August 15, 2020

Black Activists Challenge Bias Against White Firemen in Court

“Racially Motivated” Hiring Hurting White Firemen Challenged by Black Activists in Court

Project 21 Black Leadership Network Joins Pacific Legal Foundation, Others in Charging the City of Buffalo, New York “Allowed the Fire Department’s Promotional Lists to Expire, Because the Next Applicants in Line for Promotion Were all Caucasian”

Washington, DC – Black activists and legal experts with the Project 21 leadership network are supporting white firefighters in court against a city’s “racially motivated” decision that deprived the white firefighters of promotions they earned.

“It is axiomatic that city government can’t cancel promotions because they don’t like the race of the applicants – black or white. In 2014, one would think people wouldn’t have to go to court over such a decision,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and a former leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the case of Margerum v. City of Buffalo, argued earlier this week before the Court of Appeals for the State of New York, Project 21 joined an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) legal brief filed with the court that was written by the Pacific Legal Foundation and also joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity, Individual Rights Foundation, Reason Foundation and Cato Institute. The brief charged city officials in Buffalo, New York “allowed the fire department’s promotional lists to expire, because the next applicants in line for promotion were all Caucasian and the City sought to avoid disparate impact litigation.”

“Every applicant in Buffalo – and everywhere else, for that matter – should expect hiring or promotion decisions will be made on the merits and not be offered or withheld based on their skin color,” added Project 21’s Cooper. “Moreover, it should be plainly known that we don’t solve the problem of racial discrimination by discriminating on the basis of race.”

Project 21’s legal brief “examines the conflict between disparate impact theory and the Equal Protection Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] in cases such as this one, where government discriminates against people of one race, in order to avoid an adverse impact on people of another race.” In this case, in which white firefighters were deprived of career advancement, it is noted that “the City decided to allow the Fire Department’s promotional eligibility lists to expire. The City’s decision was racially motivated: the next applicants in line for promotions were Caucasians, and the City feared a disparate impact challenge from the black firefighters had the Caucasian firefighters been promoted.”

In 2002, action on civil service exam results was suspended because the 13 Buffalo firefighters listed as eligible for promotion were all white. After several years of intentional delay, the list was allowed to expire in 2005 and the promotions were not awarded because the city’s commissioner of human resources deemed the test results were “suspect.” A lawsuit was filed by the firefighters in 2007 against the city, the fire department and the commissioner.

The firefighters have won their case in the lower courts, but the city has repeatedly appealed the case. The Court of Appeals is New York’s highest court.

A similar case involving white and Hispanic firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut, Ricci v. DeStefano, was decided in favor of the plaintiffs in 2009. The Project 21 legal brief draws upon the lessons of that case, noting that it “demonstrates how the specter of disparate impact litigation leads government employers to engage in unconstitutional race-conscious decision making in an attempt to avoid liability for such claims.” The brief added:

The City would not have let the list expire had the next eligible candidates on the list been African-American firefighters. Thus, the City made the decision to treat candidates differently because of race and fear of disparate impact litigation. Neither reason justifies the resulting intentional discrimination against those firefighters who excelled on the promotional examination.

“In the Ricci case, the U.S. Supreme Court showed how when government tries to remedy a perceived racial disparity that it can actually violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Cherylyn Harley LeBon , a former senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. “Two wrongs don’t make things right, and the Buffalo firemen in the Margerum case now have consistently proven in the lower courts that city officials denied them the promotions they deserved because they were all white. A merit-based promotion must not be sidelined because it is not a diverse promotion list, especially when it involves deserving first-responders like it does in this situation. These men put their lives on the line for us, and they should not find their careers or earning potential compromised by a bean-counting politician.”

A copy of the Pacific Legal Foundation-filed brief in the case of Margerum v. City of Buffalo on which Project 21 is a co-amici can be downloaded at http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/margerum-ny-ct-app.pdf

Project 21 involves itself in significant legal cases at the federal and state levels. It participated, for instance, in the cases of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin and Shelby County v. Holder in particular over the past two terms of the U.S. Supreme Court as well as Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, et al. v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. during the Court’s current term. Over the years, Project 21 has been involved in over a dozen legal briefs. Project 21 legal experts and other members have discussed these cases in hundreds of media interviews and citations.

In 2014, Project 21 members were interviewed or cited by the media over 2,000 times, including on TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, the Orlando Sentinel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WHO-Des Moines, KOA-Denver, WGN-Chicago, WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh, on topics including civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, voter ID, race preferences, education, illegal immigration and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 members also provided substantial commentary regarding the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner judicial proceedings. Project 21 has also defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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EPIC FAIL: Sharpton March on Washington

EPIC FAIL: Sharpton March on Washington Probably Won’t Address Jobs or Freedom – Making It Nothing like the 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event Sharpton Seeks to Mimic

Washington, DC – Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are criticizing Al Sharpton’s planned weekend protest in Washington, D.C., saying the protest likely will do nothing but stir up tension while the root causes of high crime and low hope in black communities go unaddressed.

On December 13, Sharpton plans to bring thousands of protesters to the nation’s capital for his National March Against Police Violence. He reportedly hopes that the protest, capitalizing on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, will promote legislation to give the U.S. Department of Justice enhanced power to prosecute local police officers. Sharpton allies are trying to liken the event to Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Project 21 members disagree, saying that the weekend protest will hinge on racial politics a almost certainly will fail to realistically address important issues such as unemployment, education and the growth of government.

“While Al Sharpton marches to the U.S. Capitol to protest the deaths of Michael Ferguson and Eric Garner and raise awareness about alleged police brutality, I would instead prefer a march for increased job opportunities for black Americans and better educational options in urban communities,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a former senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. “Representative Emanuel Cleaver said it’s everyone’s responsibility ‘to get involved in the fight to ensure that the criminal justice system is working well for everyone.’ I can agree, but we must also realize black Americans have not fared well in the past six years of the Obama Administration. Homeownership has decreased, personal bankruptcy is on the rise and food stamp enrollment increased due to prolonged periods of unemployment. Black unemployment hovers around 11 percent, and black youth unemployment more than doubles that rate. There is no magic solution that can be summarized in a clever sentence, and I’m sure Sharpton’s protest will not help create more jobs in the black community, nor will it ensure more black teens graduate from high school with promising college or employment options. Provide black youth with a path to earn a good living and perhaps we would not have to focus on the criminal justice system.”

“Sharpton’s upcoming march in Washington, D.C., and the many other protests against police shooting of unarmed black men, are rapidly losing the moral high ground they might have briefly achieved after liberals and conservatives across the board decried the no-bill decision by the grand jury in the Eric Garner case. Violent riots in Berkeley, protesters intimidating and disrupting Christmas shopper at a Toys ‘R’ Us in New York City and a militant group now threatening to shoot members of the NYPD clearly shows protests are devolving into anarchy,” said Project 21’s Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality and executive director of the TheTeaParty.Net, who visited Ferguson, Missouri and met with local leaders and residents to try to ease tensions there. “Progressives such as Sharpton, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Professor Michael Eric Dyson and Mayor Bill de Blassio are tripling down on the history of racism — even bringing up slavery to revive their flagging politics. Progressivism’s failed policies have dominated our nation since Obama’s inauguration and controlled most urban centers for more than half a century. The fruits? Young black male unemployment is at levels exceeding the Great Depression while Wall Street booms. It is safer for a young black man to walk the streets of Kabul than Detroit and Chicago — not because of racist white cops but because of other young black men. Racial unity in America is worse now than when hope and change came to power in 2009. The progressives are running out of cards, so they hurt America more by now playing the race card from the bottom of the deck.”

“Al Sharpton seems to have one agenda, and that’s garnering money and influence for himself within the liberal establishment,” said Project 21’s Lawrence B. Jones III, a freelance investigative journalist who was in Ferguson, Missouri after the grand jury decision and who plans to attend the December 13 Sharpton protest. “After we have this conversation about race in Washington this weekend, we are still left with real problems in America — notably, a progressive agenda that is not advancing the best interests of the black community. Blacks are suffering an unemployment rate approximately double the national average, black-on-black crime is high, urban schools are failing, abortions are outnumbering live births in New York City and we have a President who continues to put blacks last with his amnesty immigration policies.”

“As a Bible-believing, born again, constitutionalist and conservative black clergyman who believes in the issues of justice, righteousness and peacemaking in the face of violence and crime, I wonder when we will march, protest and show righteous indignation over black-on-black crime and lift up our so-called collective voices with similar moral outrage,” said Project 21’s Reverend Steven Louis Craft, a prison chaplain. “There is an eerie silence regarding the destruction of our urban youth in inner-city America, and yet Al Sharpton and his so-called marches are nowhere to be found. There is enough blame to go around without false ministers such as Sharpton stirring up a racial cesspool of fear, hatred and false pride. We are dealing with a spiritual malady of the sinfulness of the human race, and true ministers of the Gospel need to be peacemakers and not racial agitators!”

Since August, Project 21 has issued six press releases and published numerous news-related blog posts addressing the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and related events. Over the past four months, Project 21 members have completed nearly 350 radio and television interviews and been otherwise cited in the media on issues related to police officers and the black community.

Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media almost 2,000 other times in 2014, including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and the 50,000-watt radio stations WBZ-Boston, WHO-Des Moines, KDKA-Pittsburgh, KOA-Denver and WJR-Detroit, on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights, defended voter ID laws at the United Nations and also provided regular commentary during the Trayvon Martin judicial proceedings in 2013. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Eric Garner’s Death Is Mourned, Big Government Is Blamed for Tragedy

“A Man Died over Cigarettes and Tax Revenue”

Washington, DC – WASHINGTON, DC — As members of the Project 21 black leadership network mourn the regretful loss of Eric Garner’s life during a confrontation with New York City police officers, they see the root problem in government overreach.

Garner died at least in part from a chokehold administered by a police officer last July after he was accused of selling “loose” untaxed cigarettes outside a New York City storefront. On December 2, a grand jury did not indict the officer who put Garner in the apparently deadly hold. While most protesters are focused on the issue of police brutality, Project 21 members are looking at the bigger-picture problem of an increasingly powerful government which zealously enforces regulations so that even minor offenses can have deadly outcomes.

“A man died over cigarettes and tax revenue. Eric Garner died because of an all too powerful state,” said Project 21 member Shelby Emmett, an attorney and former congressional staffer. “We must ask ourselves what exactly we want the police enforcing with such deadly strength. These officers confronted Garner because he was selling single cigarettes and was thus depriving the government of revenue. He was not threatening anyone’s life, starting fires or even holding up traffic. He was not suspected of a violent crime, so such force should never have been justified. Any person concerned with individual liberty should be disgusted.”

“The overregulated nanny state not only inconveniences our everyday lives, but — as we’ve now witnessed in New York City — it can even end up costing someone their life,” said Project 21 member Christopher Arps, a resident of St. Louis who was witness to both cycles of violence in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of Michael Brown. “I would never condone breaking the law, but it is inconceivable to me that a citizen can be put into a police chokehold and, despite repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe, be allowed to die over the crime of selling untaxed, loose cigarettes on the street.”

Besides government, violent cultural factors and unchecked crime within the black community is cited as a factor in the death of Eric Garner.

“Black lives do matter, and Eric Garner should not have died for selling loose cigarettes. I agree with Al Sharpton and the racialist lobby that there is a crisis of black men losing their lives, but my harmony with them ends there because they tend to only mourn the loss of black lives taken by whites,” said Project 21 Niger Innis , national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality and executive director of the TheTeaParty.Net. “The plague on young black men in urban centers is not white racists and nor murderous cops because 93 percent of black men are killed by other black men. There are far too many black men raised in households that have no black male role models and the entertainment-industrial complex perpetuates a gangsta criminal chic. Until so-called civil rights leaders can openly and honestly address this problem, the plague will continue unabated. We need to target the real cause of the genocide of young black men.”

Project 21 member were interviewed or cited by the media over 1,900 other times in 2014 – including TVOne, Fox News Channel, CNN, the Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Orlando Sentinel, National Public Radio, Westwood One, SiriusXM satellite radio and the 50,000-watt radio stations WBZ-Boston, WHO-Des Moines, KDKA-Pittsburgh, KOA-Denver, WGN-Chicago and WJR-Detroit – on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights, defended voter ID laws at the United Nations and provided comment during the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown judicial proceedings. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Black Activists Comment on Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

St. Louis/Washington – After a grand jury chose not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death last August of local resident Michael Brown, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are speaking out about the ruling, what it means for the black community and how protesters might redirect their energies to find some redemption from the loss.

“Now that we have a grand jury decision, may the process of healing begin in earnest,” said Project 21 member Stacy Washington, a St. Louis resident who hosts a local radio talk show. “I truly hope for a refocus of protest energy towards reflection and away from blaming the police for the difficulties facing black Americans today. We must begin to look at improving ourselves instead of blaming groups of others for endemic problems that plague the black community. May God grant the Brown family peace and closure.”

“The grand jury’s decision shows that facts do matter,” said Project 21 member Joe R. Hicks , a former executive director or the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Los Angeles City Human Rights Commission. “From the inception — and despite the hyperbolic rhetoric from national black leaders, local protesters and political opportunists of all stripes — my position was that the facts and a thorough investigation would tell the story of what happened on that street between teenager Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson. Now that Officer Wilson’s actions have been deemed within the scope of a lawful police response to the dangerous actions of Mr. Brown, it’s now important to watch how the so-called black leadership responds. Will they irresponsibly reject the decision, along with the facts it revealed, and continue to claim that Brown was the murder victim of a racist white cop? To what extent will Ferguson protesters defy the orders of authorities for lawful behavior? We don’t need a replay of the violent, pathological riots we saw on the streets of that small suburb of St. Louis.”

“It amazes me that there are so many who dismissed the fact that Michael Brown robbed a convenience store and attacked a police officer prior to being killed,” said Project 21 member Michael Dozier, Ph.D “Once again, the black community largely turned a blind eye to the real issues affecting the very lives of our youths. Black-on-black crime is an epidemic and thousands of black children are brutally killed every year, yet we do not see the Al Sharptons or Jesse Jacksons protesting their deaths. The President doesn’t proclaim their lives would reflect the life of a son he never had. The black community needs to stop with the excuses and victimization and stop allowing antagonists to come into their communities to promote their own agendas.”

“Now that the grand jury has rendered a decision, people on both sides can now peacefully debate the result. The decision does not give anyone the right to engage in property destruction, physical assaults and general chaos if they don’t agree with that decision,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. “The grand jury looked at all the evidence, and it surely did its best to render a judgment respectful of all parties. It is long past the time for those who might seek to use violence to achieve an outcome to decamp from Ferguson and allow the community to heal.”

Since August, Project 21 previously issued six press releases and posted numerous news-related blog entries addressing the death of Michael Brown and related events. Project 21 members have already completed over 150 radio and television interviews on the death of Michael Brown and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and been mentioned by Cal Thomas in his nationally-syndicated column. Several Project 21 members have visited the area in the wake of the initial rioting, and two members live in the immediate area and another is currently there to chronicle events as they unfold.

Additionally, Project 21 member were interviewed or cited by the media over 1,500 other times in 2014 – including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and the 50,000-watt radio stations WBZ-Boston, WHO-Des Moines, KDKA-Pittsburgh, KOA-Denver and WJR-Detroit – on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights, defended voter ID laws at the United Nations and provided regular commentary during the Trayvon Martin judicial proceedings in 2013. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Black Conservative Ferguson Experts Available for Interviews

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

MANY BLACK CONSERVATIVE EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS ABOUT EVENTS IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI

TO BOOK AN INTERVIEW WITH ANY OF THE PEOPLE LISTED BELOW OR OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PROJECT 21 BLACK LEADERSHIP NETWORK, CONTACT JUDY KENT AT (703) 759-7476 OR JKENT@NATIONALCENTER.ORG

St. Louis/Washington – These and other members of the black conservative network Project 21 are available to discuss breaking news events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Project 21 experts in Ferguson/St. Louis:

Christopher Arps: Project 21’s Christopher Arps lives near Ferguson and attended perhaps the first prayer vigil related to the shooting. He has been a guest on TV or radio 35 times and quoted in the press 13 times about events in Ferguson. Chris is a managing partner with the digital media and political consulting firm NLB Enterprises LLC and is a co-founder of Move-On-Up.org.

Stacy Washington: Project 21’s Stacy Washington is a local radio talk show host in St. Louis, Missouri (FM NewsTalk 97.1), an Emmy-nominated television personality, Air Force veteran, local school board member and mom. Stacy has been a guest on 15 radio talk shows to discuss Ferguson so far and has repeatedly been quoted in the press about events there.

Lawrence B. Jones III: Project 21’s Lawrence B. Jones III is an investigative journalist who will be filming events in Ferguson first-hand for Project 21 and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network. A pre-law student who has worked with Project Veritas as well as with Child Protective Services and the juvenile court in Dallas, Lawrence is the author of the Ferguson-themed op-ed “It’s Time to Mend the Ties between Police and the Black Community” published by Project 21 in September.

Project 21 experts who have visited Ferguson and met with key figures there:

Niger Innis: Project 21 founding member Niger Innis of Las Vegas travelled to Ferguson with co-Project 21 members Wayne Dupree and Dr. Alveda King, meeting with the mayor, police chief, State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D), and other figures and attending several prayer vigils, all under the auspices of Restore the Dream 2014, of which Niger is a co-founder. Niger is the national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), one of the nation’s most famous and influential civil rights organizations, and he is a frequent media commentator, having appeared on CNN, CNBC, NPR, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, the BBC and many other media platforms.

Wayne Dupree: Project 21’s Wayne Dupree of Baltimore, better known in social media circles as the Internet media entrepreneur “News Ninja,” travelled to Ferguson with co-Project 21 members Niger Innis and Dr. Alveda King, meeting with the mayor, police chief, State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D), and other figures and attending several prayer vigils, all under the auspices of Restore the Dream 2014. Wayne has been interviewed extensively about events in Ferguson, including on FNC’s “Fox and Friends” and AmericaOne, and is an Air Force veteran.

Ferguson issue experts outside of St. Louis:

Horace Cooper: Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper of northern Virginia is a nationally-known legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and served as general counsel for a U.S. House of Representatives majority leader for many years. Horace has discussed Ferguson events on TV and talk radio shows as a guest 48 times and been quoted in news stories about Ferguson over a dozen times.

Joe Hicks: Project 21’s Joe Hicks of Las Angeles is vice president of Community Advocates, Inc., a Los Angeles think-tank. He is a former KFI-AM Radio (Los Angeles) and PJTV.com host. Joe has served as the executive director of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission and the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization founded by Martin Luther King, Jr. Joe has been a guest on the Fox News Channel, CNN, and local and national programs too numerous to count. Joe has discussed events in Ferguson on national and local television four times, and been a guest on radio shows or quoted in the press about Ferguson an additional 13 times.

Carl Pittman: Project 21’s Carl Pittman is a peace officer in Houston and ran for sheriff in Harris County, TX in 2012 with the endorsement of Maricopa County AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He previously served as a peace office in California. Carl is the author of the book The Personal Journey of a Black Common Sense Conservative (Xulon Press, 2014), a businessman and Marine Corps veteran. He has been a guest discussing events in Ferguson on nine radio shows for Project 21, five of which were nationally-syndicated.

Nadra Enzi: Project 21’s Nadra Enzi is a New Orleans anti-crime activist who has been a guest on one national television and three radio programs for Project 21 on events in Ferguson (two of which were nationally-syndicated).

These and other Project 21 members with extensive knowledge of events relating to the death of Michael Brown are available for interviews.

Project 21 has issued the following press releases on the death of Michael Brown and related events:

November 3: Black Activists Comment on Washington Post Report that Federal Civil Rights Charges Will Not Be Filed Against Darren Wilson in Death of Michael Brown

September 13: Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper Calls Out Washington Post Columnist for Attacks on St. Louis County Grand Jury; Cooper Says the Grand Jury Process Plays a Critical Role in the American Legal System

September 4: Obama Administration Probe of Ferguson Police Called “Well Past a Rush to Judgment”; DOJ May Be Signaling It Does Not Expect an Indictment in Michael Brown Shooting Death

August 20: Legal Scholar Horace Cooper Slams Missouri Governor’s Rush to Justice in Michael Brown Shooting Death; “A Rush to Judgment… Demeans the Justice System and the Rule of Law”

August 12: Statements of St. Louis Project 21 Members and Others on Continuing Unrest in St. Louis

* * *

In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media on current events over 1,500 times, including by the Fox News Special Report with Bret Baier, the O’Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, CNN’s Situation Room, Salem Radio Network, Sean Hannity, Jim Bohannon, Conservative Commandos Radio, Bill Martinez, Radio America, American Urban Radio Network, Bill Cunningham, Roger Hedgecock, Mike Siegel, Dana Loesch, Thom Hartmann, Progressive Radio Network, The Blaze, EurWeb, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio, TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Orlando Sentinel and 50,000-watt talk radio stations including WBZ-Boston, WJR-Detroit, KDKA-Pittsburgh and WLW-Cincinnati.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org). Contributions are tax-deductible and appreciated.

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Black Activists Condemn Obama Amnesty Plan for Illegal Aliens

Washington, DC – Black activists with the Project 21 leadership network are continuing to speak out against President Barack Obama’s unilateral action on illegal immigration.

Joe R. Hicks , former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference: “President Obama strode into the White House promising to give the American people the audacity of hope. What we are witnessing instead, with his immigration agenda, is an audacious grab for power and an evisceration of the Constitution. With the stroke of a pen, Obama rewards those who arrogantly mock our border laws while simultaneously telling those hopeful immigrants still waiting patiently to lawfully come to America that they are chumps. After these five million or so, what then? The magnet that draws illegal immigrants across the border just got stronger. They will come expecting, — no, demanding — to get ‘Obama’s amnesty.’”

Demetrius Minor, youth minister and motivational speaker: “Barack Obama really had the potential to be an iconic president. It’s a shame he’s now relegated to someone who will be remembered most for not only dividing a nation, but for circumventing Congress in order to push his personal agenda.”

Stacy Washington, talk radio host: “Well, black liberals, sorry — but I have to put you on blast. Every time this country has pardoned illegal immigrants, crime and black unemployment have gone through the roof. Don’t believe me? Check the statistics from Reagan’s congressionally-approved amnesty package. Not only did more illegal immigrants as were promised become legal through the undiscovered intricacies of chain immigration, but the crime rate soared and black unemployment went through the roof. Sorry again, black liberals. You just got dumped!”

Charles Butler, talk radio host: “The fact is President Obama will do with the stroke of a pen what 300 years of slavery, Jim Crow and legal segregation could not: destroy the hopes and dreams of millions of black Americans. His position on illegal immigration and reform is not tenable given the numerous sources of information that warn of the negative impact of immigration reform on black Americans and low-income Americans.”

Christopher Arps, founder of the black social networking web site Move-On-Up.org: “Mr. President, how do these people ‘get right with the law’ when you have to break the law to allegedly get them right with the law? This man — a self-professed constitutional scholar — is so brazen that he’s openly violating the Constitution he swore to protect. And he’s doing so just a few years after he said he didn’t have the authority to do what he just did on immigration.”

Shelby Emmett, lawyer and former congressional staff member: “I wish Obama would focus just ten percent of his time on Americans and not illegals. Since this all about rewarding people who chose to put their kids in a position where they’d be ‘ripped’ from their arms, why isn’t Obama suspending family law as well? After all, plenty of American parents lose their kids on a daily basis over silly things like breaking the law.”

This year, Project 21 members have been interviewed and published hundreds of times on immigration, including an op-ed the Orlando Sentinel by Project 21’s Joe Hicks.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

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Black Legal Experts Support Alabama Lawmakers Over Special Interests in Supreme Court Redistricting Case

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

U.S. Supreme Court Urged to Curtail Use of Race in Redistricting

Old Law Demanding Racial Considerations Not a Help to Minority Voters

Washington, DC – At the U.S. Supreme Court today, legal experts with the Project 21 black leadership network are supporting the state of Alabama and its elected legislature in a defense against partisan and special interest groups unhappy with the state’s recent redistricting plan created by the state’s elected lawmakers. In a legal brief submitted to the Court, Project 21 argued legislators were compelled by federal law that was in force at the time to include race in its redistricting plan, but that recent rulings should now compel a stricter scrutiny of how race affects the creation of future legislative districts to the extent that the Court may once again need to reassess elements of the Voting Rights Act.

“I anticipate the Court will make it clear that state legislatures across the land will not be expected to adapt their redistricting lines to meet pre-ordained racial goals,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a legal commentator who both taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia and served as a leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. “Aiding minority voters in their efforts to elect representatives of their choice must be balanced by the Constitution’s requirement that government should not use race as a tool for policymaking unless it is absolutely essential to do so. Race-based districts are a throwback to a bygone era. As is the case with government contracting and college admissions, state legislators should pursue colorblind reapportionment policies whenever possible.”

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are considering the combined cases of Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama, in which Alabama’s state-level legislative redistricting plan, based on 2010 Census results, was challenged for allegedly packing too many black voters and Democrat voters in majority-black districts. This plan was already upheld by the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals by a two-to-one vote. In rejecting the claim that the plan violated the 1st and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, Judge William H. Pryor wrote that “the overwhelming evidence in the record suggests that black voters will have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process the same as everyone else.”

“In modern politics, complaints about racial barriers to voting seem to have more to do with partisan griping than civil rights,” added Project 21’s Cooper. “It’s usually about whose ox is getting gored and not about real, legitimate issues involving protected rights.”

“Infringements of state sovereignty through race-conscious federal mandates on legislative redistricting provide no effective protections for the black voter. This intrusion on fundamental liberties and constitutional protections only seems to advance political ideology and partisan efforts to win elections rather than protect minority communities,” said Project 21’s Patricia Nation, a lawyer who has practiced in federal court system for nearly two decades. “In repeated cases, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that government classifications based on race must be subjected to strict scrutiny and are constitutional only if narrowly tailored to further a compelling government interest. There is no doubt that eliminating racism in American politics is a compelling interest, yet finding a balance with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and post-civil rights era racial balancing statutes is not inconsequential.”

Project 21 was part of a “friend of the court” legal brief written by the Pacific Legal Foundation and joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity. The brief noted that Alabama legislators are constitutionally-mandated to draw legislative districts and beholden to consider race under provisions contained in the Voting Rights Act at that time. It is this argued that they acted in accordance with the law when they created the map that is now in dispute. The brief argued further, however, that subsequent Supreme Court rulings against race-conscious rules means strict scrutiny must be employed in the future to ensure racial considerations are absolutely necessary.

In 2013, Project 21 was similarly involved in the related Supreme Court case of Shelby County v. Holder that invalidated the “preclearance” formula in the Voting Rights Act that required certain states and localities, including Alabama, to gain federal approval for any voting changes such as redistricting. That decision, and another 2013 decision by the Court in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas in which Project 21 was also involved that called for “strict scrutiny” in the consideration of race in public policy, are incorporated in the organization’s legal brief in the Alabama case.

The Project 21 brief in the Alabama cases noted:

This Court should make clear that whenever a state actor makes race a factor in an official decision — whether contracting, education or redistricting — the action is unconstitutional unless it is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest…

Similarly, in the redistricting context, it should be no answer to say that the Legislature only slightly considered race, or that it placed other factors ahead of racial considerations. Any consideration of race by a governmental body must be subjected to strict scrutiny…

Reapportionment statutes should not be exempt from the same exacting scrutiny given to all other race-based classifications simply because the line between race-awareness and race-consciousness may be difficult to ascertain. It is possible to be aware of race and at the same time act in a race-neutral manner, and in such cases, the actions of legislatures should stand, regardless of the impact the decision has upon racial groups.

In its conclusion, the Project 21 brief in the Alabama cases warned that evolving Court precedent may force the justices to revisit the Voting Rights Act again to further reconcile outdated reasoning contained in Section 2 of the Act:

In these cases, Alabama was prohibited by federal law from acting in a race-neutral manner. Its redistricting was done under the preclearance regime in place before Shelby County… On this limited basis, the judgment of the district court should be affirmed.

Although the era of Section 5 preclearance is now behind us, the conflict between the Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act in redistricting is just beginning… [S]tates will continue to be placed in the impossible position of being required to comply with racial balancing statutes and the Equal Protection Clause simultaneously… If the Court finds that race-based redistricting should be subject to strict scrutiny in every case, it will soon have to confront the constitutionality of Section 2’s vote-dilution prohibition.

In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media on current events over 1,500 times, including by the Fox News Special Report with Bret Baier, the O’Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, CNN’s Situation Room, Salem Radio Network, Sean Hannity, Jim Bohannon, Conservative Commandos Radio, Bill Martinez, Radio America, American Urban Radio Network, Bill Cunningham, Roger Hedgecock, Mike Siegel, Dana Loesch, Thom Hartmann, Progressive Radio Network, The Blaze, EurWeb, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio, TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Orlando Sentinel and 50,000-watt talk radio stations including WBZ-Boston, WJR-Detroit, KDKA-Pittsburgh and WLW-Cincinnati.

Project 21 has participated in several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court over the years regarding race preferences and voting rights and also defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. It has been a party to 13 legal briefs at various levels of the American judicial system. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Statement by Project 21’s Archbishop Council Nedd II on Jesse Jackson’s Attempt to Inject Race Into Ebola Discussion

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Calls on Jesse Jackson to Retire from Public Life

“In 2009, I was one of the first people in America to suffer from H1N1 swine flu… My doctor initially refused to believe I had swine flu because no one else in Pennsylvania had it… My misdiagnosis was not rooted in race, and I can’t believe Thomas Eric Duncan’s was either…”

Washington, DC/Harrisburg, PA – Project 21‘s Archbishop Council Nedd II of the Episcopal Missionary Church has the following response to Jesse Jackson’s effort to inject race into the discussion about the treatment of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan:

“For Jesse Jackson to suggest that Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan might not have gotten the best treatment because of his race is wholly unnecessary and extremely unhelpful. With the nation potentially on the verge of a national health crisis, injecting race into this very emotional issue can only hurt when our nation needs to be unified.

“In 2009, I was one of the first people in America to suffer from H1N1 swine flu, having contracted it during a visit to Spain. My doctor initially refused to believe I had swine flu because no one else in Pennsylvania had it at the time, but it was later confirmed when those around me were later diagnosed with it. Doctors in Dallas were obviously not expecting an Ebola patient to show up at their door, but once Duncan was properly diagnosed and quarantined he reportedly received the best care possible. Even Jackson admitted that fact. My misdiagnosis was not rooted in race, and I can’t believe Thomas Eric Duncan’s was either.

“On missionary work in Middle East and Africa, I have seen the devastation that untreated disease can cause. I understand the mental and physical toll that may befall the American people if we were to suffer from an outbreak of a contagious and very deadly virus. We need to be ready to work together and not distrust each other.

“There was no need for Jesse Jackson to insert himself into the Ebola crisis in the first place. It further cements his reputation as a media-craving race hustler, and it diminishes any good work he has done in the past for civil rights. It’s time for Jackson to retire from public life.”

In 2014, members of the Project 21 black leadership group have been interviewed or cited by media over 1,500 times, including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Orlando Sentinel, Fox News Channel, CNN, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio, Conservative Commandos and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston, WJR-Detroit and KDKA-Pittsburgh, on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Throughout U.S. History, Immigration Surges Have Harmed Black Workers

Washington, DC – Surges in immigration have harmed black workers throughout U.S. history.

Evidence shows that eras of high black employment and economic mobility directly correspond with periods of reduced immigration.

Should President Obama legalize many or all of the approximately 11.3 million illegal immigrants estimated to be living in the United States, black public policy experts with Project 21 warn, black Americans already experiencing a jobless rate far above the national average could be further harmed.

Outright discrimination in employment based on race, unfair regulations and ethnic networking also have harmed the ability of black Americans to find and retain good jobs.

Facts and Figures

• In the early 1800s, friction between free blacks and immigrants who were in competition for low-skilled labor opportunities led to the rise of union-based anti-black discrimination. Roy Beck, in The Case Against Immigration, wrote: “Rising immigration from the 1820s to the Civil War drove down wages for free black Americans and immigrants alike… As badly as new immigrants often were treated by established Americans, even worse treatment was meted out to black Americans by the immigrants. Organizing themselves into trade unions, immigrant laborers helped set the terms of hiring at many urban workplaces. Not only would they not allow black workers into their unions, but they usually would refuse to work alongside them if they were hired. Many firms decided not to hire black workers, or to fire the ones already on the site, because of that refusal on the part of the more numerous immigrant workers.”

• After the end of the Civil War, Beck writes, a high rate of European immigration kept many newly-freed blacks locked within the South’s agricultural economy (and helped widen the overall technological gap with the North). “High immigration solved an immense problem for the defeated southern landed aristocracy. The restoration of the plantation system depended on holding onto the ex-slaves. Eric Foner, the specialist on Reconstruction, says a major priority for both white southerners and northerners was to subdue former slaves into a sedentary agricultural work style in the South. During a brief window of opportunity after the war, many freed slaves made their way to the North and grabbed jobs that they held for years to come. But because of increasingly high immigration, most freed slaves did not get any of the new jobs up north or any of the new land out west. The unions were an essential force in keeping the ex-slaves out of the North. Nearly all of the unions — dominated by immigrants — barred blacks from membership, Foner says.”

• Blacks were pushed out of jobs at the start of the 20th Century by a wave of immigration of Italians and Eastern Europeans who settled in the North. Beck, who is CEO of the immigration policy organization Numbers USA, writes: “[Historian John E.] Bodnar found that the immigration had a ‘devastating impact upon [Steelton, Pennslyvania’s] black working force.’ Black workers stopped progressing up the job ladder, they lost semi-skilled occupations to the Slavs and Italians and many were forced to leave town in search of work. The black population declined. Job displacement was occurring in all cities. In 1870, of all black men in Cleveland, 32 percent had skilled jobs; by 1910, only 11 percent were in skilled trades. ‘It did not take Jim Crow laws to drive blacks out of such jobs in the North, which could draw on a huge pool of immigrant labor flowing into the cities,’ says Lawrence Fuchs of Brandeis University.”

Beck adds: “Anybody concerned about fulfilling the spirit of the civil rights era would have been given pause by a look back a century ago at what happened in interior industrial centers such as Pittsburgh, McKeesport, Wilkes-Barre and Johnstown in Pennsylvania; Lorain in Ohio and Buffalo in New York. In tight-labor conditions immediately after the Civil War, those cities had needed the migration of black labor. They witnessed black growth that was modest in numbers but almost explosive in terms of percentages. With the biggest surge of immigration after 1899, however, black growth in those cities essentially stopped or populations actually declined. High immigration to the nation’s cities had assured that the black worker ‘would have to start his economic climb over again — from the bottom,’ Bodnar says.”

• Reduced immigration during World War I led to employment opportunities for black males. During the “Great Migration” that began in 1914, approximately half a million blacks moved from the South to urban areas in the North. “Wartime opportunities in the urban North gave hope to such individuals,” wrote Chad Williams, then an associate professor of history at Hamilton College and since 2012 the chairman of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University. “The American industrial economy grew significantly during the war. However, the conflict also cut off European immigration and reduced the pool of available cheap labor. Unable to meet demand with existing European immigrants and white women alone, northern businesses increasingly looked to black southerners to fill the void. In turn, the prospect of higher wages and improved working conditions prompted thousands of black southerners to abandon their agricultural lives and start anew in major industrial centers. Black women remained by and large confined to domestic work, while men for the first time in significant numbers made entryways into the northern manufacturing, packinghouse and automobile industries.”

• Many of America’s labor laws, some of which are still in existence, are unfair to black workers. As Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper wrote in a 2014 monograph for the Capital Research Center: “Many federal labor laws in the United States originated in efforts to saddle black men with extra burdens and limitations, in order to (as racists often put it) ‘protect white jobs.’ Tragically, these laws, in one form or another, remain on the books today and continue to hamper the ability of blacks, especially men, to enjoy gainful employment.” In particular, “[t]he primary objective of [the] Davis-Bacon [Act] was to make it harder for black tradesmen to compete for work on federal projects.” And the National Labor Relations Act, “the quintessential labor law achievement of the Progressive movement… was a catch-22: When blacks chose to leave the farms and plantations for opportunities in the North, the NLRA empowered the racist trade unions to lock them out.”

• A joint paper by professors at the University of California, University of Chicago and Harvard University for the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that immigration has measurably lowered black wages. One of the authors, Dr. Gordon H. Hanson of the University of California, San Diego, said, “Our study suggests that a ten percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a skill group is associated with a reduction in the black wage of four percent, a reduction in the black employment rate of 3.5 percentage points and an increase in the black institutionalization [incarceration] rate of 0.8 percentage points.”

In testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Dr. Hanson added: “The economic adjustments unleashed by the large 1980 – 2000 immigrant influx, a labor supply shock that increased the number of workers in the United States by nearly ten percent and the number of high school dropouts by over 20 percent, reduced the employment rate of low-skill black men by about eight percentage points. Immigration, therefore, accounts for about 40 percent of the 18 percentage point decline in black employment rates. Similarly, the changes in economic opportunities caused by the 1980 – 2000 immigrant influx raised the incarceration rate of black high school dropouts by 1.7 percentage points, accounting for about ten percent of the 20 percentage point increase observed during that period.”

• Illegal immigrants and black Americans in the workforce today have a similar median age (approximately 36 and 39 years of age, respectively, with non-Hispanic whites six years older than the illegal immigrants, at 42 ), making illegal aliens more likely to compete head-to-head for age-sensitive employment opportunities.

• Analyzing evidence from two studies showing that employers may have a preference for hiring immigrants over black citizens, Dr. Harry J. Holzer of Georgetown University and the Urban Institute noted “that employers perceive stronger work ethic among the immigrants, and a greater willingness to tolerate low wages… Some of these perceptions and the hiring behavior they generate might well reflect discrimination, especially against black men whom employers generally fear…”

• “Ethnic networking” pits American blacks and Hispanic migrants against each other. As Beck writes in The Case Against Immigration: “Studies claiming to show insignificant changing in rates of African-American unemployment or labor force participation fail to take into account employment opportunities closed to black Americans who might otherwise migrate to metropolitan labor markets increasingly impacted by immigrants. The pervasive effects of ethnic-network recruiting and the spread of non-English languages in the workplace have, in effect, locked many blacks out of occupations where they once predominated.”

He adds: “Much of the power of immigration streams comes from ‘ethnic networking,’ in which immigrants after obtaining a job use word of mouth to bring relatives and other acquaintances from their country into the same workplace. Immigrants today act like the immigrants early this century, who took whole occupations and turned them into their own preserve, quickly shutting native-born Americans — especially blacks — out of a workplace … Within five years [in the 1990s], the workforce of seafood plants in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland had changed from being predominantly African-American to mainly teenage girls and young women from Mexico … Businesses cease to advertise jobs. Natives don’t hear about openings as they are announced through word of mouth of the foreign workers in their local community and also across the country and even in other countries.”

• As in the Reconstruction era, when blacks competed with European immigrants in northern cities, Cornell University Professor Vernon M. Briggs, Jr. notes that both illegal immigrants and black workers tend to “cluster in metropolitan areas” and compete for the same jobs. Dr. Briggs says, “there is little doubt that there is significant overlap in competition for jobs in this sector of the labor market. Given the inordinately high unemployment rates for low-skilled black workers (the highest for all racial and ethnic groups for whom data is collected), it is obvious that the major loser in this competition are low-skilled black workers. This is not surprising, since if employers have an opportunity to hire illegal immigrant workers, they will always give them preference over legal workers of any race or ethnic background. This is because illegal immigrant workers view low-skilled jobs in the American economy as being highly preferable to the job opportunities in their homelands…”

Dr. Briggs further stated: “As for wage suppression, all studies show that the large infusion of immigrants has depressed the wages of low-skilled workers. It is the illegal immigrant component of the immigration flow that has most certainly caused the most damage… the unemployment rates in the low-skilled labor market are the highest in the entire national labor force. This means that the low-skilled labor market is in a surplus condition. Willing workers are available at existing wage rates. By definition, therefore, illegal immigrants who are overwhelmingly present in that same labor market sector adversely affect the economic opportunities of legal citizen workers because the illegal workers are preferred workers. No group pays a higher penalty for this unfair competition than do low-skilled black Americans, given their inordinately high unemployment levels.”

• Using employment data compiled from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Center for Immigration Studies asserts that virtually all of the net jobs created in the United States since 2000 have gone to legal and illegal immigrants as opposed to native-born citizens. The report noted that “[t]hough there has been some recovery from the Great Recession, there were still fewer working-age [16 to 65] natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000 [127,000], while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level.” The report concluded there actually has been “no general labor shortage” in the United States thus far in the 21st century and “trends since 2000 challenge the argument that immigration on balance increases job opportunities for natives. Over 17 million immigrants arrived in the country in the last 14 years, yet native employment has deteriorated significantly.”

What Project 21 Members are Saying

“In the spirit of Booker T. Washington, President Obama should encourage the Chamber of Commerce, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates to cast down their buckets among the millions of black Americans who are here and in need of economic opportunity. Instead, it seems Obama wants to cast his political lot among those who smuggled themselves into our nation, and whose insertion into our still faltering economy would increase unemployment and misery among black Americans. Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it, and it would behoove Obama to see how blacks have fared in past mass migrations before he throws his most loyal constituency over a cliff.” — Project 21 member Derryck Green writes for Project 21 on federal employment statistics and other economic indicators

“The immigration issue is complex. While it is clear the left wants to pass it off as a cut-and-dry case of humanitarianism and common sense, there are secondary effects at play. History shows that surges in immigrants, both legal and illegal, lead to employment crises in the black community because they create increased competition for the same jobs. If it is true that many low-wage workers could be granted amnesty or legalized working status, who is speaking on behalf of black American citizens who are struggling to find work and opportunities? In the past, we had Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington championing the cause of black job-seekers. Who among the self-appointed black leadership will stand up for us now on immigration and jobs since they have failed to lead blacks to true, sustained economic empowerment?” — Project 21 member and financial analyst Hughey Newsome

“Frederick Douglass… often spoke of America’s race-based labor policies. In the North, free blacks were denied employment because of a preference for the cheap labor of the Irish. Booker T. Washington implored employers to ‘cast down your bucket where you are’ to provide work for the black man. But Western European immigration increased, and the Davis-Bacon Act — which is still on the books — was passed to, in part, keep blacks and new immigrants from being hired for many jobs.” — Project 21 member and talk radio host Charles Butler

“While modern illegal immigration has had a devastating impact on the quality of education, health care and other services, black Americans in particular have had a long history of being impacted by immigrants. Our opportunities for gainful employment suffered exponentially under the weight of past waves of legal and illegal unskilled foreign workers, sometimes undermining the free market through unlawful employment. Now, we appear to be losing more opportunities than ever to illegal aliens. This is a civil rights problem that was recognized in the past but is largely overlooked today when we debate the issue of amnesty for those who smuggle themselves into our nation.” — Project 21 member and right-to-work activist Stacy Swimp

What Others are Saying About Mass Immigration and Its Effects on Black Employment

• In his book, The Case Against Immigration, Numbers USA CEO Roy Beck wrote of post-Civil War history and immigration: “The end of the Civil War opened a golden door of opportunity to black Americans, both those just freed from the chains of slavery and those who long had been free… By happy circumstances, both new land and good jobs became available soon after the Civil War… If more black Americans had gotten in on the ground floor of both of those developments, they and their descendents would have had remarkably different lives. And all Americans today likely would be living in a much more harmonious and healthy society. But it wasn’t to be. Mass immigration helped slam the golden door shut on equality of opportunity for black Americans after the Civil War.”

• In 1871, the famed black abolitionist Frederick Douglass wrote in The Washington New National Era: “The former slave owners of the South want cheap labor; they want it from Germany and from Ireland; they want it from China and Japan; they want it from anywhere in the world, but from Africa. They want to be independent of their former slaves, and bring their noses to the grindstone.”

• Booker T. Washington, the famous black educator, said in a impassioned plea on behalf of black American job-seekers at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition in 1895: “To those of the white race who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth and strange tongue and habits for the prosperity of the South, were I permitted I would repeat what I say to my own race, ‘cast down your bucket where you are,’ Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when to have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your firesides. Cast down your bucket among these people who have, without strikes and labour wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests, built your railroads and cities and brought forth treasures from the bowels of the earth, and helped make possible this magnificent representation of the progress of the South.”

• Commenting on the improvement in job prospects for black Americans due to a curtailment of immigration, leftist black labor activist W.E.B. DuBois sourly wrote in The Crisis in 1929: “[T]he stopping of the importing of cheap white labor on any terms has been the economic salvation of American black labor. As usual, we gain only by the hurt of our fellow white serfs, but it is not our fault and whenever these same laborers get a chance they swat us worse than the capitalists.”

• In laying out the goals of the Clinton-era U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform in testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 1994, former U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (D-TX) said: “It will be impossible to reach answers to these questions [about economic stability and civic diversity] unless our policies and their implementation are more credible. As far as immigration policy is concerned, credibility can be measured by a simple yardstick: people who should get in, get in; people who should not enter are kept out; and people who are deportable should be required to leave. The Commission is convinced that immigration can be managed more effectively and in a manner that is consistent with our traditions, civil rights and civil liberties. As a nation of immigrants committed to the rule of law, this country must set limits on who can enter and back up these limits with effective enforcement of our immigration law.”

• In testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 2012, Peter Kirsanow, a commissioner with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a member of Project 21, said: “Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants will only further harm African-American workers. Not only will the low-skilled labor market continue to experience a surplus of workers, making it difficult for African-Americans to find job opportunities, but African-Americans will be deprived of one of their few advantages in this market… Furthermore, recent history shows that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants will encourage more people to come to the United States illegally. The 1986 amnesty did not solve the illegal immigration problem. To the contrary, that amnesty established the precedent that if you come to America illegally, eventually you will obtain legal status. Thus, it is likely that if illegal immigrants are granted legal status, more people will come to America illegally and will further crowd African-American men (and other low-skilled men and women) out of the workforce.”

* * *

During 2014, Project 21 members have participated in over 150 interviews on immigration, including a commentary in the Orlando Sentinel written by Project 21 member Joe Hicks, a former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Over the past several weeks, the Project 21 black leadership network has issued a series of press releases highlighting how a unilateral move by the Obama Administration to protect illegal aliens could have a negative disparate impact on black Americans and African immigrants on issues such as jobs , education, health and legal immigration.

In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media on current events over 1,300 times, including by the Fox News Special Report with Bret Baier, the O’Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, CNN’s Situation Room, Salem Radio Network, Sean Hannity, Jim Bohannon, Conservative Commandos, Bill Martinez, Radio America, American Urban Radio Network, Bill Cunningham, Roger Hedgecock, Mike Siegal, Dana Loesch, Thomm Hartmann, Progressive Radio Network, The Blaze, EurWeb, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio, TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Orlando Sentinel and 50,000-watt talk radio stations including WBZ-Boston, WJR-Detroit, KDKA-Pittsburgh and WLW-Cincinnati. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper Calls Out Washington Post Columnist for Attacks on St. Louis County Grand Jury

Cooper Says the Grand Jury Process Plays a Critical Role in the American Legal System

Washington, DC – In Friday’s Washington Post, Columnist Dana Milbank claimed the St. Louis grand jury reviewing evidence in the Michael Brown shooting is perpetuating a “farce.”

“This yet again demonstrates just how far away the liberal media is from providing balanced news and analysis of the Michael Brown shooting,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper said. “The grand jury plays a critical role in the American legal system and shouldn’t be denigrated. It isn’t a rubber stamp for the prosecution and it shouldn’t be.”

“Mr. Milbank should do a little less lawyering and practice a lot more journalism. Giving the grand jury more discretion to review evidence isn’t a fix. It’s actually a good technique to ensure that the totality of the evidence is considered.”

Grand jurors often ask for additional information and are legally allowed to be independent of the state. Its operation, like the presumption of innocence, is one of the reasons the American legal system is considered superior, Cooper said.

“Repeating the stale claims that the elected prosecutor, a Democrat, will manipulate the grand jury or operates from personal bias isn’t legal analysis or even an effort at journalism. Instead it feeds the unsubstantiated belief that the Missouri legal system is unjust or unfair,” Cooper added.

“Asking a legal ethics professional about these claims would have at least put these complaints in context, although the result might not have been nearly as provocative as calling the St. Louis County grand jury a sham. Mocking a legal practice older than the Magna Carta does a disservice to justice and to Milbank’s readers,” explained Cooper, who taught constitutional law at George Mason University.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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