*Washington, D.C. – Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are available for interviews regarding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy as Americans prepare for the annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18. They note that many of the words and actions seen in political discourse over the past year conflict with Dr. King’s ideology.
“As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let us not forget the barriers that have been broken down in the 21st century by his successors,” said Project 21 member Julian Boykin. “With Black History Month around the corner, we should also celebrate the more recent accomplishments of those individuals who have made a significant influence in our lives.”
“I can most definitely say that Dr. King would not have approved of the way violence was used this year to accomplish social and political goals,” said Project 21 member Martin Baker. “Many might want to say that the riots of this summer and the recent protest at the Capitol had their roots in the civil rights movement of the 60s and would therefore be endorsed by Dr. King. I would disagree. Today, while our leaders debate over the potential removal of a president, Dr. King’s nonviolent and unity-building example is being ignored. It is my hope and prayer that we will find the common ground for which he advocated.”
“The left has appropriated the morality of Dr. King’s public ministry to shield it from facing criticism of having undermined much of what King accomplished,” added Project 21 member Derryck Green. “Love isn’t on their agenda; retribution is. That isn’t reflective of the dignity of civil rights activists. It’s reflective of the counterproductive tantrums of the black power movement.”
“What is apparent to me is that we are still in the midst of a civil rights struggle,” said Project 21 member Donna Jackson, lamenting an increase in political division and false calls for unity. “The constitutional rights of millions of individuals are being stripped away not because of race but their beliefs. While not condoning the violence of the recent Capitol Hill confrontation, I believe it is disingenuous to dismiss the reasons it occurred. For years, conservatives have endured marginalization. We’ve been dehumanized, vilified, criminalized and subject to mental and – in some cases – physical abuse. The media, entertainment and political elite justify these actions because they deem conservatives like me to be ignorant, uneducated and incapable of making the right decisions. As Rosa Parks said when asked why she refused to move to the rear of the bus: ‘It is a matter of dignity.’ And just like during the days of Dr. King and Ms. Parks, we as a people and as conservatives cannot face ourselves and those around us if we accept a social caste system which says we are innately socially and politically inferior.”
Project 21 published the “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” to highlight black conservative public policy ideas and to offer innovative solutions to urban problems. The Blueprint’s 57 policy recommendations aim to ensure equal opportunity and access to the American Dream, and address issues such as police-community relations, employment, immigration, education and revitalization of the black church. A second edition containing dozens of new recommendations is currently in development and will be released soon.
source: Judy Kent | National Center for Public Policy Research