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Friday
Oct062017

Black Activists at Cornell Want Fewer Africans on Campus

Black students at Cornell University are complaining that they are at a disadvantage because there are too many black students.

It’s not exactly that there are too many black students.  Cornell apparently doesn’t have enough of the right black students.  And the black student group there is demanding the Ivy League school do more to get the right kind of blacks so they can be more comfortable on campus.

Project 21 member Darryn “Dutch” Martin, a former foreign diplomatic staffer and motivational speaker, remembers seeing this happen when he was an undergraduate.  But he never saw such blatant activism as this – calling for administrators to participate in what constitutes intra-racial prejudice.

Among the demands Cornell’s Black Students United recently made to university president Martha E. Pollack in response to an alleged racial incident on campus was to “increase the presence of underrepresented Black students on this campus.”  There is no direct complaint about the current number of black students at Cornell.  They do want more attention paid to an “underrepresented” group.  The BSU wants Cornell to recruit black Americans whose families have been here for over two generations:

The Black student population at Cornell disproportionately represents international or first-generation African or Caribbean students.  While these students have a right to flourish at Cornell, there is a lack of investment in Black students whose families were affected directly by the African Holocaust in America.  Cornell must work to actively support students whose families have been impacted for generations by white supremacy and American fascism.

This rift between native-born blacks and those coming here from abroad to study is nothing new.  Dutch saw it.  He doesn’t see the motivation of the Cornell BSU’s demand as anti-immigrant or nativist.  Instead, he considers it something of a cover-up.  Dutch has noticed two different approaches to learning and the college experience, and he thinks the BSU is looking for more people to side with them their more relaxed attitude toward learning:

I have a question for the “black and proud” crowd that loves to romanticize Africa.  I’m talking about those who harken back to “Mother Africa” and seem to enjoy throwing complaints about the legacy of slavery in every white person’s face – implying that they long to escape the African diaspora.

That being the case, there is ample opportunity to fix the problem.  The solution lies within.  Dumping on fellow black students, however, will get them nowhere fast.

My simple question to them is: what’s up with this?  Why are you working against your African brothers? 

When I was in college, I remember seeing this unfortunate dynamic.  The African and Caribbean students I studied with usually had a distinct advantage over the native-born black American students.  What gave them this privilege?  It was evident.  The foreign-born students didn’t have a self-defeating victim mentality.  And they were very serious students.

Instead of wasting time complaining to the university administration about what they perceived to be a system that wasn’t doing anything for them, the African and Afro-Caribbean students – just like the Asian students – spent their time hitting the books.  They were studying on Saturday nights while the black American students were out partying.  As a result, the foreign and students new to America excelled academically.  Surprise!

This is also why I got along so much better with the African and Afro-Caribbean students. My studious habits sometimes had me at odds with my black American peers.

Now, black American students – at an Ivy League school, no less – are showing their hand.  They’re exposing themselves as weak and intellectually lazy.  They claim victimhood, but they are being shown up by their fellow minorities.  African, Afro-Caribbean and Asian college students take their educational experiences far more seriously than black American students, and American blacks are unfortunately lagging.  It’s not institutional racism – it’s a problem of their own making.

Dutch notes that Ivy League academic John McWhorter, a linguistics scholar at Columbia University, discussed an apparent anti-intellectual sub-culture among black college students in his book Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America.

 

Wednesday
Sep272017

Miss America Pageant Politics Worries Pivotal Past Contestant

While the spotlight is currently on the politicization of the NFL and the chaos that liberal politics is bringing to the sports world, Project 21 is making sure that people understand liberal influences are similarly threatening the footlights of the Miss America pageant.

In a new Washington Times commentary, Project 21 member Day Gardner – a defining figure in pageant history – warns that the politicization of America’s “girl next door” could have a disastrous effect on the legacy of the Miss America Organization and its positive impact on our culture.

Day was the first black contestant to make it to the Miss America semifinals, thus fully integrating the pageant in front of a live national audience.  Within six years, the first black Miss America was crowned.

Mentioning the struggles she overcame to get that far at that time, Day notes in the Times that “[r]ace is no longer an impediment.  Politics, however, seems to be a new barrier to advancement.”

Day points out that current-events questions posed to semifinalists this year (not a part of the pageant in 1977, when she was Miss Delaware) were obviously crafted to allow for criticism of President Donald Trump.  She also describes how abortion and same-sex marriage issues have mixed with pageant politics during previous years.

More importantly, Day fears changing pageant priorities could diminish the title’s prestige and the institution of Miss America:

[T]he pageants of my day placed value in morals and tradition over a pretty face.  A good reputation, as Vanessa Williams found out, was a requirement to wear the tiara as the goodwill ambassador for young American women.

This formula worked.  Over the years, the Miss America Organization raised millions for charity.  It created educational opportunities for women.  Former winners championed causes such as ending homelessness and domestic abuse as well as humanitarian causes around the world.  USA Today called it one of the last vestiges of true Americana.

But I fear liberal pressures threaten the pageant’s future. Andrew Breitbart noted that “politics is downstream from culture,” and the co-opting of Miss America appears well underway.

There’s a lot to be lost by turning the pageant into a cultural playground of the radical left.  The Miss America title may someday no longer fit.  When will a divorcee demand to compete?  When will they drop gender roles altogether and open the pageant to those who choose their own gender or claim no gender whatsoever?

To back up such an assertion, Day mentions how the liberal direction of the Girl Scouts in recent years has both tarnished the group’s image and led to the creation of several alternatives.

“The politicization of Miss America will only further polarize us,” Day warns.  “Instead, we should be embracing and celebrating our shared goals.  That is the role Miss America has played so well.”

Tuesday
Sep192017

Snark is Also a Form of Media Bias

It’s not easy to work with a member of the media you figure is going to troll you.

The National Center for Public Policy Research has been engaged in a coordinated effort to combat media bias.  In this instance, it’s at ESPN – a channel owned by the Walt Disney Company that is allegedly devoted to sports reporting.  Quite often, however, ESPN acts as if it’s more interested in politics than post-game analysis.

Rather than acknowledging this angle, the Washington Post only seems to see our most recent impact as a chance to be snarky.  Rather than reporting the real news at hand, it chose to play “gotcha” with the National Center’s minority outreach arm.  From first contact, it seemed the writer had already formed his conclusions; he was just figuring out a way to justify them.

Richard HoltOur Project 21 black leadership network published a press release last week on the controversy surrounding ESPN host Jemele Hill.  She took to Twitter to assert that President Donald Trump is “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself [with] other white supremacists.”  Project 21 Richard Holt said Hill’s outburst was “causing more harm in a divided America” and “keep[ing] us from moving into a post-racial society.”

“Ms. Hill isn’t wrong to dissent,” Holt noted, “but she picked the wrong method to do it.”  While ESPN issued a statement distancing itself from her remarks, the network will apparently not discipline her despite an apparently obvious violation of network policy on social media and a history of disciplining other outspoken hosts (often conservatives).

Christopher ArpsProject 21 member Christopher Arps said the situation “further harms a network suffering a loss of viewers like me who are tired of the rampant political bias.”  As mentioned, the National Center is quite familiar with the problem of political bias at ESPN.  Our Free Enterprise Project (FEP) raised the issue with Disney Chairman Bob Iger at the company’s annual shareholder meeting earlier this year.  Soon after, ESPN issued new rules – including the social media policy Hill appears to have violated – to dial down the political vitriol on the sports channel.

And, after the Project 21 release was posted and members began speaking out on talk radio about Hill’s comments, ESPN President John Skipper sent a memo to his staff last week to remind them that “ESPN is about sports… not a political organization.”

This is all certainly news, but that’s not what the Washington Post wanted to discuss.

Just 12 minutes after the release was sent out, Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott replied to ask about other National Center “press releases condemning comments about white supremacy in response to statements made by the President or other lawmakers or television personalities.”

OK – so we forget about the issue at hand in which Project 21 members criticized a media personality who made extreme, unsubstantiated and blanket statements about the President of the United States, his administration and his supporters in an apparent violation of network policy at a network already trying to downplay a reputation of being a bastion of liberal bias.  Deeming the appropriateness of our putting out that release was the obvious focus.

In email exchanges over the course of the afternoon, I explained our organization’s ongoing interest in ESPN.  I explained that Project 21 members had participated in many interviews about the events in Charlottesville, the removal of statues of Confederate figures and white nationalist/white supremacist allegations.  We never issued a post-Charlottesville release, I explained, because Project 21 members were already fielding calls for comment, and a release was determined unnecessary for media outreach.  I said this our first release pertaining to the white supremacy debate.

Asked if we spoke on race issues during the campaign, I explained that our nonprofit status prohibits us from involving ourselves in elections (we turned away countless media requests over the years regarding the candidacies of people such as Trump, Barack Obama and Herman Cain for that reason).

Asked about any incidents prior to the campaign where we spoke out against white supremacy, I invited him to look through our 20 years of online archives.  I also asked ,“when has white supremacy been a front-page topic in the past 20 years?”

That was apparently what the reporter was searching for all afternoon.  His piece was on the Post’s web site about 20 minutes later.  The headline drew on my comment about it being our first release on white supremacy, and featured my question about front-page coverage of the topic.

Our Project 21 members’ quotes were featured and the Jemele Hill controversy explained, but there was no mention of the National Center’s work related to ESPN to put it in context.  The article mentioned our nonprofit status, yet cited Trump’s endorsement by the Ku Klux Klan’s newspaper as an apparent example of recent white supremacy headlines on which we could have commented.  Also cited were tweets by David Duke about President Trump after Charlottesville – but no justification for equating a failed politician (three percent in the 2016 Louisiana Senate primary) with 49,400 Twitter followers to a broadcaster with a show on every weekday evening and 695,000 Twitter followers.

Council Nedd IIHad he checked our archives at my recommendation, there was a blog post on Charlottesville in which Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II said “I particularly take issue with the white supremacists who claimed they were there because they are conservative.  They most certainly are not.”  Project 21 member Ted Hayes, who spends a great deal of time promoting racial healing by drawing attention to the 2008 congressional apology for slavery and Jim Crow laws, said, “We must abhor white supremacy like we must abhor all attempts to allow one race to hold power over others.”

In the past, Project 21 members also condemned the racist attack on Condoleezza Rice by a political cartoonist.  They rebuked allegations of racial intolerance at Tea Party rallies and condemned the anti-Semitism of the Occupy movement.  They even took on al Qaeda when members of its leadership called Obama, Rice and Colin Powell “house negroes.”  And there’s vital work that’s been done by Project 21 members to promote black economic empowerment and to stop voter fraud.

Ted HayesBut it seems obvious that pointing out any of this at the time would have resulted in less inquiry about those examples and more about what Project 21 didn’t do.  As if condemning the KKK newspaper, which most people probably don’t even know exists, might have been more important than clearing the name of the Tea Party against false accusations or pointing out where the hate among the Occupy movement was being ignored.

Apart from Disney/ESPN, another tale of FEP shareholder activism regarding media bias was the 2013 Washington Post annual meeting. Facing criticism of their coverage of the March for Life, the leadership of the Post at the time admitted to a newsroom bias.  Then-Publisher Katherine Weymouth estimated the newsroom was 90-percent liberal and “obviously their bias comes through.”  That seems to still be the case. The Washington Post has since been sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.  It is owned by him and is no longer a publicly-traded company.

At the National Center, we take pride in how well we interact with the media.  But it’s a two-way street.  Snark is a pothole on that street, and it’s something that we see too much of in today’s media.

Tuesday
Aug152017

CEO Resignations from Trump Council: "Triumph of Politics Over Policy"

They claim it’s not politics, but it certainly reeks of corporate America bowing to the will of the anti-Trump resistance movement.  That’s unfortunately not unusual these days.

It started with Merck’s Kenneth Frazier, and now includes the CEOs of Intel and Under Armour and the head of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.  Did these business leaders resign from the White House’s American Manufacturing Council because of a disagreement with President Trump over strategy to put the American economy back on track?  Hardly.  Economic indicators have improved quite well since the inauguration.  These business leaders quit because they said they didn’t like his handling of the events in Charlottesville last weekend.

Frazier said his decision was “to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”  Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said his company “engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”  Intel’s Brian Krzanich said he did it “to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues.”  Scott Paul of the AAM trade association simply called it “the right thing for me to do.”

But, despite their excuses, how can the defections of these corporate chieftains not be seen as anything other than a political move?  It’s not like President Trump specifically addressed Charlottesville in an offensive manner at one of the Council’s meetings.  And, while Frazier resigned early Monday, the rest decided to quit after President Trump called out white nationalists in no uncertain terms:

To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.  Justice will be delivered.  As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence.  It has no place in America…  Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

The fact of the matter is that CEOs engaging with the Trump Administration have long been under fire from the left.  At shareholder meetings this year, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) encouraged the leadership of Pepsi and Harley-Davidson, among others, to continue working with the White House to develop and help to promote policies that might create jobs and spur economic growth.  They were encouraged not to buckle to leftist demands that they shun partnering with the government.

Horace Cooper, a member of the National Center’s board of directors and a co-chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network who also represented FEP at shareholder meetings, is calling out these CEOs for the obvious political nature of their resignations: 

The decision by Kenneth Frazier and the others to resign from the White House’s American Manufacturing Council represents the triumph of politics over policy.  It is very disappointing when our nation’s corporate leaders have been given an opportunity to work with the federal government to encourage innovation and investment but instead appear more interested in political correctness.

These corporate executives represent the livelihoods of millions of Americans.  Their selfish decision to effectively become Antifa warriors means that the important issues of deregulation and tax reform - critical to job growth and improving household budgets - will be pushed to the back of the bus.

CEOs are hired to improve and expand their companies’ value and to provide needed services and products to consumers.  Federal policy is critical to that effort.  Abandoning this rare opportunity to work directly with the White House in order to pursue left-wing politics harms not only the corporations, but also the Americans - black, white and brown - who work for them and rely upon their products and services.

National Center General Counsel and FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. has confronted Frazier at four Merck shareholder meetings, discussing issues such as the company’s steadfast support for ObamaCare and drug pricing.  In 2017, FEP attended 19 corporate shareholder meetings on a myriad of topics including working with the Trump Administration on health care policy, transparency and media bias.

Tuesday
Aug152017

Observations on Charlottesville: Project 21 Members Reflect

It goes without saying that members of the Project 21 black leadership network are appalled by what transpired this past weekend in Charlottesville.

There is a lot to be angry about when it comes to Charlottesville.  The hostile actions there that enflamed racial tension all over were unnecessary, and the loss of life was tragic.

There is contention about finding fault with both sides, but any rational analysis of the events in Charlottesville shows plenty of blame to go around regarding how things were handled.  That being said, black conservatives with Project 21 are speaking out about the aspects of what happened in Charlottesville that hit close to home for them as well as the larger issues this event represents.

Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II, a long-time member of the conservative movement now living in central Pennsylvania and serving as a state constable, objects to the political orientation the white nationalists bestowed upon themselves:

I denounce those who sowed the seeds of hate in Charlottesville, and I particularly take issue with the white supremacists who claimed they were there because they are conservative.  They most certainly are not.

What was all of this “Unite the Right” business?  They’re not conservative, and there is no way they can unite any true conservatives under their agenda.  I have been actively involved in conservative politics both in and outside of Washington for decades, and I’ve never run into the kind of people I saw in the Charlottesville coverage.  For the Richard Spencers of America to claim conservative credentials is as silly as the left-wing agitators that day calling themselves the same.

The conservative activists I know want empowerment, fairness and freedom for all Americans.  Racism is antithetical to the free market and true right values.  We cannot excommunicate those who were never part of our movement.  But it is nonetheless important for conservatives to speak out against these imposters and reiterate our own agenda to promote harmony and freedom.

Ted Hayes, a Project 21 member and community activist in Los Angeles, is focused on the nation healing its long-festering racial wounds.  For the past six months, he has been calling attention to the 2008 congressional apology for slavery and for later institutional discrimination policies as an example of the intent of our society to establish common ground:

What I call the “Battle of Charlottesville” is more evidence of the racial tensions that, as Lincoln implied, create a “house divided against itself.”  It seems more dangerous than ever, with our republic experiencing divisions not seen since the Civil War itself.  This is happening despite the many achievements for the Civil Rights Movement, a national civil rights holiday honoring Dr. King and our first black president.

What happened in Charlottesville is part of a long-standing problem we aren’t talking about as a people.  We tend to have to wait for an attention-grabbing racial incident to explode before we want to stop and examine ourselves.  At that point, as now, we can be sidetracked by the tirades, diatribes and denouncements from the usual suspects of the organized left and the self-appointed black “leaders.”  And, like always, silent indifference takes over again as soon as the matter quiets down.

We must abhor white supremacy like we must abhor all attempts to allow one race to hold power over others.  There are earnest parties seeking healing, but their efforts don’t make headlines they deserve.  Our Congress, for example, apologized for chattel slavery and Jim Crow in 2008, yet this admission and admonishment does not get the credit it is due.  As a result, our nation continues drifting towards total destruction.

Project 21 member Demetrius Minor is an evangelical minister and author.  He believes the solution to the problems exhibited in Charlottesville can be found in faith and open communication:

What is occurring will continue as long as we seek a political fix instead of a spiritual one.  Too many of us are trying to be a voice instead of leading others to THE voice.  Jesus Christ is the lone answer.

We must have a dialogue on race and culture.  It must be done with transparency.  The church cannot be silent.  The generic, tone-deaf responses by politicians will not abridge or dissolve the tensions in our country.  Only God-fearing Christians who are willing to not compromise on beliefs but willing to evangelize a lost, dying and broken world, can help change the direction in which this world is headed.

Racism, hatred and intolerance will be rooted out once Christians invoke the unadulterated Word of God into every culture and community.  This comes with the ability to empathize with individuals whose beliefs, lifestyles and experiences differs from ours.

It’s worth repeating that Jesus Christ is the anecdote to our hurting communities.  There’ll be various political commentaries on diverse issues, but I’m committed to leading people to the ultimate changemaker because He’s the only one Who matters.

Derrick Hollie, a member of Project 21 and the president of Reaching America, warned that President Trump needs to confront intolerance head-on:

Last week, President Trump declared a state of emergency for the opioid crisis.  There also needs to be a state of emergency declared for race relations.  What happened last weekend in Charlottesville should serve as a horrifying admonition of how much work is left to do.  As a black American, it was a stark reminder of how many people still hate me and my family for no other reason than the color of our skin. 

I support President Trump because I believe his policies will help low-income and minority communities.  That being said, I pray he will be guided by the hand of God to bring our nation together, with a firm condemnation of any burgeoning white supremacy movement.  The hatred shown last weekend runs deep - fueled by generations of misunderstanding, mistrust and misplaced frustration.  For years, we were told this hatred was no longer prevalent.  But today we must look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves and deal with it.

I hope President Trump sees how these types of incidents affect his supporters in the black community.  Our nation is divided right now in ways it hasn’t been since the 60s and 70s.  We must now address the issues that are right in front of us.

Project 21 member Derryck Green, who has earned a doctorate in theology and spiritual leadership, is skeptical of the media and how it describes the white nationalists.  He says that the “alt-right” is neither right nor Christian as it is sometimes portrayed:

The media has been trying to tarnish the reputation of conservatives, Christians and evangelicals in particular for quite some time.  But efforts seem even more noticeable since Donald Trump was elected.  I believe it’s because progressives can’t accept what happened on Election Day, and now they feel they have to work overtime to tarnish the reputation of conservatives and evangelicals - specifically trying to identify both with the sins of white nationalism loosely identified as the “alt-right.”  Charlottesville is the latest attempt. 

To be clear, I don’t think the alt-right is as large or influential as the media would have people think.  Further, it isn’t conservative.  Many of its beliefs clearly contradict conservatism.  I’ve been a conservative for more than 20 years.  Never have I heard conservatives openly advocate expanding government to facilitate the preservation of white nationalism or supporting racial supremacy.  On the contrary, I’ve had countless sincere white conservatives repeatedly ask what they can personally do to help more blacks escape the indignity of leftist policies.  They also ask me how they can help spread the message of conservatism to more blacks. 

More importantly, there is no explicit connection whatsoever between the media-hyped racists in the alt-right and evangelical Christians - particularly those who voted for Donald Trump.  The only connection is made implicitly by ideologically-driven members of the media.  I’ve neither seen nor heard white supremacists associated with white nationalism or the alt-right articulate anything remotely close to biblical values or Christian principles. 

As a matter of fact, much of what white supremacists advocate - hearts full of hatred, anger, bigotry, violence and racial pride - is considered sin.  This directly contradicts Christian teaching and character.  Moreover, the racial supremacy of white nationalism is very much opposed to the theological anthropology found in Christianity.  The Sermon on the Mount and “loving one’s neighbor,” for example, have nothing in common with the divisive racial platform of the alt-right.

It should be obvious that white nationalism is incompatible with the multiethnic composition of the Kingdom of God.

Friday
Aug112017

NYC Moves to Snuff Out E-Cigs: "What Are They Smoking?"

The U.S. and U.K. governments see lower-risk nicotine products as a tool to bring smoking-related diseases down to levels not seen in generations.  But in New York City, legislators want to recklessly regulate responsible vape retailers out of existence.  What are they smoking?

Jeff Stier, the director of the National Center’s Risk Analysis Division, asks this in a New York Post commentary taking issue with the New York City Council’s August 9 vote to “slash the number of vape shops allowed to operate and to ban new stores from opening.”  Ironically, the vote was seen by its supporters as a way to reduce Americans’ tobacco habit.  It will likely have the opposite effect.

Vape shops sell e-cigarettes and similar products to people looking for alternatives to cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.  As Stier pointed out in his commentary:

[B]y drastically ratcheting down the number of vape shops in the city, smokers will have fewer places to buy their favored alternative to cigarettes.  Sure, they could still buy online, but they’d be missing out on individualized guidance on which products will give them the best chance at quitting.

Vape-shop owners are typically former smokers who saved their own lives by ignoring the advice of nanny-staters and quit smoking aided by e-cigarettes.  They’ve become entrepreneurs whose businesses succeed when smokers quit.  Now, both are more likely to fail.

Noting that other tobacco alternatives and taxpayer-subsidized health counselors are not posting effective gains in promoting smoking cessation, Stier wrote that “Vape-shop staffers, with their real-world success stories and product knowledge, have the potential to be highly effective, especially for entrenched smokers who were unsuccessful with other methods.”  Better still, “vape-shop staffers don’t cost taxpayers a penny.”

New York City’s attempt to discourage vaping comes as governments are becoming more open to the practice.  In late July, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States essentially reversed a hostile policy toward e-cigarettes to support less harmful alternatives to tobacco.  In the United Kingdom, a report aimed at reducing tobacco use released by the government agency Public Health England suggested “permitting innovative technologies that minimize the risk of harm,” and “maximize the availability of safer alternatives to smoking.”  This would undoubtedly promote vaping.

Thursday
Aug102017

Google’s Ideological Intolerance Recounted by Danhof in Investor’s Business Daily

While the rest of the world may have been taken aback by the firing of Google engineer James Damore, liberal intolerance at the tech giant wasn’t a surprise to the National Center’s Justin Danhof, Esq.

Danhof, director of the Free Enterprise Project, exposed this mindset in early June when he was at the annual shareholder meeting of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.  He recounted his confrontation with the company’s leadership in a new commentary published by Investor’s Business Daily.  He noted that “Damore’s firing was total twaddle, but it was predictable.”

In his commentary, Danhof noted:

At the meeting, I asked Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt about the company’s actual commitment to diversity and inclusion in light of the company’s public policy positions, not to mention the views of top management, that all skew to the extreme political left.  I noted conservatives may not feel welcome in such an environment, let alone feel free to express their beliefs.  Schmidt and other company executives dismissed my entire question by claiming everyone at the company – and in the tech industry as a whole – was in agreement with them.

Danhof brought up the company’s opposition to the Trump Administration’s immigration policy, support for the Paris climate accord and a Texas decency law as examples of complex issues where Alphabet may have employees of varying opinions.  He asked: “When the company takes public policy positions, does it consider all of its employees?”  Schmidt arrogantly responded: “The company was founded on the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking.  You’ll also find that all of the other companies in our industry agree with us.”

While leaders in the industry might all agree with each other, their employees certainly do not.  In particular, there’s Damore – who was fired for thinking diversity should go beyond simply bean-counting protected classes in company employment statistics.  But Danhof found that Damore is not an anomaly at Alphabet:

After that confrontation, a strange thing happened.  I started receiving messages from Google employees thanking me for challenging Alphabet’s leadership.  Without realizing it, I was apparently speaking for a closeted segment of Google employees with conservative beliefs.

One email read, “I’m working with a few other Googlers to fix the company’s political discrimination problem.  Really appreciate you shining a light on the matter.”

Another said she was working closely with a group of conservatives at Google, and noted, “(t)hey’re all very appreciative that you were standing up for their interests at the shareholder’s (sic) meeting.  The shareholder resolution your organization filed also made a lot of people happy.”

I won’t divulge the names of these conservative Google employees lest they suffer the same fate as Damore.  But it’s clear that, despite Mr. Schmidt’s claim, not everyone at Google subscribes to his far-left worldview.

In a press release issued just after the Alphabet shareholder meeting, Danhof said the meeting left him with the feeling that the company was “of, by and for liberals.”  After what he exposed, and the posturing of the company after Damore’s firing, it’s hard to believe otherwise.

Today Danhof appeared on Dr. Drew’s KABC radio show to discuss this issue further. You can hear his entire appearance below.

Monday
Aug072017

St. Louis NAACP Backs Down, Reverses Course to Endorse Missouri "Travel Advisory"

Well, that was quick.

On Friday, Project 21 members in the St. Louis area were praising the NAACP’s St. Louis County chapter for pushing back against state and national leaders after a “travel advisory” was issued that cautions minority populations that might be visiting or passing through the Show Me State. Within a few days, however, the local chapter reversed itself and now supports the advisory.

Christopher Arps“Two days ago, the St. Louis County NAACP said the travel advisory hurt hospitality workers,” noted Project 21’s Christopher Arps. “Now, it miraculously doesn’t and the group ‘wholeheartedly supports’ the advisory? This flip-flopping makes the group seem irrelevant.”

In the group’s original statement, the county chapter recognized the negative effects the NAACP advisory – which warns that “[r]ace, gender and color based [sic] crimes have a long history in Missouri” – might have on Missouri’s hospitality industry. While not necessarily agreeing with a new anti-discrimination statute cited in the advisory, the statement noted it nonetheless helped Missouri law align with similar rules in 38 other states.

But now the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP has signaled its agreement with higher-ups that there is a “looming danger” for minorities in Missouri. “[A]fter additional study and consultation with our state conference,” the chapter announced that it “wholeheartedly supports” the advisory.

Stacy WashingtonThey’ve now decided they really don’t like the new law. There continues to be, by the way, silence at all levels of the group as to why the advisory did not address the extremely high murder rate in St. Louis and how that affects the quality of life of minority groups.

“Well I guess the jobs of black people in Missouri aren’t as important as was previously stated,” remarked Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington. “Now, if the upcoming major religious conferences cancel because of the NAACP travel advisory, Missouri workers and businesses can thank the NAACP.”

Tuesday
Aug012017

Law Enforcement Professional Talks Trump Remark About Prisoner Transport

In an address to law enforcement officials last week that was largely about gang violence and illegal immigration, President Donald Trump provoked criticism for a comment he made about the treatment of those who have been arrested for more heinous alleged crimes.

At Suffolk County Community College, the President said: “When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?  Like, don’t hit their head, and they just killed somebody - don’t hit their head.  I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”

The line got some laughs at the time, but many police officials later felt they needed to speak up about it.  They wanted to dispel any notion that they or the President endorse unwarranted violence or have strayed from a commitment to healthy community engagement.

Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II is a state constable in Pennsylvania.  He also wants to add his thoughts as someone behind the badge and behind much of the Trump Agenda.  He had this to say about the statement and the implications it has for him and other law enforcement professionals:

I’ve only ever noticed President Donald Trump voice and show support for the law enforcement community.  As a law enforcement officer, I have been nothing but encouraged by his words and actions.  With regard to his recent comments to that gathering of officers in New York, I believe his exuberance probably got the better of him.

Because of the nature of my job as a constable, I have probably put more people in the back of my vehicle than most other officers.  I do it about 20 to 25 times a week.  I tell each and every person to watch their head and knees as they climb into the back.  It’s not a preference - it’s policy.

Despite what may have happened in the past, a compliant prisoner must be treated with the utmost care.  Officers are literally responsible for the safety and welfare of prisoners in their care above everything else.

After the President’s remarks, my concern is that - while trying to show support for the blue - he has put us under yet another microscope.

His remarks will not change the way I do my job, nor how I treat anyone I have in my custody.  I don’t think the President really believes we should act any different, and one off-hand remark should not be used to taint his past support and respect for law enforcement.

Friday
Jun302017

Acting on Project 21 Co-Chair’s Suggestion, Trump Sends Feds to Control Chicago Gun Crime

When Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper discussed rampant violence in Chicago on “The O’Reilly Factor” on January 26, he said the federal government could “absolutely” intervene to help end the “carnage” there.

About an hour after Horace’s appearance, President Donald Trump tweeted “I will send in the Feds!” if the “carnage” in Chicago wasn’t abated.  He’s now making good on that vow.

In late January, when the President tweeted, the number of shootings was 228.  On June 30, that number reached 1,714.  According to media reports, 20 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were dispatched to Chicago to coordinate with the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police.  Their goal is to target gun traffickers and upgrade the technology used for tracking down the perpetrators of gun crimes.

Friday
Jun302017

Kate's Law Praised by Lawman for Protecting Public, Helping Police

On June 29, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3004 - “Kate’s Law” - to mandate stricter penalties for deported felons who re-enter the United States illegally.

The bill, which enjoys the support of President Donald Trump, is named after Kate Steinle.  In 2015, Steinle was allegedly murdered by an illegal alien who was deported on five previous occasions.  Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, charged in the shooting death of Steinle, is expected to be tried in the coming months.

Kate’s Law passed the House by an overwhelming 257-157 vote.  In the Senate, companion legislation that is still under consideration is S. 45.

Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd, a constable in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, had this comment on the passage of H.R. 3004:

In my duties as a Pennsylvania constable, I have regular interactions with illegal immigrants.  I am encouraged by the passage of Kate’s Law in the U.S. House of Representatives and the tone of the Trump Administration on the immigration issue in total.  I believe it protects the public and helps make law enforcement more effective.

From a personal perspective, I have repeatedly served warrants on the same undocumented individuals.  Over time, it becomes folly and diminishes our credibility.  There is an inherent risk in the job I do.  I should not have to serve these warrants to those in this country illegally only to have them ignored at a potential peril to the public.

I’ve often wondered when the communities I serve would say enough.  I believe Congress is now channeling these people with their decisive action on Kate’s Law.  President Trump’s encouragement of its passage and his overall commitment to protecting Americans and law enforcement is to be applauded and not criticized.

Friday
Jun022017

Bob Iger: Just Because You Cater to Children is No Reason to Act Like Them

Disney CEO Bob Iger has obviously spent too much time with children at the happiest place on earth.

He seems to have adopted their maturity level.

In a move strikingly similar to that of a child kicking over a board game he or she is losing, he resigned from one of Trump’s business advisory panels when he didn’t get his way.

It was terribly bad sportsmanship. 

And it’s a terribly bad example for the millions of children who go to Disney theme parks each year.

It’s time Disney let him go… and not just for his poor sportsmanship.

Bob Iger should be let go because he routinely uses his platform as CEO to advance his own personal politics at the expense of Disney.

His hissy fit that led to his resignation from the presidential panel means that Disney no longer has a seat at the table where important decisions that could affect Disney are influenced.

It also undoubtedly angered millions of Trump supporters, many of whom will now choose alternative vacation destinations.

And it hurt the credibility of one of Disney’s core businesses – news media – as no one is going to take seriously any of ABC’s reporting on climate change after its CEO took sides in the debate. 

CEOs of media organizations have a special responsibility to stay out of controversial political issues and Iger childishly did not.

If this had been the first time Iger put his personal politics above the interest of Disney shareholders, it might have been excusable as a momentary lapse in judgment, but it wasn’t.

Iger shelved the miniseries “The Path to 911” years ago because it provided factual details embarrassing to the Clintons.  It recounted, for example, numerous opportunities Bill Clinton had to take out Bin Laden BEFORE 9/11, but refused to act.

The miniseries would have had a significant market in the U.S., but Iger decided against taking the easy money.

Iger, not surprisingly, hosted fundraisers for the Clintons.

When we questioned Iger about this at a shareholder meeting some years ago, he told one of our spokesmen to “F$%!” himself.

Nice… What a role model for children.  He has no business leading a company that has built its reputation on being family friendly.

It’s high time Disney let Bob Iger go.

And it’s time Iger grow up, too.

Thursday
Jun012017

Even Climate Alarmists Say Paris Treaty Is Ineffective, Says Cooper

On the eve of President Trump announcing his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, Horace Cooper criticized the Paris treaty on RT Network’s “The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann.”

“The very same studies that were claiming alarmist predictions say that the Paris treaty doesn’t make that much of a difference, and that those same alarmist outcomes are going to occur. The good news is those alarmist models haven’t been right… They aren’t coming true,” said Cooper on last night’s show.

“The Paris treaty fails to make the type of changes - that I would call ‘draconian - that would be consequential enough to change their predictions. My view is these predictions have been alarmist.  But if I believed them, then I would criticize the Paris Treaty for apparently being woefully inadequate, because that’s what their own reports indicate.”

Cooper, a senior fellow at National Center as well as a co-chair of the Project 21 black leadership network, also discussed health care reform with host Thom Hartmann and fellow panelist Julio Rivera. Watch the entire segment below.

Thursday
May042017

Conservatives Should Be Concerned About GE & Coca-Cola

Justin Danhof, General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director at the National Center for Public Policy Research, talked with Pastor Greg Young of “Chosen Generation Radio” today about why conservative and Christian investors should be concerned about how General Electric (GE) and Coca-Cola are using their money.

Listen to Danhof’s entire appearance below.

 

Wednesday
Apr192017

Jeff Stier Defends Neil Gorsuch and NEA Funding Cuts

Should Americans be concerned about Neil Gorsuch’s connection to a billionaire Heritage Foundation donor? “The Big Picture” host Thom Hartmann thinks so.

“I don’t think we should be concerned at all,” responded Jeff Stier, the director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Risk Analysis Division. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s qualified to do this job. I think a lot of people like you might not like his politics… People who share an ideology tend to work together, they support each other.”

Hartmann next complained that funding for the arts is on President Trump’s chopping block.

“The government shouldn’t be interfering with the arts. I myself appreciate art and I myself am an artist. I don’t want to have to answer to the government to define what is art, what isn’t art,” said Stier. “The government has no role in it. The arts should be supported by our community, and by our culture, and by donors.”

The panel also discussed the popularity of Senator Bernie Sanders.

Stier’s entire appearance can be viewed below.

Thursday
Apr132017

Cooper Debates Sanctuary Cities and Social Security

Who’s hypocritical, Democrats or Republicans, when it comes to immigration policy and the roles of state government and federal government?

Last night, Thom Hartmann - the host of “The Big Picture” on RT Network - cited a study indicating that there is a lower crime rate in sanctuary cities, and argued that the federal government thus shouldn’t force local communities to enforce federal immigration law.

Horace Cooper, the co-chair of Project 21 and legal fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, noted that the Obama Administration opposed federalism by preventing Arizona cities from enforcing immigration law, and now Democrats are howling that cities can’t decide immigration policies for themselves.

“So you’d like to let the local community decide whether or not they’d like that [crime rate] benefit, but you don’t want to let the cities of Scottsdale or Phoenix decide, ‘we’d like to not have our schools overwhelmed by people that aren’t lawful residents,’” responded Cooper.

Hartmann and Cooper also discussed a proposal to do away with the payroll tax to fund Social Security. Hartmann opposes it because he doesn’t want Social Security to be funded by general revenue, which is considered discretionary spending subject to the budget process.

“I’m not convinced at all that we’re going to see Social Security stay the same as it was in 2016,” said Cooper. “Eventually we’re going to have to make changes.”

Hartmann responded that the Koch brothers should pay the same percentage toward Social Security as others have to.

Cooper’s response: “Our [Social Security] system caps the maximum that people can be paid, so of course it caps the maximum tax that they pay in…. If you don’t do that, then it’s the equivalent of just a general tax program.”

Cooper’s entire appearance can be viewed below.

Friday
Apr072017

Democrats Should Have Approved Gorsuch, Says Project 21's Shelby Emmett

Were Senate Republicans right to exercise the nuclear option in order to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Grouch?

“The Democrats asked for this,” responded Project 21’s Shelby Emmett on RT Network’s “The Big Picture” last night. “What goes around comes around.”

Emmett continued: “I think the Democrats did something not really smart here strategically, because he wasn’t that horrible of a judge. They were really fighting to try to find things wrong with him. And if I was Trump, the next judge is going to be ten times more conservative and now what? If I were the Democrats, I would have let this one fly and I would have put up a bigger fight for the next one.”

The panel also discussed Stephen Bannon being removed from the National Security Council.

Watch Emmett’s entire appearance here:

Tuesday
Apr042017

A Tribute to Amy Moritz Ridenour (1959-2017)

Amy Moritz Ridenour was called home to be with the Lord on March 31, 2017, after a long battle with cancer.  Her husband and two of her children were at her bedside when she passed away.

In addition to being a beloved wife, mother and friend, Amy was known by many more as a leader of the conservative movement for over 35 years.

She founded The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, in 1982.  At the time of her death, she served as its chairman.

Her vision was for the organization to be a very different kind of think tank: More nimble than others and focused on giving the conservative movement capabilities it didn’t already possess.  Her success in achieving that vision was recognized when another conservative leader said of the Center, “It’s more than a think tank… it’s a do tank.”

Under her leadership, the Center initiated Project 21, a black conservative leadership group that’s created over 30,000 media opportunities for black conservatives and libertarians.

She also launched the Free Enterprise Project, a conservative shareholder activism and education program.  Dozens of major corporations have voluntarily adopted shareholder resolutions proposed by the program.

Amy played a significant role in virtually every conservative advance in the past three decades.

But one contribution of which she was most proud few knew about.

Though the U.S. eventually won the Cold War, that outcome was far from certain.  In the early 1980s, it was nearly derailed by the nuclear freeze movement.

On March 7, 1983, the day before a major nuclear freeze movement rally was to take place in Washington, DC, Amy and other pro-defense leaders countering the freeze movement met with President Reagan at the White House.

The president confided that he feared his effort to rebuild America’s defenses and win the Cold War could fail because the media was against him.

Amy gave the president a pep talk and outlined a strategy she’d used to go around the mainstream media to reach the American people using alternative media, including talk radio, local community newspapers, and religious media.

President Reagan took her advice and that very afternoon personally added 13 lines to a speech he was scheduled to give to the National Association of Evangelicals the next day.

That speech would become known as the “Evil Empire” speech.  It rallied support for the struggle against totalitarian Communism by framing it in moral terms.

Over the course of her career, Amy and wrote and edited hundreds of public policy papers and was widely published with her opinion columns appearing in a range of newspapers including USA Today, the Sacramento Bee, the Dallas Morning News, and the Boston Herald.  She was also a popular radio and television guest, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and even the Comedy Channel.

During the 1990s, she co-hosted with her husband David a weekly public affairs television program called Scoop.

Her earlier achievements included serving as vice-chairman of the International Youth Year Commission of the U.S.; as a regional coordinator for the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign; and as chairman of the Maryland Federation of College Republicans.

A native of Pittsburgh, Amy was an avid fan of the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates and required that her husband adopt the teams as his own as a condition of their marriage.  She’s undoubtedly thrilled to be meeting Roberto Clemente and Honus Wagner now.

She was also a Trekkie and could recite episodes of the original Star Trek series from memory.  She once attended a Star Trek convention, but her husband married her anyway.

Amy had only a few regrets.  She did regret having a promising future in major league baseball cut out from under her by a coach who – despite her superior skill – denied her a spot on the boys’ baseball team in elementary school.

She also regretted never finding a way to convince her staff of the importance of subject-verb agreement.

Amy will be remembered for her humor, sharp mind, vast knowledge, keen strategic sense and for her generosity.  She was a mentor to many.

Many will also remember her as a fierce fighter for liberty.  She displayed that same spirit in her fight against cancer.  Though cancer took her life, it never defeated her.

Most importantly, her family will always treasure their memories of Amy as a dedicated and loving wife and mother.

She is survived by her husband David; their children, Katherine, Christopher, and Jonathan; brothers Christian (Washington) and Karl (Arlington); and mother Carol (Pittsburgh).

In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to Our Savior Lutheran Church in Laurel, Maryland for the benefit of its youth programs, or to The National Center for Public Policy Research.

 

Memorial service information

A memorial service will be held on Saturday April 8, 2017 at Our Savior Lutheran Church (13611 Laurel-Bowie Road in Laurel, Maryland).  Visitation begins at 3:00pm.  The service begins at 4:00pm.  A repost meal will follow.

An on-line guest book to share condolences is available here.

Thursday
Mar232017

Consumer Choice and Company Profit Are Both Needed in Health Care, Says Cooper

“The reason that most people have a negative impression about the so-called Affordable Care Act is because the government has taken away so many of our choices from us.” - Horace Cooper, legal fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research and co-chair of Project 21

Cooper discussed efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with host Thom Hartmann and conservative commentator Matt Demar on the March 22, 2017 episode of “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann.”

Cooper also defended the value of profit in health care, arguing that profit gives an incentive for professionals to offer excellent service. The panel also discussed the recent ban of laptops in carry-on baggage on certain flights.

See the entire discussion below.

Monday
Feb272017

Black Americans Should Work With President Trump to Save Our Nation

Project 21’s Ted Hayes spoke today with radio host Pastor Greg Young about why black Americans would do best to work with President Trump instead of castigating others who do.

“We as black people have struggled for a long time in this country with the help of our white brothers and sisters for freedom from slavery, freedom from Jim Crow, the right to vote, to speak with/about, to hang out with who we want to, and we said that when we get our freedom we wouldn’t behave the way others have treated us,” said Hayes. “And lo and behold, we get the freedom and look at these African-Americans. They go and attack fellow brothers and sisters for simply accepting the outreached hand of the President of the United States who wants to help us. They castigate them.”

Hayes compared President Trump to President Lincoln: “The boys in the Civil War… died over the value that we must correct what the Declaration of Independence said, we must free fellow human beings from slavery. For that is the will of God, which President Abraham Lincoln came to understand on September 22, 1862 when he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. He said, ‘God told me I need to do this if I’m to save the Union.’ And sir, we’re right back at that point again. And thank God the Lord got this crazy man from out of nowhere. Donald Trump shocked everybody and is giving us a second chance to save our nation if we would get smart and wise to do it.”

“We are slaves and don’t even know it. And look at the death rate of black people under Democratic rule,” says Hayes. “You know why you don’t hear much from the Ku Klux Klan anymore? They put the sheets back on their beds because they see black folks are doing to black folks what the Klansmen wanted all along. They are satisfied.”

Hayes’ entire appearance on Chosen Generation Radio today can be heard below, and is based on Hayes’ recent Daily Caller article, “Making Black History.”