August 15, 2020

DOJ May Be Signaling It Does Not Expect an Indictment in Michael Brown Shooting Death

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

Washington, DC – Activists with the Project 21 black leadership network are questioning Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to mount a federal investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department and other law enforcement in the region, saying this is “well past a rush to judgment” and most likely is compensation for the possibility that an indictment may not be handed down in the death of Michael Brown.

Obama Administration officials told the media that Holder will soon announce that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will launch a potentially wide-ranging probe of St. Louis-area police departments. Project 21 members think this federal response to the shooting death of Ferguson resident Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department on August 9 is political move on the part of the White House and an overreaction to the situation.

“I believe the fact that the Justice Department is planning to open this investigation signals they do not believe there is a strong case against Officer Wilson and that a grand jury will probably not bring down an indictment against him,” said Project 21’s Christopher Arps, a St. Louis resident. “If that is the eventuality, the Justice Department will have a tough burden proving that Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown solely on the basis of his skin color.”

“The Justice Department has raced well past ‘a rush to judgment’ and now is just piling on. Before the evidence is in as to what happened in the Michael Brown shooting, Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce that — in addition to the over 40 FBI agents and other Justice Department staff who have been assigned to Brown shooting — he will ramp up even more agents and staff in order to investigate the entire Ferguson Police Department and other local law enforcement,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper , a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and is a former leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. “Meanwhile, there has been no announcement of the Justice Department starting a probe — or even sending one FBI agent — regarding terrorist Abdirahmaan Muhumed’s activity as an airport employee in Minnesota before joining the Islamic terrorist network ISIS. Does the Attorney General really believe the Ferguson police are more dangerous to the American people than the terrorists who behead our fellow citizens, or is this new investigation just racial grandstanding by Holder?”

Holder’s announcement will come on the heels of a academic study by criminologists at the University of Missouri-St. Louis that found the disproportionate rate of police shootings incidents involving blacks in the St. Louis area between 2003 and 2012 correlates to a similarly disproportionate rate of interaction between police and black residents there and crime being concentrated in black communities. David Klinger, one of the authors of the report, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Race is not a predominant factor driving [police] shootings. It’s violence in the communities.” A lack of black officers was also determined to lie in difficulties in minority recruitment efforts.

Project 21 members have already completed over 100 radio and television interviews on the death of Michael Brown and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri in addition to being interviewed or cited by the media over 1,000 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 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, 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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Public Schools Face Health Threat from Illegal Aliens

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Washington, DC – An unabated influx of illegal aliens along the southern border of the United States is causing a health crisis in the border region. Actions by the Obama Administration to disperse illegals across America while providing an incentive for more illegals to come could lead to a nationwide health crisis that is likely to manifest itself first within our public schools.

Members of the Project 21 black leadership network say President Barack Obama’s support of amnesty for illegal aliens and his 2012 executive memorandum deferring enforcement of immigration law for specific younger illegals encouraged an incoming wave of what the Obama Administration calls “undocumented alien children.”

With them, and the adults traveling alongside, have come communicable diseases.

Federal law subjects legal immigrants to a medical screening process (and even has health safety rules covering the importation of animals). These rules are not being applied to illegal immigrant children.

The federal government is, largely clandestinely, sending these children (some of whom are adults lying about their age) to various U.S. locations and ordering local school districts to allow them to enroll in the public schools.

Project 21 members note any health impact resulting from these federal policies will have a disparate health impact on black children, who are disproportionately likely to attend public schools and also disproportionately likely to live in the public school districts to which the federal government is sending the illegal aliens.

Facts and Figures

• The official visa application process administered by the U.S. Department of State for legal immigrants contains a thorough medical screening process. The Immigration and Nationality Act created medical eligibility requirements that include a review of an applicant’s medical history, a physical exam, chest x-ray and blood test. Applicants must admit to and show treatment for conditions such as tuberculosis, mental illness and drug abuse as well as prove they are vaccinated for multiple diseases including mumps and polio. An inability to do so jeopardizes an application and legal entry into the United States.

• A July 30 memo to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson from DHS Inspector General John Roth about the oversight of “unaccompanied alien children” and children traveling with families found that “[m]any UAC and family units require treatment for communicable diseases, including respiratory illnesses, tuberculosis, chicken pox and scabies.” The report further notes that Border Patrol agents at the Del Rio, Texas facility said they contracted scabies, lice and chicken pox, with at least two officers reporting their children also contracted chicken pox. Agents at other facilities reported exposure to tuberculosis.

• A Border Patrol facility in Artesia, New Mexico was quarantined in July after an outbreak of chicken pox. 40 illegals were quarantined at a Chula Vista, California facility at the same time for scabies and lice. Ron Zermeno, a union representative for Border Patrol agents, told ABC’s 10News in San Diego, California: “I think the public needs to be aware. The average citizens [are not] aware because they could be exposed tomorrow.”

• After reportedly showing signs of sickness for several days, a young illegal immigrant detained at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio was hospitalized in June after being diagnosed with the H1N1 flu virus, which was an international pandemic in 2009. Because the child was not isolated during the contagious stage of the virus, the government rushed 2,000 does of vaccine to Lackland as a precaution. Four other children were diagnosed with the H1N1 virus at two detention facilities in Brownsville, Texas at the same time.

• A draft memo written by Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello on May 30, 2014 and obtained by the Associated Press estimated that around 90,000 unaccompanied children may illegally enter the United States during the 2014 fiscal year that ends on September 30, 2014. The trend is expected to cause this number to expand to 142,000 in the 2015 fiscal year. Still more children not counted in that figure arrived with family members. As illegal children are processed, it is the intent of the Office of Refugee Resettlement to release them from government facilities to “to a sponsor, typically a parent or relative, who can care for the child while their immigration case is processed.”

• Illegal immigrant children cannot legally be denied enrollment in public schools under the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the 1982 case of Plyler v. Doe. On May 8, 2014, Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder reinforced the Plyler ruling when he said that “[p]ublic school districts have an obligation to enroll students regardless of immigration status” and that the Justice Department will do “everything it can” to ensure compliance. Furthermore, a May 8, 2014 joint letter from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice to school districts across America warned against any actions that may “chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, of students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status” because such actions “contravene Federal law.”

• In seeking to comply with the Obama Administration mandate on prospective illegal immigrant students, the Virginia Department of Education issued a memo to school district superintendents about enrollment requirements which stated, in part, that schools “cannot exclude from school attendance those homeless children who do not provide the requisite health or immunization information required of other students.” There were 2,856 illegal alien children released into Virginia in the first half of 2014. Prince William County Director of Communication Services Phil Kavits told the Bristow Beat that the suburban Washington, D.C. county has “no number or estimate of registrants related to the recent increase in unaccompanied minors crossing the border” because schools cannot record a child’s immigration status. This combination of factors causes some to fear unvaccinated illegal aliens may be invited into Virginia classrooms.

• The potential for young illegals with communicable diseases could affect schools and the local children as well as their families. This presents a potential disparate impact for black Americans due to the fact that black children disproportionally attend public schools in which young illegals are most likely to be assigned. According to the 2010 American Community Survey data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, 93 percent of black boys between the ages of 5 and 19 and 92 percent of black girls in that same age group who were in school were enrolled in public schools. Additionally, illegal alien migration within the United States tends toward major metropolitan cities and, increasingly in recent years, to urban and rural areas in southeastern states — areas which tend to have higher black populations. Dr. Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., of Cornell University wrote in 2010: “…some of the fastest growing immigrant concentrations are now taking place in the urban and rural labor markets of the states of the Southeast — such as Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia… Indeed, about 26 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population are now found in the states of the South… many of these new immigrants in this region are illegal immigrants.”

• The United States and Mexico appear to have a more effective policy for eradicating disease among livestock than with people. The two countries are currently working together to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has a five-year strategic plan in conjunction with Mexican authorities to manage the transport of cattle across the border in ways meant to stop the spread of tuberculosis among livestock.

• During the mass immigration of the early 20th century, the Ellis Island processing center in New York had a two-doctor initial screening process for arriving immigrants and a hospital that handled thousands of treatable medical conditions. On average, 20 percent of arrivals were pulled aside for additional screening. Immigrants with incurable conditions at that time such as trachoma (pink eye) were “almost sure to be sent back where [they] came from.” “We were lucky,” said Lillian Guletta, who arrived in 1928, “there were many sent back.” As a result of this screening and treatment process, “[n]o major epidemic was ever traced to an immigrant who entered American after being treated at the [Ellis Island] hospital.”

What Project 21 Members Say About Potential Amnesty and its Effect on Legal Immigration

“Historically, immigrants who legally sought entry to America — such as those through Ellis Island — went through a structured process which allowed them to be checked for communicable diseases. In some cases, those found to present a health risk were quarantined until they no longer proposed a threat. In others, they were sent back to their country of origin… The American population is already at risk with illegals being dropped off at bus stations and being put on commercial airlines. It could potentially escalate this fall if sick children are placed in schools and expose their classmates, teachers and extended families.” — Project 21 member Dr. Elaina George , a board-certified otolaryngologist, in an upcoming New Visions Commentary to be published by Project 21

“‘Ring Around a Rosie’ is a morbid nursery rhyme believed to tell the tale of the Black Death — the bubonic plague that besieged Europe in the 14th century and London in 1665. This plague was carried by humans, rats and fleas. To escape the disease, families moved across Europe in droves and inadvertently carried it with them. In order to slow the plague, countries closed their borders and created strict regulation for the entry of people, food, plants and animals. Illegal immigration across Europe contributed to over 25 million deaths over a five-year period in the 14 century, and many victims were children and the elderly. History shows that unsecured borders pose risks to public health. Latin America is currently dealing with a mysterious epidemic reported to cause chronic renal failure and death that has killed more than 24,000 people in El Salvador and Nicaragua since 2000. It has spread as far north as southern Mexico and south into Panama. Diseases such as this could be carried across our border by illegal immigrants and could create a nationwide health crisis. Chicken pox, measles, mumps and tuberculosis are already causing problems.” — Project 21 member Michael Dozier, Ph.D., an expert in homeland security issues and talk radio host who has worked with humanitarian aid missions in Africa, Asia, the Balkans and the United States

“The Obama Administration’s refusal to properly secure our southern border poses a significant risk to our national security in general and specifically endangers the health and well-being of our children. Illegal immigrant children, possibly with serious communicable diseases, are being allowed to remain in our country and attend school under the guise of compassion. But how compassionate is it to unnecessarily expose American schoolchildren to diseases that have largely been wiped out in this country for a generation? Will children of the elites and liberals enrolled in private schools who advocate for this de facto amnesty be subjected to the same health risks as public school students?” — Project 21 member Christopher Arps , founder of the Move-on-up.org black social networking website

“The complete disregard for public safety displayed by President Obama, with the known threat of deadly diseases coming across the border, is unforgivable when there is an excellent chance of their introduction into our communities. An apparent failure to completely clear illegal alien children medically in the attempt to hastily inject them into communities across the country creates a clear threat to the national security of the United States. With school starting, how many communities are prepared to deal with a potential medical time bomb the likes America has never seen? Many Americans are letting their desire to help these intentionally displaced youth threaten the lives of their own children.” — Project 21 member Carl Pittman , a Marine Corps veteran who has served in law enforcement in California and Texas, and was a candidate for sheriff in Harris County, Texas in 2012

What Others are Saying About Illegal Immigration’s Impact on Legal Immigration

• “The influx of families and unaccompanied children at the border poses many risks, including pubic health threats. As a physician for over 30 years, I am well aware of the dangers infectious diseases pose… Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles. This makes those Americans that are not vaccinated — and especially young children and the elderly — particularly susceptible… As the unaccompanied children continue to be transported to shelters around the country on commercial airlines and other forms of transportation, I have serious concerns that the diseases carried by these children may begin to spread too rapidly to control. In fact, …some of these diseases have no known cure.” — U.S. Representative Phil Gingrey, M.D. of Georgia

• “The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]’s own guidelines are clearly being violated with regards to illegal immigrants currently crossing the border… It’s not who we are as a nation to break our own laws and give preference to those who do.” — Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, former director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

• “We are sending people everywhere. The average person doesn’t know what’s going on down there… We are starting to see chicken pox, MRSA, staph infections. We are starting to see different viruses… It’s contagious; we are transporting people to different parts of the state [of Texas] and different parts of the country… Just the fact we are exposed to it, and so is everyone here in south Texas, it’s a great concern to us.” — Chris Cabrera, Border Patrol agent

• “Americans should be told that diseases long eradicated in this country — tuberculosis, leprosy, polio, for example — and other extremely contagious diseases have been linked directly to illegals… This emerging crisis exposes the upside-down thinking of federal immigration policy… While legal immigrants must undergo health screening prior to entering the U.S., illegal immigrants far more likely to be carrying contagious diseases are crawling under that safeguard and going undetected until they infect extraordinary numbers of American residents.” — Former U.S. Representative J.D. Hayworth of Arizona

• “Because illegal immigrants, unlike those who are legally admitted for permanent residence, undergo no medical screening to assure that they are not bearing contagious diseases, the rapidly swelling population of illegal aliens in our country has also set off a resurgence of contagious diseases that had been totally or nearly eradicated by our public health system. According to Dr. Lawrence Nickey, director of the El Paso health district, ‘Contagious diseases that are generally considered to have been controlled in the United States are readily evident along that border.’… The problem, however, is not confined to the border region, as illegal immigrants have rapidly spread across the country into many new economic sectors such as food processing, construction and hospitality services.” — Federation for American Immigration Reform

* * *

In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed about immigration issues over 120 times and interviewed or cited by the media over 1,250 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, 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, on current events. 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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Legal Scholar Slams Missouri Governor’s Rush to Justice

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research – Project 21:

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”

Washington, DC – Legal scholar Horace Cooper of the Project 21 black leadership network is condemning a statement by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon that appears to prejudge the investigation into the death of Michael Brown.

Cooper, who is co-chairman of Project 21 and a former professor of constitutional law at George Mason University, said this about Governor Nixon’s apparent rush to judgment:

A hallmark of the American justice system is that we protect the rights of all Americans, especially the accused. In this case, officer Darren Wilson deserves not only a presumption of innocence, but the right to expect an neutral and dispassionate investigation into the shooting incident in Ferguson.

A rush to judgment by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon or any other high-ranking officials demeans the justice system and the rule of law.

People of color should be especially sensitive to mob justice and the idea that the crowd can demand and obtain a prosecution regardless of the underlying merits of the case. Appeasing noxious crowds by allowing pre-ordained prosecutions is a relic of a bygone era that Americans have hoped was in the past.

Shame on Governor Nixon.

In a taped message, Governor Nixon presented a two-step goal to help quell the unrest in Ferguson, which has experienced protests and nightly rioting since Brown’s death on August 9. Nixon’s first goal is “ensur[ing] that those with peace in their hearts are not drowned out by those with senseless violence in their hands.” The second part of his plan, should he actually mean it, is ominous. Governor Nixon also said “a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.”

A grand jury’s job is not to assess guilt or innocence, but only to determine if enough evidence exists to bring charges against a potential defendant. At that time, a prosecution can be mounted. A grand jury may not make a decision for months.

Project 21 members have completed over 40 radio and television interviews on the death of Michael Brown and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri in addition to being interviewed or cited by the media over 1,000 other times in 2014, including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh, on other 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. 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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Influx of Illegal Immigrant Children Likely to Strain Public Schools

Washington, DC – Each of the tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border who remains in this country is legally entitled to a free public education. If President Obama allows large numbers of illegal alien children to remain in the United States, the public schools will have to manage an unforeseen and possibly unmanageable influx of new foreign children as early as this fall.

This may have a profound impact on public school students – an impact that will disproportionately fall on black and lower-income students, as they are disproportionately likely to attend public schools.

Facts and Figures

• A draft memo written by Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello on May 30, 2014 and obtained by the Associated Press estimated that approximately 90,000 unaccompanied children may illegally enter the United States during the 2014 fiscal year that ends on September 30 and this number is expected to expand to 142,000 in 2015. Still more children not counted in that figure arrived with family members. Illegal immigrant children and American-born children of illegal immigrants comprised an estimated 6.8 percent of the enrollment of American primary and secondary schools in March 2008.

• Harmful effects related to expanding class sizes and additional costs and strained resources related to enrolling a sudden large influx of illegal alien children will likely have a disparate impact on black students because they are overwhelmingly more likely to be enrolled in public schools. According to 2010 American Community Survey data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, 93 percent of black boys between the ages of 5 and 19 and 92 percent of black girls in that same age group who were in school were enrolled in public schools.

• Illegal immigrant children cannot legally be denied enrollment in public schools under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the 1982 case of Plyler v. Doe. In that case, a group of students who came to the United States from Mexico sued a Texas school district that sought to make students unable to prove their citizenship or legal immigration status pay tuition. The Court ruled that denying undocumented children the same public school benefits of citizens and legal immigrants violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, senior lawyers in the Obama Administration believe exclusion of illegal immigrant children constitutes discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

• On May 8, 2014, Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder reinforced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decades-old ruling to protecting the unfettered enrollment of illegal immigrant children when he said “[p]ublic school districts have an obligation to enroll students regardless of immigration status and without discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.” He further said the Justice Department will do “everything it can” to ensure schools comply with his demand.

• Also on May 8, 2014, school districts nationwide received a policy directive on immigrant enrollment in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter signed by Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon, Department of Education Deputy General Counsel Philip E. Rosenfelt and Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Jocelyn Samuels. This letter warned against any actions that may “chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, of students based on their or their parents’ or guardians’ actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status” because such actions “contravene Federal law.” In particular, administrators were informed children could not be denied enrollment if they could not or would not present a birth certificate or could or would not provide a Social Security number (proof of residency within a school district boundaries is a valid question that may be asked). “Precipitous drops in the enrollment of any group of students in a district or school,” the letter warned,” may signal that there are barriers to their attendance that you should further investigate.”

• The nation’s two largest teachers unions endorse smaller class sizes. The American Federation of Teachers “strong[ly] advocates for reducing class size to help raise student achievement, especially in high-poverty, at-risk schools” of between 15 and 19 students per class. The National Education Association similarly “supports a class size of 15 students in the earliest grades of regular school programs and even smaller classes in programs for students with exceptional needs.”

• While the federal government reports that the national pupil-to-teacher average was 16-1 in 2010, this can be misleading as a measure for urban areas or more populous states. For example, the 2011-2012 average class size for grades K-3 in the state of California was 22.2, and was 23.9 for the same grades in New York City. An unplanned increase of students into schools without budgets for or plans to hire new teachers means classroom sizes will inevitably increase.

What Project 21 Members Say About Amnesty’s Impact on Public Schools

• “While we discuss the ability of illegal immigrants to obtain a free education in the United States, citizens of this country are going to jail for sending their children to better school districts that they don’t have the legal right to access due to residency laws. The sad irony is that American mothers being criminalized for wanting better schools for their kids are black and they pay taxes. Illegal immigrants do not. Also disturbing is the idea that school district officials aren’t permitted to even inquire about legal status. This has prompted an enormous influx, for example, in schools in Atlanta, Georgia. An influx that will be paid for by, you guessed it, taxpayers. Should the educational needs of children here illegally take precedence over taxpaying citizens? Of course not. But I’m not making the rules here. President Obama is, and his priorities are clearly misplaced.” – Project 21 member Stacy Washington, a mother, former school board member and St. Louis radio talk show host

• “Is the Obama Administration’s reaction to the migrant child crisis knee-jerk or part of a larger plan? While it may seem politically correct and humanitarian to allow these children to cross the border and assimilate into our health and educational systems, the inevitable overload on our entitlement system has not been dealt with. There’s already been an inability to test for certain communicable diseases in refugee centers, increasing the risk of a health crisis. Now, even though our educational systems are already overloaded and class sizes exploding, the Obama Administration is requiring schools to accept migrant children and make matters worse. And he is doing this to the detriment of teachers whose unions ironically supported him so strongly. The only preparation the White House seems to offer schools is a fact sheet and a letter stating their obligation to comply. These pieces of paper are not quite as intangible as a speech, but they still miss the mark in terms of prepping schools to handle this overload.” – Project 21 member Hughey Newsome, a financial analyst and parent

• “Teachers unions like to call the children of illegal immigration ‘dreamers’ and want to extend all the benefits of our educational system to them. But they are going to create a nightmare for their membership when teachers are suddenly faced with increased class sizes they already say are too large and are forced to do more with resources they say are already stretched past their limits. Teachers who are members of these unions should ask their leaders why they are willing to let this happen to them and why President Obama did this to the unions who supported him so strongly in the past.” – Project 21 spokesman Kevin Martin, an environmental contractor and the son of a retired public school teacher

• “As someone who spent two years teaching at a public charter school in Washington, D.C., I can attest to the demands and hardship that comes with an underfunded and overcrowded classroom. While I don’t fault anyone for wanting to come to America to seek a better life, the problem posed by the current wave of humanity illegally coming across our borders is problematic and unsustainable. It creates an unfair situation for native-born students and immigrants who are here legally, teachers, lawmakers who must set budgets and taxpayers who must pay for those budgets. Dumping illegal immigrant children on our public schools with no recourse is a bad reaction to a bad problem.” – Project 21 member Bishop Council Nedd II , the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church

What Others Are Saying about the Impact of Illegal Immigrant School Enrollment

In many school districts across the nation, officials are unsure how they will deal with additional burdens expected by new illegal immigrant enrollees:

• In Lynn, Massachusetts, Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, whose city schools already have experienced 600 new foreign-born admissions (including 126 known illegal immigrants) told the local Boston Fox network affiliate that “it’s gotten to the point where the school system is overwhelmed, our health department is overwhelmed, the city’s budget is being… altered in order of accommodate all of these admissions in the school department.” After her comments were published, over 100 people protested outside the mayor’s office, claiming she was making illegal immigrant children “scapegoats.”

• National Review Online reported that immigrant persons older than school age are seeking to enroll in the public schools in Lynn, Massachusetts. In one case, an enrollee was reported between 30-35 years old. A potential security risk arose when a foreign-born applicant used an arrest warrant as proof of identification. School officials report that adult foreign-born students created disruptions in the past by taking extended unexcused absences believed to be related to the acquisition of seasonal work.

• At least 2,200 new potential students have already arrived in Maryland, posing many questions to school administrators beyond where to put them. Frances Negron of the National School Board Association told USA Today: “We don’t know the[ir] educational background, if they’ve even been to school, the language issue and operational issues that could raise costs.”

• Miami-Dade County Public Schools reports spending $1,959 more per child for immigrant children and is reliant on community partnerships and emergency funding to deal with unexpected influxes of foreign students. It has already asked for more federal aid to meet expected demand (the district spent an average of $8,512 per student in 2012). An exact request for funding is virtually impossible because, as spokesman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego explained, “[w]e don’t know how many more are coming this upcoming school year because Central American children usually enroll just two or three weeks before the school year begins.”

• The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimated that the 2014 fiscal burden of illegal immigration on California taxpayers related to education is $12.3 billion for children in K-12 schools. With regard to California’s expenses for illegal immigrant children and children born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents, Lance T. Izumi, senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute, wrote: “No one can deny that increasing numbers of children of illegal immigrants attend public schools in the United States and that U.S. taxpayers pay the costs. Those sympathetic to illegal immigration tend to remain silent about these costs, while illegal-immigration opponents often fall short on specifics. In the interest of more informed discourse, here are the numbers… The actual cost of schooling these children could be higher because many education dollars are earmarked for special purposes. At the federal level, Title I funds are sent to schools to support disadvantaged children, which benefits many children of illegal immigrants. In California, the state’s Economic Impact Aid program provides tax dollars to fund English-language acquisition, which aids children of illegal immigrants. Capital costs for school construction may have increased at a higher rate because of the influx of children of illegal immigrants.”

• Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D) said on July 24 that there were already at least 117 illegal immigrant children relocated to that state, but that the federal government will not release any information on their locations. In Delaware’s Indian River School District, Sussex Central High School had 70 new students enroll last year who did not speak English, something that principal Jay Owens told DelmarvaNow followed “no rhyme or reason, we just saw an influx.” School districts there get their funding based on student enrollment as of September 30, and IRSD board member Donald Hattier worried, “This is going to cost us an arm and a leg… I think they’re going to load us up.”

In 2014, Project 21 members have already been interviewed or cited by the media over 1,000 times, including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston 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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Statements of St. Louis Project 21 Members and Others on Continuing Unrest in St. Louis

Washington, DC – Members of the Project 21 black leadership network , some of whom are St. Louis residents and eyewitnesses to the unfolding controversy, are speaking out about continuing protests, looting and rioting in the St. Louis area that have resulted in dozens of arrests.

“It’s a tragedy what happened over the weekend to young Michael Brown. Cooler heads should now prevail until the investigation is complete. This tense situation does not need outside agitators swooping in fanning the flames of an already tense situation,” said Project 21 member Christopher Arps, a St. Louis area resident who attended the August 10 prayer vigil held outside the Ferguson Police Department.

“The most important thing anyone can do in this tragedy surrounding the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown is to take a step back and wait for the entirety of the facts to come to light. The rioting looters are opportunists; people who’ve taken a tragedy and are using it as an excuse to exercise their most base and criminal desires. These lawless individuals are stealing from a community that’s already reeling from losing one of their own,” added Stacy Washington , a radio talk show host on WFTK-St. Louis, Project 21 member and St. Louis resident. “As a community, the people of Ferguson have already repudiated the behavior of the looters. Now it’s time to support the family of Mike Brown, the business owners who lost her livelihoods and the employees who’ve lost their jobs. I look forward to the conclusion of the investigation.”

“Looting and rioting is never justified. These aren’t the actions of mainstream black America. These are the hooligans and thugs who make life miserable for everyone else by taking advantage of what they see as an opportunity,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper. “Likewise, Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump seem more interested in inflaming the situation than seeing to it that justice is done. A rush to judgment before all of the facts are in does nothing for black America or improve race relations. It would be better for Sharpton to head back to New York City.”

“Police shoot and losers loot! Looting doesn’t bring justice, but does bring to light those destroying the inner city from within. These public riots merely underscores the private ones endured daily by residents who are held hostages by the ‘hood. Run a background check on the looters and watch the story unfold about their real motives,” said Project 21 member Nadra Enzi, an anti-crime activist in New Orleans. “Is it too much to ask President Obama and the civil rights lobby to denounce this crime spree disguised as a police brutality protest?”

In 2014, Project 21 members have already been interviewed or cited by the media over 1,000 times, including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston 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, 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, 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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Obama Amnesty Would Hurt Black Americans

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research:

Washington, DC – If President Barack Obama takes unilateral executive action to grant work permits to millions of illegal aliens, he will hurt black Americans, say experts with the Project 21 black leadership network.

How Black Americans Will Be Hurt by an Obama Amnesty

Black Americans will be hurt because the President will flood the labor market with workers who compete disproportionately with black Americans. This will increase black unemployment and discourage some blacks from entering the labor market, and, according to some studies, increase black incarceration rates.

Facts and Figures

• Black Americans are already suffering from higher-than-average unemployment. The 2013 unemployment rate for blacks with no high school diploma was 20.5 percent; for those with such a diploma, 12.6 percent. By contrast, the rate was 7.4 percent for all races and 6.5 percent for whites.

• 7.1 million black citizens age 25-54 have a high school education or less; if President Obama succeeds in unilaterally granting work permits to illegal aliens, 6.2 million aliens aged 25-54 with a high school education or less will be able to compete legally for work with those 7.1 million blacks.

• Other than the illegal immigrants themselves, employers are the most likely to benefit financially from amnesty, yet black Americans are disproportionately unlikely to own business equity. Equity in businesses accounts for less than four percent of assets for black households, compared to 18 percent for white, according to Pew Research, which also reports that ownership value in business assets declined slightly from 1983-2010 for black families but increased by 106 percent during the period for whites.

• Illegal immigrants and black Americans in the workforce 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.

• Illegal alien migration within the United States tends toward major metropolitan cities and, increasingly in recent years, to urban and rural areas in southeastern states, which tend to have higher black populations. This is putting more immigrants in direct competition with black Americans for jobs. Dr. Vernon M. Briggs, Jr. of Cornell wrote in 2010: “…some of the fastest growing immigrant concentrations are now taking place in the urban and rural labor markets of the states of the Southeast — such as Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia… Indeed, about 26 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population are now found in the states of the South… many of these new immigrants in this region are illegal immigrants.”

• The recession took a particularly harsh toll on black America, with the black unemployment rate rising to a high of 16.7 percent twice (March 2010 and August 2011) during the Obama Administration, and remaining high during the second quarter of 2014, when 11 percent of blacks in the workforce aged 16 and older were unemployed compared to an overall unemployment rate of 6.1 percent.

What Project 21 Members Say About Amnesty’s Impact on Black Americans

“Under Barack Obama, high rates of poverty and unemployment have become the status quo for all-too-many blacks. Yet this president is willing to facilitate the importation of yet more poverty into our nation in the form of low-skilled illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico. In the face of already depressed wages and scarce jobs, blacks now face the specter of increased pressure from millions of illegal immigrants to whom Obama threatens to grant amnesty, further depressing wages and job opportunities for black men and teenagers — guaranteeing lives of poverty well into the foreseeable future.” – Joe R. Hicks, Project 21 member and a former executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

“Intentionally allowing millions of illegal immigrants into an already-stressed economy will further decrease wages while increasing competition for economic opportunities that don’t exist, particularly among low-skilled black Americans. It’s bad economic policy. Official government measures say just under ten million Americans are unemployed, and the labor force participation rate is near historic lows. The economy has averaged a growth rate of under one percent over the past two quarters and more than 11 million people left the workforce altogether during President Obama’s tenure. We can’t create enough jobs for citizens who need them, yet Obama wants to act alone to add millions of illegal aliens to that troublesome equation?” – Project 21’s Derryck Green , who blogs on the economy for the black leadership network.

What Others Say about Amnesty’s Impact on Black Americans

• The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded in 2010 that, “Illegal immigration to the United States in recent decades has tended to depress both wages and employment rates for low-skilled American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are black men.”

• A joint paper by professors at the University of California, University of Chicago and Harvard for the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that immigration has measurably lowered black wages. One author, Dr. Gordon H. Hanson of UC San Diego, said, “Our study suggests that a 10 percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a skill group is associated with a reduction in the black wage of 4.0 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.”

Dr. Hanson also testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that, “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 10 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 10 percent of the 20 percentage point increase observed during that period.”

• Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., professor emeritus in labor economics at Cornell, has noted that both illegal immigrant and black workers tend to “cluster in metropolitan areas,” thus increasing the likelihood that they will compete for the same jobs. Dr. Briggs adds, “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 states, “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.”

Dr. Briggs concludes, “The continued reluctance by our national government to get illegal immigrants out of the labor force — and to keep them out — by enforcing the existing sanctions at the work site against employers of illegal immigrants is itself a massive violation of the civil rights of all low-skilled workers in the United States and of low-skilled black American workers in particular.”

• Dr. Harry J. Holzer of Georgetown University and the Urban Institute has addressed evidence from two studies showing that employers may have a preference for hiring immigrants over black citizens, noting the studies show “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…”

• Labor attorney Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, testified before the U.S. Senate in 2012 that, “…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.”

So far in 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media over 1,000 times on issues including 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. Contributions are tax-deductible and appreciated.

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Supreme Court Brief Filed Seeking Clarification on Disparate Impact in Fair Housing Act

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Black Conservatives File Supreme Court Brief Asking Justices to Clarify Disparate Impact in Fair Housing Act

Case Could Set Major Precedent for Race and Regulation

Court Accepted Two Similar Cases Settled Before Consideration — It’s Time for Court to Finally Rule on the Issue

Washington, DC – With the U.S. Supreme Court finished handing down opinions for its recently-completed term, members of the Project 21 black leadership network joined a legal brief that was recently filed with the Court that asks the justices to finally resolve the vexing issue of disparate impact claims regarding the Fair Housing Act and government-subsidized housing.

“Project 21 and the other organizations joined on this brief believe it is vital to bring this crucial test of disparate impact before the Supreme Court,” said Project 21 member Hughey Newsome, an industry professional in the field of financial planning. “The notion that disparate impact claims can go beyond the intent of the authors of laws and with the only burden of proof for the accused is, in itself, disproportionate harm. And, regardless of the purpose, it sets a dangerous precedent. Once such a precedent is set, it seems there is really no limit to what can be done in the name of justice.”

Project 21’s legal brief asks the justices to accept the case of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, et al. v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. for its upcoming term. In the case, ICP claims the state agency violated the Fair Housing Act by allocating housing tax credits to developers in a manner they say effectively keeps minorities in low-income minority-majority neighborhoods rather than giving them access to housing opportunities in wealthier majority-white communities in the Dallas metropolitan area. ICP charged the department’s tax credit distribution policy creates a disparate impact on black recipients of such credits.

The case is on appeal from the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The framers of our government pledged to us a society based on a simple premise — that every American would be treated equally under the law. The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments made clear that this concept applied in matters of race,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University and is a former leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. “The disparate impact doctrine runs counter to this notion and, in particular, it does so where racial lines are involved. If we’re going to permanently end the temptation by government to divide us into racial groupings, we’ve got to return to the principles embodied in our Constitution and the color-blind policy advocated by Martin Luther King.”

In the Project 21 brief, which was written by the Pacific Legal Foundation and also joined by the Center for Equal Opportunity, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, Individual Rights Foundation and Reason Foundation, it is argued that the Fair Housing Act was written “to apply solely to disparate treatment, not acts having disparate impact on protected classes.” It is argued that the U.S. Supreme Court must “consider the threshold question of whether disparate impact claims are even cognizable under the Fair Housing Act” since “disparate impact claims do not depend on the intent of the action or policy.”

In the past few years, the U.S. Supreme Court has twice accepted cases similar to the case now being advocated by Project 21. The other cases, Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc. and Magner v. Gallagher, were removed from the Court’s schedule after they were settled prior to argument.

“Politically-motivated settlements in the past have kept the justices from ruling on this important question of whether or not the Fair Housing Act should be officially expanded to apply to the impact of policies and not just outright discrimination as was envisioned by the lawmakers who crafted it,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a former senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. “The Supreme Court would be wise to take this opportunity to finally tackle this important question.”

Citing the fact that appellate court jurisdictions have already tried to resolve this issue, but have formulated different ways in which to deal with claims, the Project 21 brief points out that “[r]esolution of the question by this case would end the diversity of results that occur when different jurisdictions analyze substantially similar disparate impact claims.” Furthermore, “[s]ubjecting government defendants to disparate impact claims pressure them into engaging in unconstitutional race-conscious decisionmaking to avoid liability for such claims.”

“Lower courts try to answer this tricky question, and the result is a patchwork quilt of different remedies. Civil rights law cannot change from region to region. The Supreme Court needs to determine if such enforcement is even constitutional, and then — if it is — create a uniform way to deal with it,” said Project 21’s LeBon.

Project 21’s Cooper added: “It is one thing for the law to say that no person may be mistreated due to their race, but it is something alien and distinct to say that merely because of their race they’ll receive different treatment.”

In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media over 800 times — including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston 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 membership comes 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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50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act “Bittersweet,” Say Black Activists

Black Activists Call 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act Enactment “Bittersweet” Occasion, Since Many Fail to Recognize the Progress That Has Been Made

“The Civil Rights Act changed American culture… racist sentiment became largely outdated and unacceptable …black people… are now the masters of their own destiny.”

“Today, black Americans and other minorities no longer face the daunting obstacles that existed prior to 50 years ago. The public square and corridors of commerce are overwhelmingly accessible by blacks and whites, men and women alike.”

Washington, DC – Five decades after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, activists the Project 21 black leadership network are commenting on its impact and legacy. Many believe the overwhelmingly positive efforts of the Act are being downplayed by “race-obsessed” critics.

“The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is a bittersweet occasion. As we assess what its passage means for American society and why it came about, we also must lament those who treat 21st Century USA like the Jim Crow America of yesteryear,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper , a legal commentator who formerly taught law at George Mason University and was a leadership staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives. “Today, black Americans and other minorities no longer face the daunting obstacles that existed prior to 50 years ago. The public square and corridors of commerce are overwhelmingly accessible by blacks and whites, men and women alike. Sadly though, for too many of us, broken families and undue faith in government programs serve as a modern hindrance to black achievement and success.”

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964. The new law created sweeping protections against discrimination based on race, gender, religion and national origin. It covers issues such as access to government facilities, public accommodations, voter registration and workplace discrimination, among other things.

While the Civil Rights Act brought about fundamental change in the way American law handles the topic of race and helped usher in a new era of equality, Project 21 members note there are members of the civil rights lobby and self-appointed black leadership who still insist the United States is inherently racist.

“On the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we are sure to hear that little has changed for black Americans. The usual batch of self-proclaimed black leaders will jockey for the opportunity to do so. They are wrong,” said Project 21’s Joe R. Hicks , a community activist in Los Angeles who was formerly the executive director of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission and the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference — a civil rights group formed by Martin Luther King, Jr. “Simply put, the Civil Rights Act changed American culture. Within a matter of years, racist sentiment became largely outdated and unacceptable. Race-obsessed black leaders unrealistically demand a racial utopia, but they miss the fact that black people have achieved something far more important. They are now the masters of their own destiny.”

“The passage of the Civil Rights Act was a signpost that America demonstrated she is more committed to the idea of equality under the law than any point since the Declaration of Independence. But, unfortunately, black leaders often fail to give our nation the credit it’s due,” added Project 21’s Cooper. “It was quite a galvanizing act when the nation came together to ensure the commitment that all Americans would be equal under the law was secured. Unfortunately, instead of stepping out and embracing the reality of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of a colorblind society open to all Americans of good will, too many continue to focus on injustices of the past.”

“It’s been five decades since the Civil Rights Act was signed. It’s a time for us to reflect upon the sacrifices made so that equality and freedom can be shared with all men,” said Project 21’s Demetrius Minor, a youth minister and former White House intern. “It’s a mix of the heroism of individuals such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, who gave us the boldness and courage to fulfill our dreams, and a bipartisan coalition in Congress who codified their crusade into law. While there is obviously more work necessary to further the cause of civil rights, it remains largely at the personal level and not with society as a whole. It is with a grateful heart that I salute the heritage of the past that made my successes in life possible today.”

In 2014, Project 21 members have already been interviewed or cited by the media over 800 times — including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston 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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Trademark Attack on Washington Redskins Condemned by Black Leadership Group

From the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Obama Administration Trademark Attack on Washington Redskins Condemned by Black Leadership Group

Federal Punishment for Not Changing Name Sets “Dangerous Precedent”

Government Retribution Against Private Business Should Concern All Americans, Even Those Who Don’t Like Redskins Name

Washington, DC – By cancelling protected trademarks of the Washington Redskins professional football team, members of the Project 21 black leadership network say, the Obama Administration’s Patent and Trademark Office is setting a dangerous precedent.

The Washington Redskins lost six trademark protections on the team’s name after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that the protections “must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans.”

“There are Native Americans and others who object to the Washington Redskins name, and they have every right to complain about it and organize people behind their cause to change that name. For the Obama Administration to come along and use the power of the government to economically hurt the team in an attempt to force a name change is a gross abuse of power,” said Project 21’s Stacy Swimp “If the government can go after the Washington Redskins football team in this way, the government can likely go after any disfavored business, organization or social group that has similar protected trademarks, patents and copyrights if it chooses to do so. It sets a dangerous precedent that should strike fear into people everywhere and on both sides of this issue because it shows how government can take sides in political disputes and bring harm upon those it opposes.”

The ruling does not force the Washington Redskins to change its name. It does reduce the economic value of the team’s name because the lack of trademark protection means that other companies can use and produce items featuring the Redskins name and likenesses without having to adhere to any licensing agreements or pay any royalties to the team.

“Is there any sort of politicization of the federal government the Obama Administration will not sanction? First, President Obama appears to have sent the IRS and Lois Lerner after his enemies list, now he has the Patent and Trademark Office going after the Washington Redskins,” said Project 21’s Council Nedd II, a bishop with the Episcopal Missionary Church. “Maybe Obama has plans to start manufacturing bootleg Redskins gear after he leaves the Oval Office and he doesn’t want to pay royalties to Redskins owner Dan Snyder. Whatever the case, this shows how dangerous a virtually unchecked and all-powerful government can be.”

Redskins officials have already said they plan to appeal the ruling. They can appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or bring a civil suit at the federal district court level. A similar ruling against the team in 2009 was overturned at the appellate level.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who previously rallied fellow liberal senators against the Washington Redskins and called the team name “racist,” noted his approval of the executive-level action against the team. On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Reid said “it’s just a matter of time until [Snyder] is forced to do the right thing and change the name.”

To Reid’s comments, Project 21’s Nedd replied: “If Harry Reid wants more to do, maybe he should focus on affairs in Nevada rather than mucking around with my hometown team. Maybe he can bird dog prosecutions of polygamy cases, land sale fraud or the federal government launching attacks on ranchers.”

In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media over 800 times — including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston 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 membership comes 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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Are New Sodium Guidelines a Prelude to Salt Ban?

From the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Experts Warn Proposed Federal Guidelines Could Lead to Excessive Mandates, Health Risks

New York City Bait-and-Switch Regulatory Scheme Could Go Nationwide

Washington DC – Government regulators are paving the way toward federally-imposed limits on sodium as the Food and Drug Administration is on the verge of issuing new guidelines on its use in restaurant-prepared and store-bought foods. Policy experts with the National Center for Public Policy Research call the expected action an unnecessary slippery slope rooted in politicized science that will further reduce consumer choice and potentially hurt public health.

“There’s absolutely no legitimate purpose to allegedly voluntary guidelines that are issued by a regulatory agency other than as a precursor to mandatory regulation,” said Jeff Stier, the director of the National Center’s Risk Analysis Division.

In an interview with the Associated Press, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said new guidelines aimed at lowering the level of sodium in food products are nearing completion. Citing the guidelines as voluntary, Hamburg suggested to the AP that “we can make a big impact working with the industry” to lower sodium levels.

“While there are individuals with specific medical issues requiring a low-sodium diet, a one-size-fits-all prescription for a reduction in our daily salt intake is simply not sound advice for all Americans,” said Cherylyn Harley LeBon, the co-chairman of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network. “As a mom of two children, I am aware that salt assists in the development of healthy brains. Additionally, iodized salt intake is considered essential to preventing conditions that could lead to mental retardation.”

In the same interview in which she teased new sodium limits, the FDA’s Hamburg also cited the need for a “realistic timeline.” Regulatory proponents, such as Michael Jacobsen, Ph.D. of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, are already seeking to use such a timeline as a benchmark to create “a process of mandatory limits.” It’s this sort of expectation of failure that concerns National Center risk assessment experts.

“In fact, the voluntary-before-mandatory approach is simply a political strategy to make the rules palatable to a regulation-weary, salt-consuming public,” said the National Center’s Stier. “Dr. Sonia Angell, the Obama Administration’s point person on non-communicable diseases, recently testified about how guidelines can turn into explicit rules — a tactic she not surprisingly employed while working for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. When New York City’s 2005-2006 ‘market-based voluntary strategy’ to reduce restaurant trans-fats was ruled ineffective, Dr. Angell explained that ‘we had, if not an ethical responsibility, certainly a public health responsibility to take action.’ She touted the benefits of policies which change ‘the entire food supply to a default that is a healthier default. It isn’t about individual decision-making anymore, that’s taken out of it.'”

While advocates for sodium regulation cite increased associated risk of heart disease and stroke, Project 21’s LeBon notes a deficiency of sodium could also lead to similar risks. She said: “A recent study done by the Institute of Medicine concludes that further reducing salt intake may increase health risks in certain groups. That means the potential imposition of new sodium regulations along the lines of existing federal dietary guidelines could actually put people at risk. It proves why a low-salt diet is simply not recommended for everyone and should never be mandated by a bureaucracy.”
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, three percent from foundations, and three percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.Contributions are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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