should not be forgotten.
To read all of David’s commentary – “For Children With Disabilities Like My Son, School Closures are Cruel” – click here to be transferred to the website of The Federalist.
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.