Project 21’s Washington on CNN: Put Aside Trump Hatred, Kanye Controversy to Promote Progress

Generations-long war may be over on the Korean Peninsula, Tom Brokaw is facing #metoo allegations and ABBA reunited – but CNN is still focused on all things potentially scandalous involving President Donald Trump.

On the April 26 edition of “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington was brought on for an in-depth panel discussion to analyze the new “bromance” between the President and rapper Kanye West. West, many will recall, claimed “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” in 2006. Now that he has shown support for President Trump, liberals that include one author at The Root now say that West is the one who doesn’t care about black people anymore.

During the CNN discussion, it was suggested there is a “lack of awareness” on the part of West about the President or the “nuance” of his statements. Lemon also asked Stacy if it “all boil[s] down to the President only liking people of color who flatter him?” Stacy responded:

First of all, we need to acknowledge that most of us like people who like us back… I find it stunning that we can’t take one second – one moment – and say that what Kanye West was trying to convey in his tweets yesterday was that he’s looking for a chance for people to communicate with each other. And there’s a lot of rancor in our discourse… It’s gotten really negative.

For those on the panel who seemed to think that rancor was coming purely from the President, Stacy responded:

Does that mean that everyone has to engage in that?… I’m not talking to President Trump on a daily basis, bit I am talking to other people – and I think there’s room for us to sit down and say: “I know we disagree on all of this, but where do we agree?”

Stacy, who was in Washington this week to represent Project 21 in a meeting with White House officials about the upcoming release of Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” added:

I was just at the White House yesterday, talking to a staffer – with other members of Project 21 – about our policy recommendations that are gonna be rolled out here pretty soon for a better black America. That’s a conversation I’m going to have with anyone – White House staffers, the President. I didn’t get to meet him, but I’d love to talk to him about it. And anyone else.

And when Lemon suggested that the average American was held to a higher standard than the President and his supporters may respond as a reaction to him, Stacy responded – reiterating her main point:

My behavior is not dictated by President Trump. I don’t lower my standards based on someone who’s in the White House. Because, if that’s the case, then this would be a bad situation starting back with Bill Clinton… We have to take the time to come together, regardless of how you feel about President Trump.

Despite not coming to an agreement with any of the rest of an otherwise very hostile panel to the President, Stacy did make an impact. In his closing, Lemon did specifically cite Stacy, saying: “I loved having you here. I loved having your perspective.”


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.