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

CONSERVATIVEBLOG.ORG

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

White House Supports Left’s Assault on Speech

Supreme Court

In its support of free speech restrictions on students, “[t]he modern left is now acting as the country’s helicopter parents.”

And the Biden Administration is doing the left’s bidding by unleashing the government in an attempt to overturn U.S. Supreme Court precedent that protects students’ right to speak their minds.

In a Washington Times commentary, Free Enterprise Project Research Associate Davis Soderberg writes:

The prominent traditional liberals of Joe’s youth would have been thrilled by the initial free speech victory, and disgusted by the Biden administration’s push to overturn it.

Davis describes the case that was won at the federal appeals court level by the salty student:

“F—k school f—k softball f—k cheer f—k everything,” a high school student wrote on Snapchat after failing to make the varsity cheerleading squad. When the student was then suspended from the JV cheer team due to the caption, she claimed her post – sent off-campus, without specifically identifying the school – fell under First Amendment protections. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit agreed, upholding her free speech in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.

But the Biden Justice Department objected to the lower court’s decision in a brief that supported a Supreme Court appeal of the case, saying the teen’s comments “might properly be regarded as school speech.”

If the appeal is successfully overturned, it could reset free speech precedents established in 1969 – so long ago that Joe Biden wasn’t even yet in office!

All this, Davis notes, highlights the disturbing trend of government bolstering the left’s obvious goal of restricting the First Amendment:

According to the modern left, our nation yearns for a new, enlightened moral-czar who can deliver the needed changes to produce societal equity rather than allowing people to decide what’s best for themselves. The government is to be the guiding compass, led by woke politicians who deserve the power to control the citizenry through a full takeover of its freedoms. The government knows what’s best for the world, and the government should be the provider of rights and freedoms, not merely the protector of rights as it was originally conceived.

The new control-freak left seems to have seized the Biden administration. Not only does the administration’s opposition to students’ off-campus free speech demonstrate this, but so does the 35 executive orders enacted by the president in his first 50 days, destroying thousands of energy jobs to satisfy his hyper-green agenda, signing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan full of handouts to increase Americans’ reliance on the government rather than opening the country, and the Biden administration trying to tell the citizenry how to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Read all of the commentary – “Liberal Hippies of the 1960s Would Be Ashamed of Biden the Helicopter Parent” – at the website of the Washington Times by clicking here.

Anti-Cop Rhetoric a “Slur Against America”

Anti-Cop Rhetoric a “Slur Against America”

After the Chauvin verdict was delivered, justice being served to the offender was not enough. It never is for the left.

Kamala Harris quickly called for all-encompassing police reform despite filibustering proposed reforms as a senator. She added to the leftist campaign against cops typified by supposed comedian Trevor Noah.

“Shame on these individuals for condemning law enforcement in that environment,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper on the Fox Business Network program “The Evening Edit with Elizabeth MacDonald.” In an interview that aired just before the jury reached its decision, Horace warned against attacks on the institutions of law enforcement, suggesting they will result in “generational consequences.”

To make his case, he recounted that even a civil rights icon can be the target of rampant crime:

Rosa Parks was a civil rights leader, but she left Alabama and she moved to Michigan.

The media failed to report that her home was broken into in the late 1990s when we were looking away from crime enforcement. And she was beat to the point of hospitalization.

Bringing the plight she faced into the present day, Horace asked:

How many Americans today are going to have to be the new Rosa Parks – living in these communities where they live in fear?

That is the reason black Americans disproportionately say we want higher… law enforcement presence, and we want better funding levels for law enforcement.

The media narrative – to the contrary – is a lie, and it does not reflect where black America actually is.

Asked about the “misconceptions… in this debate” over the role of law enforcement in America right now, Horace told MacDonald there are two main areas of concern:

One, there is truly no justification for the claim that to be a black man in America means that you’re being targeted by law enforcement. The evidence does not bear that out. The number of shootings does not bear that out. In fact, you’re more likely to be shot if you’re white than if you’re black…

But the second lie is that this represents – even if not true – the idea and understanding of black Americans. That also is a falsehood.

The perpetuation of this falsehood covers up the strong faith in and support of law enforcement in the black community:

It turns out that black men, who are less than seven percent of the American population, make up more than 11% of all law enforcement in America. If I told you that less than seven percent of the population was black and more than 11% of the prison population was black, the people would immediately respond with “well, that tells a lot.” I’m telling you that black Americans are committed to law enforcement by putting a disproportionate percentage of black men in the role to protect Americans.

And who are the Americans that are needing protection? All Americans benefit from a law and order circumstance, but black Americans and other minorities disproportionally participate and benefit when law and order exists or is restored.

Asked about outspoken anti-police rhetoric among liberal celebrities and elites, in the media and among politicians such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the members of “The Squad,” Horace condemned their words:

Even if they don’t tell you directly to confront the police, they’re undermining the authenticity – the rightfulness – of the behavior of law enforcement. They undermine it, and we are seeing a wave of crime taking place…

Black Americans, brown Americans and other Americans [living in urban areas] are particularly hard hit [by the economic effects of the pandemic]. The last thing these communities need is to have law enforcement shunned in their areas that will make it nearly impossible for them to recover.

Not holding back his contempt for those who would endanger black communities, Horace concluded:

These actions are a slur against America, America’s founding on the idea that the citizen was going to decide policy.

And we fought together, side by side, to stand up for Martin Luther King’s vision that the citizen was going to be someone judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. Today’s progressives are asking us to do exactly the opposite of that, and it’s harming us all.

Time is “Optimal” to Bring Woke Companies Back to Neutral

Time is “Optimal” to Bring Woke Companies Back to Neutral

Many of America’s biggest businesses have become “puppets on the strings of the left” and have “swallowed the woke culture hook, line and sinker,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

On his “Washington Watch” program, Perkins made the case for engaging corporate America  rather than just allowing its declining relationship with average Americans to fester:

Now we can ignore them, and we can boycott them. I recommend all of the above – in some cases. We can disconnect with them.

But we can also do something else that I think is very important at this time.

We need to confront them. And that’s why the left is controlling them – because the left is loud. They’re a minority, but they’re loud.

Companies don’t need to suddenly become conservative advocates, but it would sure be refreshing for them to go back to a neutral stance when it comes to politics. Perkins says our stance toward corporations should echo this idea:

We don’t want you to do our fighting for these public policy issues; we just want you, if you sell widgets, sell widgets… But don’t take our profits and use them to preach this wokeism to us.

To help him make this case, Perkins was joined by Justin Danhof, Esq., the director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP). As the director of the most active – and virtually only – shareholder activist organization in operation on the right, Justin announced the creation of a new coalition to fight this new wokeism in the business world.

FEP has spent more than a decade operating largely alone at corporate investor meetings and in other outreach to the business community.

But, Justin remarked, “I’m happy to say the conservative cause is now with me.”

With the new StopCorporateTyranny.org website, Justin and FEP are helping lead a “large coalition that runs from authors and academics to activists to investors and investment leaders. It’s really a collection of great minds that are coming together to engage with companies.”

But he warned:

[R]ight now,… we are on the defensive… because we’ve ceded this cultural lane to the left because they’ve been, you know, the squeaky wheel for so long. Well, we’re letting companies know that there’s another side out there, that we’re tired of the cancel culture. We’re tired of the sermonizing.

That being said, Justin is optimistic about the prospects of reining in the business community:

The timing is optimal, and it’s optimal because corporate America has just gotten so bad.

In just the last year, major American businesses have been used as political muscle to push the Equality Act, to try to overturn policies such as Georgia’s voter integrity safeguards and to fund radical causes like the Black Lives Matter movement

This is a long-running problem that is now finally being noticed by large numbers of conservatives. A Gallup poll taken earlier in 2021 found genuine skepticism when Americans were asked if they approve of the “size and influence of major corporations.” It was a major drop from 2020.

Quite simply, it’s an illogical relationship. As Perkins pointed out, it’s not in the best interests of these companies to unleash Big Government and the prospects of higher taxes and increased regulation. Justin remarked that there are limits:

I always put it this way… Companies like to get nine-tenths woke, but don’t want to go ten-tenths because then they’ll be out of business.

It’s obvious that the time is coming for a reckoning:

They’re pushing social issues down the throats of conservatives, and cancelling conservatives is really going to come back and bite them in the end.

He added that boards of these companies are not thinking in the long-term, and that woke CEOs who come and go are creating unnecessary and avoidable risks.

And Perkins warned that “conservatives are not going to be there to help” these companies and their leaders when they need it.

Radical Politics Targets the Rule of Law

Radical Politics Targets the Rule of Law

They say it in the movies all the time – you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. In a perversion of the equity agenda that the left is using to redefine America, there are now people trying to stop the police from bringing a gun to a knife fight.

So much for the rule of law and public order.

After a police officer in Columbus, Ohio shot and killed the knife-wielding Ma’Khia Bryant as she prepared to stab another black female – actions fully documented by the officer’s body camera – there was an unsettling outcry against law enforcement being there at all. Obama protégé Valerie Jarrett tweeted that people should “demand accountability” in the case, implying the officer used excessive force because he allegedly “immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight.” Prominent activist Bree Newsome took things a step further, tweeting that “[t]eenagers have been having fights including fights involving knives for eons. We do not need police to address these situations.”

It seems nowadays that the left will rarely credit law enforcement for doing the right thing, and this is a troubling trend.

On his Fox News Channel program, Tucker Carlson noted: “You didn’t imagine, even a year ago, someone like Valerie Jarrett – one of the most powerful people in the world – in public, saying police have no right to stop knife fights. And we’ve moved it a long way in a short time.”

Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, Tucker’s guest on the program, replied:

The left is throwing out all of the rules, all of the principles, to pursue their objective…

They’re not interested in the data that shows just how harmful this is.

To make his point about the left using the power it has amassed to try to fundamentally change the American system of laws and jurisprudence, Horace asked Tucker to imagine if – during the prosecution of O.J. Simpson for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman – the California governor and attorney general had taken a personal interest in convicting Simpson and had recruited and funded a legal campaign to do so. Horace asked: “What would America think?”

Yet this is the sort of thing that did happen when developing the prosecution of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the George Floyd murder trial.

Horace explained:

We had Derek Chauvin targeted – targeted! – by the state.

And that’s not due process. Even the due process that someone like O.J. Simpson – who brutally killed two people – was entitled to. Why isn’t Derek Chauvin?

Telling Horace that he “appreciate[d]… your eloquent explanation of that,” Tucker ominously closed out the segment by saying that “[t]his is making people radical… and that’s bad.”

Left’s Corporate Takeover “Nearly Completed”

Left’s Corporate Takeover “Nearly Completed”

With the left “actively and constantly engag[ing] corporate America,” Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq., had to admit it: “They’re winning!”

“They’re winning,” he pointed out, “for one simple word: engagement.”

Through politicized company ratings, protests and activism and applying pressure as investors, among other things, the left is “the tail wagging the dog” of corporate America. The effects can be seen in United Airlines setting race and gender goals for pilots, Proctor and Gamble promoting gender politics, and other companies increasingly weighing in on legislative issues.

Promoting the new FEP-affiliated StopCorporateTyranny.org website, Justin told One America News host  Christina Bobb: “We need to push back on these woke corporate actors.”

Explaining the severity of the threat that woke capitalism poses to America, Justin said:

We’re really hoping to push back because… the left took their slow march through academia and now completely control higher education. They went through Hollywood in the same way. They went through many of our churches.

And if we don’t push back on the left’s attempt to take over corporate America… It’s nearly completed, folks.

This long-overdue response is necessary for bringing corporate America back to neutral:

They’ve been hearing from the left for over a decade, nearly constantly. The right needs to engage companies with equal vigor, or we’re going to continue to see what we saw in Georgia – where companies are all on board to help, frankly, corrupt our elections by lying about Georgia’s voter integrity measures.

We’ve got 400 companies right now – that are leading American companies – that are pushing Capitol Hill to pass the Equality Act. This would end women’s sports and cancel religious freedom as we know it.

Along with this new coalition of conservative activists, the new website adds to FEP’s existing efforts in “letting the companies know that there’s another side out there.”

“We’re going to be vigilant,” Justin said, “because that’s the only way that we’re gonna get these companies back to neutral and out of the culture wars.”

Calling Out Maxine Waters

Calling Out Maxine Waters

After arriving in Brooklyn Center – the Minneapolis suburb where Daunte Wright died during a fight with local police – reportedly with her own police escort, Congresswoman Maxine Waters proceeded to say things that may raise tensions there even higher.

The region is already bracing for the upcoming verdict in the case of former officer Derek Chauvin related to the death of George Floyd. It’s also experiencing riots related to Wright’s death.

At the event, Waters said about the Floyd case: “We’re looking for a guilty verdict, and we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen, then we know that we got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice.”

Commenting on the riots, she added: “We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.” Taking issue with an imposed curfew, Waters remarked: “I don’t think anything about curfew. Curfew means I want you all to stop talking… I don’t agree with that.”

While this explosive rhetoric is inflaming tensions in the Twin Cities, it has possibly also earned her censure in the U.S. House of Representatives – where concerns about “insurrection” have been a focus of lawmakers since January 6.

Members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network are taking Congresswoman Waters to task for her divisive and destructive comments.

Derrick Hollie

Project 21 member Derrick Hollie said:

Maxine Waters should be ashamed of herself.

Now in her 15th term in Congress, her comments may result in an appeal of the most galvanized racial justice case in years. It further validates the need for term limits.

Her racially divisive tactics may have worked years ago, but calling for more violence and destruction in the same community that was just burned is not the answer. It’s narcissistic and hypocritical on the part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to condemn these divisive comments by Waters – especially with the verdict about to be handed down. Even the judge overseeing the case called Waters’s comments “abhorrent” as they appear to incite violence.

It’s the same behavior Waters exhibited in 2018, when she advocated abuse of members of the Trump Administration: “[I]f you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd, and you push back on them!” And in 1992, when her district burned after the Rodney King verdict, she refused to call it a riot. Instead she called it a “rebellion.”

At what point do we as Americans say “no” to any lawmaker who wants to incite violence?

On a segment of the Fox Business Network’s “The Evening Edit with Elizabeth MacDonald,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper was asked about the increasingly hostile anti-police rhetoric and its possible impact on minority communities. Horace called it all a “slur against America” that will have “generational consequences.” He added:

Even if they don’t tell you directly to confront the police, they’re undermining the authenticity – the rightfulness – of the behavior of law enforcement. They undermine it, and we are seeing a wave of crime taking place…

Black Americans, brown Americans and other Americans [living in urban areas] are particularly hard hit [by the economic effects of the pandemic]. The last thing these communities need is to have law enforcement shunned in their areas that will make it nearly impossible for them to recover.

Horace said: “Shame on these individuals for condemning law enforcement in that environment.”

Media “Lies” About Black Beliefs

Media “Lies” About Black Beliefs

Asserting that the media is trying to “cancel the truth just to fit their narrative ,” Fox News Channel host Jesse Watters noted that mainstream media hosts and the guests they bring on their programs are telling “flat-out lie[s].” And others are “attacked” if they merely state the facts about the crime problem in America in general or about officer-involved deaths in particular.

Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said black Americans aren’t falling for it: “The lie that blacks agree with this is just that – a lie.”

On the “Watters’ World” program, he explained:

There’s two lies that are taking place here.

One is the lie that, if you’re a black man in America, the law enforcement community has singled you out and they’re just going on a killing spree… [T]he evidence shows nothing of the sort is taking place…

But the second lie is that to be black means that you believe these things are true.

Providing a deeper dive into his second point, Horace explained that the media narrative actually covers up the true beliefs of the majority of the black Americans for whom the media claims to advocate:

Black Americans have been trying to express a contrary view to that of “The Squad,” to that of East Coast and West Coast media and other progressive elites.

They tell us – in every survey that they were asked since the summer – that, if we are choosing between more police and less police, we want more police. If we have to choose between less funding or more funding for the police, we want more funding for the police.

And so, Horace said, the media is actually pushing law-abiding black Americans into another area of intense scrutiny and sermonizing: gun ownership. He said:

Black Americans are actually joining in the effort to lawfully obtain firearms. Why is that? Because they recognize that, as the media narrative has gone forward – that it’s actually the bad police and systemic racism that is your threat – people aren’t noticing that grandma got shot or mugged, or my sister got raped or some other major, serious felony attack on people who happen to be minority.

Black Americans recognize this threat and they’re taking steps to minimize it, to prevent it, to protect themselves.

Conservatives Were “Asleep at the Switch” as Woke Occupied Wall Street

Conservatives Were “Asleep at the Switch” as Woke Occupied Wall Street

The reason the All-Star Game relocated from Atlanta to Denver is not because of a tremendous amount of virtue among the executives who run Major League Baseball. It’s because the left – wanting to push a radical agenda to try to stop the implementation of commonsense voter integrity safeguards – pressured them to do it.

And conservatives need to realize that their inactivity has as much to do with that decision as left-wing activism does.

“We’re not engaging with business. The left engages,” said Justin Danhof, Esq., on the “Just the News A.M.” program on the Real America’s Voice network. “We have disengaged, and this is how we’ve reached the state of play where it’s not just Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball and Delta. There’s over 300 companies now that are supporting… the corruption of our elections.”

Justin, director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), explained:

The problem here is very simple. Conservatives ceded the corporate cultural lane to the left. We just simply weren’t paying attention. We were asleep at the switch.

And while we were doing that… the left saw business as a tool of political and policy power. And, so, over the last decade-plus, just like they took a slow march through the institutions of the mainstream media, Hollywood and academia, the left started to march through corporate America.

The left’s takeover of the business community includes creating methods to pack company boards with sympathetic directors, pushing employees to demand their employers take political positions, and plenty of outside agitation from protesters and public officials.

While host Sophie Mann pointed out that this puts companies at risk of “turning away some segment and faction of their actual consumer base,” Justin remarked that there has not been enough substantial, constructive pushback from conservatives to distract the business world from the left’s demands:

I’m a shareholder activist for conservative causes. But guess what? I’m the only one! Conservatives don’t invest in companies to seek change. The left sure does though. There’s about 80 groups on the left that are worth billions of dollars that have been filing shareholder resolutions for the past 20 years on all sorts of woke capital issues.

FEP and the FEP-affiliated website StopCorporateTyranny.org offer means by which conservatives can engage with corporate America to help bring the business community back to neutral.

Anti-Police Pressure “Leaves the Mob in Charge”

Anti-Police Pressure “Leaves the Mob in Charge”

Violence and mayhem are roiling Minneapolis after another police-involved shooting. As this occurs, the narrative created and perpetrated by the media and left-wing activists does nothing more than increase racial tensions and cause more economic and emotional damage in the Twin Cities in particular and America at large.

There are several leading factors in the death of Duante Wright. First, Wright struggled to escape officers seeking to arrest him for an outstanding warrant discovered during a routine traffic stop. And an arresting officer appears to have mistakenly drawn her gun instead of her Taser, firing the fatal shot.

Neither of these factors advance an claim made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that this is “a basic part of police interactions with communities of color.” And it doesn’t lend credence to Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s comparison of police to “slave patrols” and her assertion that “[w]e can’t reform this.” Or the commentary by a CNN legal analyst who said this is “so illustrative of what black and brown people across the country have been enduring” – including attacks on their character and their persons.

In a segment with Tucker Carlson on the Fox News Channel, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper dispelled the notion that black and brown people are targets. More importantly, he pointed out that black Americans are specifically NOT buying into the narrative of systemic American racism or “all cops are bad” sloganeering.

“It’s hard to believe this is happening yet again,” Tucker commented. “You gotta think it’s only happening because certain people are benefiting from this.”

Horace replied: “That’s exactly correct,” adding:

What we’re seeing is the same lie… that, in the 21st century, America is a place where people are being snuffed out, killed solely on the basis of their race.

And now we’re seeing a second lie added to the first lie… that all black Americans have bought into this lie.

Every survey asked this summer, all the way to the present, of Americans – but particularly black Americans – asked the question: Do you want more police support or less police support? More funding or less funding? And black Americans said they wanted more.

With calls from the left for new restrictions on police powers, despite ongoing riots and looting and long-term increases in crime as a result of past de-policing efforts, Tucker remarked that it “kinda leaves the mob in charge.”

Horace exclaimed, “absolutely it does!” He added:

And is it any wonder that, just like blacks said we want more police, that black Americans are going and legally buying firearms because they – like the rest of America – are worried that the government is going to fall down on its primary responsibility: protecting people?

Who’s to blame? The usual suspects – with deadly results:

And the media is going around validating this behavior – calling looting “demonstration.” Going around saying black Americans need to be concerned when we have nearly 50 law enforcement officers dead already this year.

Media Bias May Soon End Up at the Supreme Court

Media Bias May Soon End Up at the Supreme Court

It’s a very simple question: “who watches the watchdogs?”

Instances of the media appearing to take sides on things that are purely political – consider the blackout over the Hunter Biden laptop story, President Donald Trump’s Twitter trials and tribulations and Candace Owens being slimed by Facebook and USA Today – are creating an environment for the nation’s highest court to examine protections the media has thus far enjoyed.

Perhaps enjoyed too much.

Horace Cooper

Horace Cooper

In a commentary featured by Townhall, National Center Senior Fellow Horace Cooper writes that the emerging question about the media is clear:

Our Founders assumed that the media would take its role as watchdog seriously, not become a cheerleader for one side over the other. Can a constitutional protection endure when it only protects one side of the debate?

New York Times v. Sullivan – a major case regarding libel, defamation and the media – has twice been criticized by prominent jurists in recent legal opinions. D.C. Appeals Court Judge Laurence Silberman called it “a policy-driven decision masquerading as constitutional law,” and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas declared that the case “has no relation to the text, history or structure of the Constitution.”

That suggests that a case could come along soon that may decide “whether social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter should be liable for what they ‘publish’ or allow to be splashed across their pixelated webpages and for what they refuse to allow.”

Horace explains the Sullivan decision:

The landmark ruling announced that a public official seeking damages for defamation must prove “actual malice” – that is, not malice in the ordinary malicious sense, but that the defamatory statement was made with knowledge that it was false or was reckless in publishing it without first investigating its veracity. Upon then reviewing the evidence, the Court found insufficient evidence that the Times had published the controversial ad with such malice.

But this may end up on a future Supreme Court docket because, Horace notes, “there is a real question of how democracy thrives in a media environment where leftists in the media make scurrilous claims about conservatives and the same media simply ignores legitimate charges against their progressive allies.”

To read more about the details of the Sullivan case and Horace’s further thoughts about it, click here to read his commentary – “Who Watched the Media Watchdogs?” – at the Townhall website.

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