Project 21


Project 21

Project 21 is a conservative public policy group that provides broadcasters and the print media with prominent African-American conservative commentators as columnists and guests. The organization refers to itself as "The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives." Its director is David Almasi.

According to its web page, Project 21 is "an initiative of the National Center for Public Policy Research to promote the views of African-Americans whose entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to family and commitment to individual responsibility has not traditionally been echoed by the nation's civil rights establishment." Notable members include, Council Nedd II, Michael King, Kevin Martin, Jesse Lee Peterson and Mychal Massie.

Project 21's "New Visions Commentaries" are published in more than 300 smaller newspapers across the United States -- usually as guest columns or editorials.

Criticism

On September 20, 2005, "The American Prospect" reported about "a brief, unscripted encounter on cable television that revealed how modern conservatism seeks to manufacture the appearance of broad public support for the narrowest elements of its agenda...Viewers of C-SPAN's Washington Journal were expecting to see an interview of a black conservative. Mychal Massie, a retired businessman affiliated with a right-wing African American organization known as Project 21, was scheduled to appear at 9:30 a.m. But Massie never arrived at the C-SPAN studio on Capitol Hill because his car got a flat tire. Someone else from Project 21 had to rush over to take his place in front of the camera. Nobody was available on such short notice except the group's executive director. This sudden change clearly stunned Robb Harlston, the C-SPAN anchor hosting Washington Journal that morning, who also happens to be black. Staring at the man who had walked into the studio and introduced himself as Project 21's executive director, Harlston couldn't help blurting the obvious on live television. 'Um … Project 21 … a program for conservative African Americans … you're not African American.' Harlston was quite right: David Almasi, the executive director and sole employee of a group purporting to speak for African Americans, was undeniably a white man."

On October 20, 2005, Media Matters for America criticized Project 21, calling it "a creation of the conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR)." They noted that Project 21's director is also "NCPPR's executive director, David Almasi, [who] oversees Project 21's daily operations."

During the debate over the nomination of John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court, People for the American Way said: "Project 21, the NCPPR's effort to create a 'new leadership for Black America,' seems little more than African American spokespeople with extremist views that are at odds with what the majority of African Americans care about and believe."

Activities

U.S Senate resolution apologizing for its failure to pass anti-lynching legislation

In response to the 4700 people lynched by mobs between 1882 and 1968 the U.S. Senate in 2005 overwhelmingly passed a bi-partisan resolution apologizing for its historic failure to pass anti-lynching legislation (Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill), in the form of a non-binding resolution sponsored by two southern senators, Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Republican George Allen of Virginia. In response to this apology Project 21 issued this statement:

"I am all for the gracious acceptance of an apology that is due, or for apologizing when I am wrong. But just like giving credit where it is due, an apology only carries weight when it has meaning. And, in the case of the recent apology by Senator Mary Landrieu [D-LA] and her regretful cohorts on Capitol Hill, this apology doesn't amount to a hill of beans - at least not today.”

"The lynchings of the past, while a sad place in history to recount, is exactly that - history. The best way to avenge this shameful history and make it relevant to us today is not to wallow in the apologies and regrets offered by senators who couldn't be in any way responsible for what occurred, but to supply our own closure by forgiving those who trespassed against us and moving on."

Comparing Beliefs of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Project 21 member Mychal Massie has stated that "John Roberts is the type of jurist who represents the beliefs of great Americans such as James Madison and Martin Luther King, Jr.” The organization African American Ministers in Action countered Massie and other conservative African Americans for the comparison of then Supreme Court nominee John Roberts to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Massie denied that he had ever made such a comparison [http://media.pfaw.org/MassionRobertsandMLKcomp.wmv] . The quote came from a Project 21's press release [http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21PRJohnRoberts805.html] .

External links

* [http://project21.org/P21Index.html Project 21]
* [http://nationalcenter.org The National Center for Public Policy Research]
* [http://mhking.mu.nu Michael King]
* [http://mychalmassie.com Mychal Massie]


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