31 May 2011 Black Conservatives Blast Liberals’ Lack of Civility
Last Week’s Radical Rhetoric Reveals Cynical Behavior
Washington, D.C. – Black conservatives with the Project 21 leadership network are condemning the recent rash of radical statements from liberal leaders that betray earlier calls for civility. This extremism, Project 21 members note, calls into question the legitimacy of past liberal shock and outrage over alleged tea party movement behavior.
Project 21 member Cherylyn Harley LeBon said: “It’s unfortunate that liberals call for civility when it is convenient for them. We are still waiting to see the evidence to their claims that the tea party activists are racist. Sadly, now there is no rebuke from a mainstream media happy to paint conservatives with the brush of racism.”
“It’s the leading progressive figures who are spewing tired race- and gender-based comments in a desperate attempt to shift the debate away from Obama’s failed leadership,” said Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli.
In the past week, three leading liberals have made incendiary political statements based on race and gender. Representative James Clyburn (D-SC), the third-ranking liberal in the U.S. House of Representatives, during a newspaper interview published on May 26, said “the fact of the matter is, the President’s problems are in large measure because of his skin color.” On the same day, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who also now chairs the Democratic National Committee, told reporters it was “hard” for her “to grasp how [Republicans] could be so anti-women as they are” and alleged the Republican Party is waging a “war on women.” A day earlier, MSNBC suspended talk show host Ed Schultz from his television program for a week because of comments on his radio show in which he called conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham “a right-wing slut.”
Commenting on Clyburn’s rhetoric in particular, Project 21 member Jerome Hudson said: “Representative Clyburn’s statement is short on logic. It is responsible — and not racist — for the American people to look critically at their political leaders. This is especially true when the policies of a president are expected to lead to a higher unemployment rate, historic levels of food stamp dependency and spending that will bankrupt our nation.”
Borelli added: “Ironically, the real extreme statements are derived from the left. Wasserman Schultz’s silence on Ed Schultz’s comment, for example, demonstrates that it’s all about politics and has nothing to do with the truth.”
Project 21 member Coby Dillard said: “One would think that, after the calls for civility in the wake of Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting in January, leading liberals would conduct themselves according to the rhetorical standards they set for conservatives. Unfortunately, it seems the same people who demand the tea party cease inflammatory rhetoric have no reservations about engaging in it themselves.”
“Many on the progressive side have tried to accuse the tea party movement of having a lack of civility for some of the signs that have appeared at rallies, but the major difference is that the few examples they’ve been able to cite were the product of private citizens,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. “In these recent cases involving the left, the radicalism comes from political and public figures — and leaders, in particular. Those who have sought to lecture the public on the issue of civility are now the ones showing a complete lack of it.”
Dillard added: “We do need to be more civil in our discourse with each other, regardless of what side of the political spectrum we stand on. At our most basic, though, we need to be respectful of each other. President Obama is fond of saying that we can disagree without being disagreeable. It would help if his supporters followed that guidance as much as they expect it from their ideological opponents.”
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).