Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21
The flow of illegal immigrants into the United States led President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency to try to enhance border security. While the President focused on crime as a key reason for his declaration, Project 21 member Jerome Danner – in keeping with the case made in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” – says a real problem is that “[r]ising levels of illegal immigration threaten American workers and taxpayers.”
In a commentary published on the Fox News website, Jerome writes that data on crime involving illegal immigrants is “simply too unreliable to draw firm conclusions.” That being said, there is still plenty to be worried about regarding illegal immigration. A focus on crime, he contends, “obscures the bigger threat from illegal immigration: the massive economic burden imposed on American workers and taxpayers.”
Noting that an estimated 8 million of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States are in the American workforce, Jerome writes that those here illegally have expanded the workforce by around 25 percent:
This competition disproportionately harms less-educated Americans. Each 10-percent increase in the size of the low-skilled labor force decreases workers’ wages by at least three percent, according to research from Harvard professor George Borjas. Competition with immigrant laborers depresses the annual wages of Americans without high school diplomas by up to $1,500.
These less-skilled American workers are among the most vulnerable members of society. They already struggle to afford health care and nutritious food. By turning a blind eye to illegal immigration, our elected officials are effectively kicking these workers while they are down.
Jerome also points out that illegal immigration puts a strain on public services where “American taxpayers are often stuck with the bill.”
At an estimated total price tag of $116 billion annually, Jerome lists the welfare costs that result from those who illegally enter the United States:
Consider health care: More than seven in 10 illegal immigrants do not have health insurance. When they get sick, they frequently turn to emergency rooms, which legally cannot turn patients away. The cost of that care is ultimately passed on to government programs and everyone with a private insurance plan. Americans pay about $18 billion a year to provide free and subsidized health care for illegal immigrants.
The same goes for welfare and food assistance programs. Eighty-nine percent of households headed by illegal immigrant parents utilize at least one welfare program. These families draw nearly $6 billion in welfare benefits per year.
Children from illegal immigrant households also strain our public-school system. Nearly a quarter of students in U.S. public schools now speak a language other than English at home – that share has more than doubled since 1980. Taxpayers shell out roughly $1.6 billion a year to teach these kids English.
Project 21 has advocated for immigration reform that acknowledges those facts. It has asked government to ensure that the American people – especially black Americans, who often share the same communities and services as illegal immigrants – not “be forced to subsidize people who are not in the United States legally.”
As noted in Project 21’s Blueprint, “[t]he influx of millions of people into our country illegally has strained public services and placed a disproportionate burden on black communities.” To offer a better deal for black Americans, Project 21 recommends that governments:
To read more about these and other recommendations in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” click here.
To read Jerome’s entire commentary – “Yes, Illegal Immigration is a National Emergency, But Not for the Reasons Trump is Giving” – as it appears on the Fox News website, click here.
Project 21 members are calling on the NAACP to rescind actor Jussie Smollett’s nomination for an Image Award.
The nomination was made after Smollett claimed to be the victim of a hate crime. Since then, Smollett has been indicted on 16 counts of felonious disorderly conduct related to the attack allegedly being a hoax.
Project 21’s press release can be found here.
The following Project 21 member interviews to discuss the release have already been booked:
And more Project 21 members are joining the call for the NAACP to take action before its Image Awards broadcast on March 30.
Project 21 member Melanie Collette says:
If the NAACP truly wants to promote positive images in the black community, the last thing they should do is consider someone who is under indictment for taking advantage of racist stereotypes for selfish, personal gain.
The NAACP would show strength, integrity, and character by immediately withdrawing Jussie Smollett’s name from consideration.
Project 21 member Greg Parker adds:
Unless he is getting an award for best performance in a fake interview, Jussie Smollett should not be nominated for any award.
I do not believe his actions of late serve to celebrate the accomplishments of people of color. Further, putting racial-solidarity before condemning bad behavior allows such behavior to become the dominant influence in defining our community to society at large.
One of the more ludicrous ways critics accuse President Donald Trump of racism is by saying that his silence about an incident betrays his support for white nationalism.
That’s what Michael Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor, suggested on MSNBC. He said President Trump was “probably not happy” about the arrest of Christopher Hasson because he didn’t thank law enforcement officials. Hasson is an alleged white nationalist who was arrested on domestic terrorism charges in February.
Project 21 member Dr. Carol Swain, a retired Ivy League professor, refutes this line of thinking in a commentary that appeared in the Epoch Times and was reprinted on the Ohio Star website. She writes:
Steele’s accusation against the president feeds into the left’s narrative of Trump and his white supporters being a bunch of white supremacists with a vision of making America great again by getting rid of nonwhites.
But, she points out, the white nationalist narrative can hurt a lot of innocent people while ignoring the real issue:
The people who push the narrative of white nationalist Trump followers paint with a broad brush that taints many ordinary Americans who harbor no ill-will toward ethnic minorities. The label is applied to people and situations without much rational thought preceding the accusation.
To prove this, she uses the left’s most powerful cudgels to prove her point:
Even the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has an official definition that would exclude many of the people who find themselves dismissed as nationalists. The SPLC defines a white nationalist group as one that “espouse[s] white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of nonwhites.”
Undoubtedly, there are some white extremists in America; I commissioned interviews with some of them more than a decade ago. However, most of the people who are called white nationalists don’t fit the SPLC definition.
The author of eight books, Dr. Swain quotes from her prophetic The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration. Though it was published 15 years ago, many of her predictions now seem to be coming true. For example, she wrote in that book:
There now exists an emerging white interest that is parallel with, and structurally akin to, a black and brown interest, which increasingly sees itself in need of protection from public and private initiatives that are said to favor minorities at the expense of more deserving whites.
“I concluded by warning of the need for Americans to move away from identity politics and multiculturalism toward an American national identity – the same nationalism the President endorses,” Dr. Swain notes. “Far from driving us apart, a move from identity politics might bring us closer together.”
To read Dr. Swain’s commentary – “’White Nationalism’ is the Left’s Latest Trope Against Trump” – as it appeared on the Ohio Star website, click here.
Until recently, the reason people were unvaccinated was largely due to a lack of money to pay for shots. Nowadays, there’s a growing “anti-vax” movement blaming preventative medicine for conditions like autism and diabetes.
Anti-vax advocates are sticking to their notions even though, as Project 21 member (and new father) Jerome Danner points out in a Western Free Press commentary, “research has shown vaccinations have overwhelmingly been a benefit.”
And, in a recent case that Jerome cites in his piece, a boy in Oregon suffered through a lengthy hospital stay that left his parents on the hook for extremely high medical bills, bills that Jerome suggests might have been prevented “if [the boy] had just been vaccinated.”
Research backs the safety and necessity of vaccinations in promoting the wellness of children, Jerome explains:
It is highly unlikely that most people would follow a doctor’s instructions, allow them to poke them with any kind of a needle (among other things) and/or take any prescription that they give to us if we doubted they knew what they were talking about. They (the doctors) trust the research, then, we trust them and the vaccines, as long as we see it working.
To prove the perils of going the anti-vax route, Jerome refers to the story of the Oregon boy. After the boy cut himself while playing on his family’s farm, he began developing symptoms of tetanus including muscle spasms and lockjaw. He was saved, but – because he never received a tetanus vaccination – he spent 57 days recovering in a hospital (47 of those days in the intensive care unit).
In the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the little boy, who contracted tetanus, would go on to spend more than a month in the hospital. Most of his time was spent in the intensive care unit battling all kinds of horrors from the disease, which could have been avoided by taking a vaccination.
Then, after having to spend an unbearable time watching their child in pain, the parents had to experience the pain of seeing the hospital costs of taking care of their child and keeping him alive. The report stated that the family left the facility with a bill of over $800,000. How long will they now have to deal with the consequences of not getting their son vaccinated? Unless they are rich, they are possibly going to be smacking themselves for the rest of their lives.
To read Jerome’s Western Free Press commentary – “Case of Unvaccinated Boy Gives Good Reason to Get Immunizations” – in its entirety, click here.
When the NAACP holds its 50th annual Image Awards in two weeks, one of the past moments the group will NOT be highlighting is its nomination of R. Kelly for an award 15 years ago.
Project 21 called them out on it then, and the group’s leadership pledged to tighten the criteria for the selection of nominees for awards. Still, one award this year has a cloud hanging over it.
In 2004, on the Fox News Channel program “The O’Reilly Factor,” Project 21’s then-Chairman Mychal Massie said the NAACP was “out of touch” with the needs of black America for having nominated Kelly for an award while he was under indictment. An Image Award is supposed to honor “those who strive for the portrayal of positive images and meaningful opportunities for African-Americans.”
At the time of Kelly’s 2004 nomination in the “Outstanding Album” category, the R&B singer was under indictment. A Cook County (Illinois) grand jury charged him with 21 counts of child pornography related to a video which allegedly showed him having sex with an underaged girl. The tape existed and the girl was identified by many witnesses, but the jury acquitted Kelly in 2008 after the girl herself would not testify (his lawyer at the time has since said Kelly was “guilty as hell”).
Massie criticized the nomination: “For the NAACP to nominate R. Kelly as a role model while condemning truly great black Americans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice shows how truly out of touch the group has become.”
Soon after Project 21’s outspoken criticism, NAACP’s then-President Kweisi Mfume announced that the board would consider changes to the Image Awards selection process. Mfume told the Baltimore Sun he was concerned when a nominee “fails to meet the high standards for positive, constructive images on which the program was originally created.” It was a stark change from his defense of the nomination a few days before, when the Wilmington Journal quoted him saying: “This is not a humanitarian award… These are the Image Awards.”
Commenting on the reversal, Massie said:“We are pleased that the more rational elements with the NAACP have prevailed and are looking into a morals clause pursuant to the goals of the Image Awards. It should be viewed as nothing less than lamentable that an organization with such an august beginning allowed irrational minds to permit this embarrassment to happen in the first place.”
As the Image Awards celebrates its 50thanniversary, Kelly is not nominated but is once again under indictment. It is once again in Cook County, and could land him in jail for up to 70 years. He is accused of sexual misconduct with four underaged girls during the same time period as his first indictment. He was placed into custody in Chicago in late February.
Chicago is also a key factor in an embarrassment facing this year’s Image Awards. Among the nominees for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” is Jussie Smollett for “Empire.” Smollett is also currently under indictment in Cook County on 16 counts of falsely reporting a hate crime.
In a story that gained extensive national attention, Smollett claimed to have been beaten by two men – allegedly wearing pro-Trump hats – who targeted him for being gay and black. A police investigation concluded Smollett employed two Nigerian men he knew to stage an attack.
The NAACP has not yet announced plans to remove Smollett’s nomination from the Image Awards.
“Never in human history have companies been this large and influential.”
That’s the warning that 32 conservative leaders – including Justin Danhof, Esq., the National Center’s general counsel and Free Enterprise Project director – have delivered to Attorney General William Barr about the threat social media giants now pose to free speech as we know it.
While presenting General Barr with “important details about online censorship,” the letter suggests that a federal investigation of Google (and its subsidiary, YouTube), Facebook and Twitter “is urgent and we respectfully recommend that such an investigation should be a high priority for your office.”
In the coalition letter, Justin and the others point out that these companies, by their sheer dominance of social media, could have a profound negative influence over our freedom to speak and express ourselves in the future:
They have the ability to control so much of what we read and say every moment of the day — on a global scale. Their abuses pose a growing, massive threat to the ideals of free speech that this nation was founded on.
[I]t is undeniable that Facebook, Twitter, and Google/YouTube all have a significant liberal agenda hardwired into their platforms. These platforms also have an unprecedented power to manipulate and sway elections. Such sweeping power, combined with near monopolistic dominance in the marketplace, and in conjunction with deep one-sided liberal partisan bias within all these organizations, is cause for alarm.
To document the concern about the threat that these companies pose, the letter cites:
Being mindful of the constitutional rights of these American companies, the signers still say there is “ample probable cause of antitrust violations and of conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of conservatives, and possible collusion to violate laws governing America’s campaign finance system and elections.”
“During such a turbulent time in our nation’s political system,” the letter concludes, “it is crucial that you investigate how these social media/search media powerhouses wield their power to sway elections.”
Besides Justin, the letter was signed by conservative leaders such as:
The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project has regularly attended the annual shareholder meetings of Alphabet (the parent company and Google and YouTube) and Facebook and raised the issue of leftist groupthink in Silicon Valley. FEP most recently brought a shareholder proposal before Apple investors that asked the company to be mindful of the ideological diversity of its board of directors.
To read the entire letter that was sent to General Barr, click here.
There is a looming, existential threat to American conservatives and others who anger the establishment. Censorship is certainly affecting our freedom of speech right now, but it is also increasingly affecting the ability for some people to make and spend money.
Tech giants are behaving in an increasingly Orwellian fashion, acting as their own Ministry of Truth to erase from the public record those with whom they disagree, in a bid to reshape history and fabricate a world they desire.
“Thought crime,” “doublespeak” and “memory hole” are no longer just concepts from George Orwell’s book “Nineteen Eighty-Four”; they now have real-world applications. It’s as if the book were a blueprint, rather than a warning.
Scared yet? Adrian continues:
This is the world being created, as tech giants and banks work in tandem with progressive advocacy organizations to exclude people from participating in society, simply because they hold different views.
Censorship is virulently spreading in the United States. In the name of “tolerance” and “social justice,” people are being systematically excluded from online conversation.
In recent times, however, the censorship hasn’t only been limited to online discussion– it has spread to commerce as well. Companies and banks are now using someone’s exercise of his or her free speech rights as a pretext to close accounts and prevent that person from engaging in commerce.
Being blocked on social media platforms such as Facebook is common, becoming something of a badge of honor for some political posters and meme warriors. Awareness of this fact of online life intensified on March 13 after a widespread Facebook and Instagram outage led many people to search their past posts for a reason they might be locked in “Facebook jail.”
For political activists these days, censorship is much more than the inconvenience of not being able to post the zinger that wins an argument or distribute the dankest meme. It can also deprive them of the ability to earn an income. And, as the U.S. Supreme Court pointed out in Buckley v. Valeo, money is speech.
One of the people this has already affected is conservative gadfly Laura Loomer, who told Adrian that she lost 90 percent of her income after she was deprived of the ability to monetize her online activities after being banned by PayPal:
I recently posted a tweet in defense of conservative journalist Laura Loomer, saying: “The banning of Laura Loomer from Twitter, Venmo, PayPal, Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, and Teespring should be illegal. In a free nation, no person or company should have the power to block people from speech and commerce, simply because they disagree w/ their politics.”
Immediately, the post received comments from people (predictably) stating that private companies are allowed to refuse service to anyone. Despite the fact that many of the companies engaged in this behavior are public (and social-media sites, specifically, are operating spaces for public speech and discourse), this goes beyond the issue of companies being able to refuse service. It’s about the United States creeping toward an authoritarian system that can prevent any person from participating in commerce, simply for “wrongthink.”
And financial exile can be used as a weapon by others to squash political debate. Adrian explains:
In another example, Visa and Mastercard blocked the David Horowitz Freedom Center (a conservative organization) from receiving donations. The ban was based on a complaint from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that actively works to have conservatives censored and de-platformed. After two days of meetings with attorneys, the bans were reversed.
Not everyone can afford lawyers to reopen their closed accounts. For many, such banishment is a virtual death sentence for their political aspirations. Being added to the SPLC’s hate list, for example, automatically gets an organization blocked from the AmazonSmile fundraising program. That’s a third-party – and very political – group holding the keys that allow or disallow others to raise money through Amazon. That’s scary.
It also seems highly unlikely to Adrian that such a political hit job could be employed by conservatives against liberals. He suggests:
Imagine if conservatives banned supporters of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) from taking rideshare services to her campaign events. Imagine if grinning, MAGA-hat-wearing Trump supporters prevented fans of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from not only sharing her bad policy ideas on social media, but making political donations via credit card or by any electronic means. Imagine The Heritage Foundation lobbying to have CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s bank accounts closed. The outcry would be deafening.
And this power could usher in the bleak 1984-style future that Adrian warns about for everyone – not just politicos.
As technology introduces new ways to transact business, the censorship of Big Tech that we’ve already seen – on their own or dictated by others – can have a significant impact on our society. Adrian writes:
[B]anks and governments have been incrementally pushing the world toward a cashless monetary system. Should such a system materialize, politicians… and political activists – working hand-in-hand with financial companies –will have the ability to prevent anyone they don’t like from being able to purchase food, goods, and services or even to travel…
“If a ‘cashless’ government becomes authoritarian, it can not only monitor and tax everything you buy, but also ban purchases,” wrote Lowell Ponte on American Thinker. “This authoritarian step-by-step plan makes people depend on credit cards and on renting things instead of owning them. Then it outlaws cash as something only outlaws use. The government can control what people are permitted to buy by regulating and intimidating banks and credit card companies.”
When one considers that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo already declared there is “no place in the state” for those he considers to have “extreme” pro-life and pro-2ndAmendment views, and that China is restricting travel through a behavior-based “social credit” system, 1984 may already be here.
To read Adrian’s full Epoch Times commentary – “2019 is the New 1984” – click here.
Recent polling shows millennials are falling for the hype when it comes to socialism.
AOC and her Democrat Socialist agenda have enthralled her congressional colleagues, followers and the mainstream media.
But during his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump proclaimed he’d hold the line against socialism. He received rousing applause from his supporters in the chamber. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week, attendees on the stage and in the audience showed a similar resolve against forced collectivism.
Praising the President for his loud-and-clear declaration, Emery writes:
“America will never be a Socialist country” were the words that rang out. It was a crystal clear message, that pierced the hearts of those who want to institute that failed system in our country. As they sat there astounded by his words, America was awakened by the President’s proclamation.
The President is not alone when he stands up against such a movement that will destroy our nation as it was founded.
Americans don’t want to hand over the greatest nation on earth to a failed collective system that has failed time and time again when tried.
Americans love their freedom and liberty, and the principles that founded our nation.
We will not comply with a system of government that strips us of those values.
Calling for an end to the flirtation with that failed economic idea, Emery continues:
It is time for those wishing to impose such a system on us to come to grips with the facts. The President drove that fact home during his speech, and those opposing his statements sat in silence as he proclaimed that we would never accept it as a way of life here in America. The people attending cheered…
I believe that most Americans want America to stay on course as we move into the future not move towards failure.
We are a beacon of hope for the world, not a product of failure.
To read Emery’s entire commentary – “We Will Not Fall for Socialism” – on the Politichicks website, click here.
It can be quite embarrassing for an older parent to be mistaken for their child’s grandparent. In the case of Project 21 member Marie Fischer, that misperception also came with a tinge of suspicion that she might not be related to her at all – and that she might have meant to harm the child who was her daughter.
In a commentary published on the Politichicks website, Marie discusses a “commonplace” problem faced by the parents of biracial children. In Marie’s case, her darker complexion prompted probing questions from a salesclerk several years ago.
This problem made national news recently because of an incident involving Cindy McCain. The wife of the late senator had called the police at an airport because she feared a woman might have been involved in human trafficking rather than just being the parent of a biracial child.
I understand the gravity of child trafficking, but one cannot automatically jump to that conclusion because a parent and a child have two different complexions. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center report, approximately 2.9% to 4.3% of Americans are or identify as multiracial. Add to those statistics that 44% of all adoptions in the U.S. are interracial and that 73% of non-Caucasian adopted children are with Caucasian families.
With these growing numbers, there will be more families in which one or both parents will not have the same complexion as their child. Are we also going to see a rise in knee-jerk reactions, due to ignorance? Are we going to cause more stress to parents and children in an already overstressed world? Or can we approach it differently?
In the case of Cindy McCain, Marie also points out that – because of McCain’s own personal story – she should have known better than to jump to conclusions:
[A]s soon as I saw the name of the woman who reported it, I was completely shocked. I felt this woman should have known better – or at least found a better way to handle the situation.
That woman who mistakenly reported the woman with a biracial child was Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Senator John McCain. Many do not know this, but Cindy and John McCain’s son is married to a black woman – and they have a biracial child. Mrs. McCain has a daughter-in-law who likely faces similar situations that her mother-in-law just inflicted on another poor soul.
Additionally, Mrs. McCain has an adopted daughter from Bangladesh. I wonder if she was ever stopped because strangers wondered if her adopted daughter belonged to her.
While America has increasingly become a more cautious, see-something-say something society, Marie nonetheless counsels against allowing our worst fears to get the better of us, noting that “how one approaches such situations can make all the difference.” She adds:
Let’s always remember to be kind before we are suspicious, knowing that those with different complexions can have much in common – even a direct genetic link.
To read Marie’s commentary – “Cindy McCain’s Lesson: Don’t Assume a Child’s Race” – in its entirety on the Politichicks website, click here.
In a recent and very troubling poll, Americans were split – dead even – on the question of whether or not the United States was the source of all the world’s problems.
An early February poll conducted by McLaughlin and Associates asked, “Do you agree or disagree that America is the source of most of the world’s ills: political, economic and environmental?” Of 1,000 likely voters, 46% agreed and 46% disagreed with the statement. But it was the younger respondents who skewed heavily toward agreement.
This finding tends to confirm similar polls indicating that millennials are turning their backs on the free market in favor of socialism, communism… or worse.
In a Newsmax commentary about the February poll results, John and Jim McLaughlin write: “Someone is inculcating our youth with this view.”
Sheriff David Clarke – the retired top lawman for Milwaukee County, Wisconsin – compares the leftists’ drive to conscript American youth to their cause to the way a cult operates. At Townhall, he points out:
The non-stop push by the American left to dismantle existing American time-honored and time-tested institutions is how they will force socialism and central control on the American people.
Clarke notes that the left’s ideology “has significant similarities to the psychology of cults.” He charges both with:
“The American left understands these polar opposites well,” Clarke writes, “and will continue to destroy our country if we let them.”
The full commentary – “The Cult-Like Psychology of the Progressive Movement” – is available here.
Clarke’s sentiments are shared by members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network. And they have additional thoughts on the matter.
Project 21 member Rich Holt, who has experienced the animus of the left as a campaign consultant, notes:
It’s much easier to burn down a bridge than build one. In generations past, we were all taught to build bridges between ourselves and those of different faiths and classes. We sought, as a society, to unite under our shared cultural beliefs of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Today’s youth are taught by liberals to burn bridges and build forts. Diversity of thought, religion and the evils of dissent will be destroyed as a result.
But Clarke forgets to highlight the most powerful force of liberalism: sociopaths. Only someone with a truly sinister and disturbing sense of self works so hard to silence others or scream above them. Liberalism isn’t just a political ideology – it’s a dangerous pathology that belongs in the same dictionary as sociopath and psychopath.
And Project 21 member Marie Fischer adds:
I know many will dismiss what Sheriff Clarke says. However, when you look very hard, it is scary but true. Progressives are using cult-based psychology to transform our country with the help of the mass media.
But one point Sheriff Clarke missed was that of isolation. How many times have we heard people say they don’t state their conservative viewpoints out loud for fear of being isolated or outcast? In a cult, those who do not “go with the program” are either isolated or cast out. How many times do you hear our young people say they do not want to be outcasts?
Noted economist Thomas Sowell, another black conservative, also recently remarked about this trend with pessimism. In a Fox Business Network interview about the current popularity of socialism, he said,“I do have a great fear that, in the long run, we may not make it” despite the overwhelming evidence of the failure of socialism.
So many people today, including in the leading universities, don’t pay much attention to evidence. When you see people starving in Venezuela and fleeing into neighboring countries and realize that this is a country that once had the world’s largest oil reserves, you realize that they’ve ruined a very good prospect with ideas that sounded good but didn’t turn out well.