Project 21 Training Young Conservatives to Deal with Those Who Play the Race Card

P21DerryckGreenAddressing some of the conservative leaders of tomorrow, Project 21 member Derryck Green counseled them on the importance of standing up for themselves at the inevitable moments when liberals are so desperately losing their arguments that they will find the race card played against them.

Derryck bluntly told his audience of high school and college students that “you’re not racist – you’re conservative.”  He explained that conservatives are all too often improperly maligned as racist and must immediately confront those who seek to discredit them on such false charges.

If they do not address and disarm the smear of racism, Derryck added, it may stick and unduly influence others despite being wholly invalid.

These words of wisdom came as Derryck when he spoke to dozens of young conservatives at the Reagan Ranch Center of the Young America’s Foundation in Santa Barbara, California on 11/15/14.  His remarks expanded on his recent Prager University lecture – “Who are the Real Racists: Liberals or Conservatives?” – that has been viewed over 263,000 times.

During his Young America’s Foundation talk, Derryck pointed out that anyone labeling conservatives as racist must be pressed to provide definitive proof of their allegation.  It is Derryck’s contention, derived from his journey toward acknowledging his own conservatism, that the policies of liberals are actually more condescending toward black Americans that any competing agenda promoted by conservatives.

For example, regarding racial preference policies for employment or school admissions, Derryck said affirmative action policies can actually be harmful to black students:

It robs them of an opportunity just so the school brochure can say “we’re diverse.”  I think that’s wrong.  I think that’s morally wrong.  But, most important, or maybe equally as important, is that it mismatches black students with institutions in which they’re just not prepared to succeed.

So, if we have a bunch of people who maybe have not have had the best education, but they applied to first-rate schools, just for diversity – well, we’re setting them up for failure because they haven’t been primed and they haven’t been exposed to the learning techniques and the speed at which they need to keep up to be successful.  So they’re going to more than likely drop out or fall behind.

If we’re going to have affirmative action that gets more students into schools, but the dropout rates are higher, what have we accomplished?

Derryck then talked about polling place protections to safeguard the will of American voters and voter ID requirements in particular.  Saying that the notion that blacks cannot obtain proper identification in “incongruent” with a respectful view of blacks, Derryck commented about voter ID laws:

They say it’s going to disfranchise blacks.  What does that mean, exactly?  “Well, blacks aren’t capable of getting ID.”  Why?  The majority of them have ID already.

Why are blacks singled out as the only group who cannot get an ID?  To me, that’s… that’s racist.  And, you know, it boils my blood… that we are singled out as incapable.  We don’t have the ingenuity.  We don’t have the tools – whether intrinsically or extrinsically – to be like everyone else.

But what really grinds my gears, in some fashion, is that blacks are running to use this defense – to say, “yes, we cannot do this.”

And I look at this and say: “Hey, wait a second.  You’re participating in your own condescension.”  And this is why people look down on black issues and don’t take black issues seriously.

School choice was Derryck’s third case in which he pointed out liberals are pursuing (actually opposing, in this case) a policy that would benefit black families.  He said:

I think that the idea of giving blacks the opportunity to pick what teachers teach their students, what schools their children go to, I think that should be given to every American.

For the President to send his two daughters to a school that costs over $37,000 a year per student, and doesn’t extend that freedom and liberty to many of his constituents – I think – is wrong.  And I don’t think he can defend that, morally…

I don’t want to conscript black children to poor education.  What do we do to these children that we say we are going to force [them] into these substandard schools.

To follow is Derryck’s full presentation and a lively question-and-answer session.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.