Project 21: Archives

Watch Your Step: First Step Act Could Harm Minority Communities, by Horace Cooper, Stacy Washington, and Constable Council Nedd II

National Policy Analysis #680 /
Senator Mitch McConnell is considering taking the “First Step Act” (S. 2795), a criminal justice reform bill, to the Senate floor for a vote during the lame duck session. He should not. The U.S. criminal justice system is in need of reform, but the First Step Act poses significant risks to the safety of the American people – especially those most vulnerable. While the legislation is well-intentioned and includes some good provisions, its efforts to undermine mandatory minimum sentencing threaten to reverse the significant progress made in recent decades in reducing crime. Proponents argue that eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing is ...
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Big Government’s Focus on Fines and Fees Disparately Impacts Poor, Minority Communities

Press Release /
Black Leaders Offer Better Deal From the Criminal Justice System Washington, D.C. – Law enforcement agencies focus too much on revenue-generating activities that have a negative impact on poor and minority communities, further straining the relationship between police and the communities they serve, according to the black leadership network Project 21. As part of its “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” Project 21 recommends 10 criminal justice reforms. Among them: Requiring convictions be obtained before assets are forfeited, prohibiting incarceration for fine-only misdemeanors, requiring fines and forfeitures go to general funds rather than an enforcing agency’s budget and ...
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A Recess Appointment of Bill Lann Lee May Send Republicans to the Head of the Class, by David Almasi and Roderick Conrad

National Policy Analysis #178 /
A showdown is brewing between President Clinton and Senate Republicans over civil rights. Even if Clinton wins, it may hurt Democrats at the polls. After Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee made clear their intention to block the nomination of Bill Lann Lee, Clinton's choice for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Democrats used parliamentary tactics to send it back to the White House without a vote. This lack of a vote with Congress out of session gives Clinton the ability to install Lee by "recess appointment," keeping him there for the duration of the 105th Congress. Lee was chosen ...
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Standing up for Motherhood – December 1997

During the summer of 1997, Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller unexpectedly generated nationwide controversy because of his support for motherhood. Miller, while providing color commentary for the fledgling Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), voiced his concerns about a decision by a player to return to the court just six weeks after giving birth. Miller said that the player should have spent more time at home getting settled with her newborn. "Basketball is only a game," Miller said, according to press accounts. "Motherhood is forever." Of course, Miller's comments yielded a firestorm of protest, as well as a tidal wave of ...
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Succeeding American-Style, by James Coleman

New Visions Commentary /
When I was a child, my mother told me black people had to be twice as good as people of European ancestry if they wanted to succeed. I never took her advice as a deterrent, just a statement of fact. I chalked it up to understanding the rules of the game. As in any game, there are obstacles and restrictions. Winners master the rules and excel, while losers complain about them and fail. For example, outfielders in baseball don't complain that they have to run around while the pitcher, catcher and other infielders stay in roughly the same place. They ...
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Piscataway Payoff Delays Civil Rights Reform – November 1997

Fearing the results of a Supreme Court defeat, civil rights organizations are keeping a major case from going before the Court by paying a majority of the cost to settle it. The school board of Piscataway, New York, voted yesterday to accept an offer by the Black Leadership Forum, a coalition of civil rights groups, to pay 70% of the $433,500 in back wages and interest white business teacher Sharon Taxman says the school owes as a result of her racially motivated dismissal. The Supreme Court was to hear arguments on January 14th of next year. When Piscataway High School ...
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Project 21 Joins NAACP In Criticizing New National Academic Tests Proposed By the Clinton Administration – September 1997

With the House of Representatives expected to vote on the Labor, Health and Human Services Education appropriations bill on Thursday, September 4, the African-American group Project 21 has joined the NAACP and others in criticizing proposed new national reading tests that will be funded by the appropriations bill for fourth graders, and new national mathematical tests for eighth graders. Except for Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), who is cosponsoring a resolution opposing the new national tests, his fellow Congressional Black Caucus members -- Bill Clay (D-MO), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Robert Scott (D-VA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), and Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) -- ...
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The Emergence of Clarence Thomas, by Paul Weyrich

New Visions Commentary /
by Paul WeyrichA New Visions Commentary paper published September 1997 by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, [email protected], Web http://www.project21.org. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. The headline on the front page of Sunday's [July 27] Washington Times read "Thomas Increasing in Stature as Justice." It virtually jumped off the page. The Times piece, by Frank J. Murray, acknowledges what Supreme Court watchers such as Tom Jipping have been saying for some time now. Clarence Thomas is slowly but surely becoming one of the most influential of the ...
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NAACP: Serious Problems With The Proposed Voluntary National Tests of Reading and Mathematics

The Department of Education's effort to develop and administer Voluntary National Tests in Reading and Mathematics for 4th and 8th grade students creates cause for real concern about harm to children through misuse of the tests if they are developed and implemented under the current proposal. The tests will be used for high stakes decisions about students' futures: Testing experts agreed at a recent meeting of the Board on Testing and Assessment of the National Research Council that the tests inevitably will be used for many purposes including retention in grade, ability grouping, tracking, graduation, and possibly teacher assessment. While ...
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An Answer to America’s “Race Question” – September 1997

The national dialogue on race has always been with us. Every year there are articles, books, television programs and incidents that make race the central issue at kitchen tables and water fountains across America. Most recently, a group of Congressmen, led by Ohio Democrat Tony Hall, has called for a resolution to apologize to African-Americans for slavery. President Clinton has appointed a commission to study race relations. The NAACP has faced pressure from within and without to disavow school busing as a tool of integration. And Louis Farrakhan promotes himself as a black messiah. Can we ever lay to rest ...
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Competition and Experience are the Keys to Achievement, by Mike Ramey

New Visions Commentary /
One of my favorite baseball stories involves two well-known players: Hank Aaron and Yogi Berra. The story dates back to when they were young men. Aaron and Berra were playing in the same game for opposing teams. Aaron stepped up to the plate, bat in hand, ready to take care of business. Berra, who was in his position as catcher, noticed that Aaron was holding the bat with the label facing the wrong way. Berra whispered to Aaron: "Hold the bat so you can read the label." Aaron whispered back to Berra: "I didn't come here to read, I came ...
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It’s Time for Defenders of Traditional Families to Stand Up for What They Believe In – August 1997

Hawaii has become the first state in the Union to recognize "domestic partners" as a legitimate family structure with rights previously reserved for traditional families. Usually the course of civilization is changed and directed by society, not by government. In Hawaii's instance, the change is directed by government managing the societal norms we live with. Not only are homosexuals allowed the same benefits and recognition that married couples have, but Hawaii recognizes all relationships between adults that are not sanctioned under marriage. Siblings and good friends are among the types of relationships recognized. The possibilities are endless. Now the unemployed ...
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What True Freedom Is and Isn’t – August 1997

The motto "America, land of the free" was once stated with pride. The pride was based in the belief that America was the first country founded on the principle of freedom for all. Because the practice of slavery was a direct contradiction of this principle, the cry for freedom was of particular importance to Africa's children in America. Many strange things have been done in the name of freedom ranging from benign segregation to not-so-benign lynchings. Yet, none are stranger than the message of today's so-called leaders of the black community. Their message is that black people who feel free ...
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Let’s Hold Juveniles Responsible for Their Crimes, by Darlene Kennedy

The meek may be blessed, but they're not likely to inherit the earth anytime soon. In May, President Clinton stood proudly before an audience of law enforcement, community leaders and others at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to announce preliminary Justice Department figures citing a 7 percent drop in crime from 1995 to 1996. What he neglected to mention is that juvenile crime is rapidly on the rise and does not show signs of slowing down. A recent Justice Department study revealed that in 1995 14 percent of all violent crimes were committed by juveniles, up from 10 percent in ...
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How Social Security Shortchanges Black Americans, by Deroy Murdock

New Visions Commentary /
By yesterday's definition of racism, the answer is no. For all its failings, Social Security was concocted in 1935 with glowing intentions. Rescuing the elderly from poverty -- regardless of race -- is an idea to which only the flintiest would object. By today's definition, however, a negative "disparate impact" on minorities trumps even the most pristine motives. Perhaps Social Security should be investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As it is, Social Security is a legalized pyramid scheme built atop unstable demographic sands. It threatens to collapse into rubble once the Baby Boomers retire and Generation-Xers begin carrying ...
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D.C. Initiative To Legalize Marijuana A Bad Idea, But Why Isn’t the President Saying So? – July 1997

As drugs continue to ravage American communities and rob millions of children of their futures, the African-American group Project 21 is calling on President Clinton to speak out against a proposal to legalize drugs in the nation's capital. Dubbed Measure 57 or the "Legalization of Marijuana Treatment Initiative of 1997," a proposal to legalize the "possession, use, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana" for "medical purposes" only needs 16,763 valid D.C. signatures by December 8 to get on the D.C. ballot. "Marijuana is the gateway drug to harder drugs," said Project 21 member Stephen Craft, a staff chaplain at the Jefferson ...
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Taxpayers, Religious People, Internet Users, Handguns Owners Shut Out of Court

Press Release /
Press Release The National Center for Public Policy Research For Immediate Release: June 27, 1997 Contact: Amy Ridenour (202) 507-6398 or [email protected] Taxpayers, Religious People, Internet Users, Handgun Owners Shut Out of Court:Millions Affected by Supreme Court Decisions This Week Were Denied the Opportunity to See Cases Argued in Court Taxpayers, religious people, Internet users, handgun owners and anyone who might someday die were keenly affected by decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court over the last three days. Too bad these same people were effectively banned from watching these Supreme Court proceedings the way they can watch the ...
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Racial Reconciliation Needs to Start at the White House – June 1997

Press Release /
On Eve of Presidential Announcement, African-American Group Releases Top 10 List of Acts by the Clinton Administration That Divide America By Race and Ethnicity June 9, 1997 Contact: Arturo Silva at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected] In anticipation of President Clinton's scheduled June 14 speech on racial reconciliation, the African-American leadership group Project 21 has released a "Top 10 Acts of the Clinton Administration to Divide Americans By Race and Ethnicity." "The Clinton Administration must be held accountable for attempting to further the divide between the races," said Project 21 coordinator Arturo Silva, author of the paper. "This 'Top 10' list ...
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Public School Buildings On Much Stronger Ground Than the Education Taught Within Them, by Darlene Kennedy

New Visions Commentary /
The General Accounting Office (GAO) recently completed a two year survey of 10,000 public schools across the country, and not surprisingly found many in need of renovation. Like our bridges and major highways, America's schools, many of which were built between World War II and the early sixties to accommodate the high water of the baby boomer flood, are now beginning to show their age. What was startling was the GAO's estimated price tag of over $100 billion to "repair or upgrade" these schools. With the exception of national defense, this White House can usually be counted on to support ...
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Top Ten Acts of The Clinton Administration To Divide Americans By Race and Ethnicity, by Arturo Silva

On June 14, at the University of California, San Diego, President Clinton will deliver a speech on racial reconciliation and unveil a "race initiative." Whatever the President proposes, the black leadership group Project 21 has put together this Top 10 List to remind every American, of every race, that the President may speak the language of reconciliation, but his Administration has instituted and enforced policies of racial and ethnic division. ***Number 10. Using quotas to choose delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The 1996 Delegate Selection Rules by the Democratic National Committee required that the racial make-up of the delegates ...
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