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Thursday, December 11, 2014
OPINIONS: Reverend Al Sharpton March Won't Address Jobs or Freedom says Black Leadership Network Members
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LARWENCE B. JONES, III: "Al Sharpton seems to have one agenda, and that's garnering money and influence for himself within the liberal establishment."
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EPIC FAIL: Sharpton March on Washington Probably Won't Address Jobs or Freedom - Making It Nothing like the 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event Sharpton Seeks to Mimic
Washington, DC - Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are criticizing Al Sharpton's planned weekend protest in Washington, D.C., saying the protest likely will do nothing but stir up tension while the root causes of high crime and low hope in black communities go unaddressed.
On December 13, Sharpton plans to bring thousands of protesters to the nation's capital for his National March Against Police Violence. He reportedly hopes that the protest, capitalizing on the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, will promote legislation to give the U.S. Department of Justice enhanced power to prosecute local police officers. Sharpton allies are trying to liken the event to Dr. Martin Luther King's famous 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Project 21 members disagree, saying that the weekend protest will hinge on racial politics and almost certainly will fail to realistically address important issues such as unemployment, education and the growth of government.
"While Al Sharpton marches to the U.S. Capitol to protest the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and raise awareness about alleged police brutality, I would instead prefer a march for increased job opportunities for black Americans and better educational options in urban communities," said Project 21 Co-Chairman Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a former senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. "Representative Emanuel Cleaver said it's everyone's responsibility 'to get involved in the fight to ensure that the criminal justice system is working well for everyone.' I can agree, but we must also realize black Americans have not fared well in the past six years of the Obama Administration. Homeownership has decreased, personal bankruptcy is on the rise and food stamp enrollment increased due to prolonged periods of unemployment. Black unemployment hovers around 11 percent, and black youth unemployment more than doubles that rate. There is no magic solution that can be summarized in a clever sentence, and I'm sure Sharpton's protest will not help create more jobs in the black community, nor will it ensure more black teens graduate from high school with promising college or employment options. Provide black youth with a path to earn a good living and perhaps we would not have to focus on the criminal justice system."
"Sharpton's upcoming march in Washington, D.C., and the many other protests against police shooting of unarmed black men, are rapidly losing the moral high ground they might have briefly achieved after liberals and conservatives across the board decried the no-bill decision by the grand jury in the Eric Garner case. Violent riots in Berkeley, protesters intimidating and disrupting Christmas shopper at a Toys 'R' Us in New York City and a militant group now threatening to shoot members of the NYPD clearly shows protests are devolving into anarchy," said Project 21's Niger Innis , national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality and executive director of the TheTeaParty.Net, who visited Ferguson, Missouri and met with local leaders and residents to try to ease tensions there. "Progressives such as Sharpton, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Professor Michael Eric Dyson and Mayor Bill de Blassio are tripling down on the history of racism -- even bringing up slavery to revive their flagging politics. Progressivism's failed policies have dominated our nation since Obama's inauguration and controlled most urban centers for more than half a century. The fruits? Young black male unemployment is at levels exceeding the Great Depression while Wall Street booms. It is safer for a young black man to walk the streets of Kabul than Detroit and Chicago -- not because of racist white cops but because of other young black men. Racial unity in America is worse now than when hope and change came to power in 2009. The progressives are running out of cards, so they hurt America more by now playing the race card from the bottom of the deck."
"Al Sharpton seems to have one agenda, and that's garnering money and influence for himself within the liberal establishment," said Project 21's Lawrence B. Jones III, a freelance investigative journalist who was in Ferguson, Missouri after the grand jury decision and who plans to attend the December 13 Sharpton protest. "After we have this conversation about race in Washington this weekend, we are still left with real problems in America -- notably, a progressive agenda that is not advancing the best interests of the black community. Blacks are suffering an unemployment rate approximately double the national average, black-on-black crime is high, urban schools are failing, abortions are outnumbering live births in New York City and we have a President who continues to put blacks last with his amnesty immigration policies."
"As a Bible-believing, born again, constitutionalist and conservative black clergyman who believes in the issues of justice, righteousness and peacemaking in the face of violence and crime, I wonder when we will march, protest and show righteous indignation over black-on-black crime and lift up our so-called collective voices with similar moral outrage," said Project 21's Reverend Steven Louis Craft , a prison chaplain. "There is an eerie silence regarding the destruction of our urban youth in inner-city America, and yet Al Sharpton and his so-called marches are nowhere to be found. There is enough blame to go around without false ministers such as Sharpton stirring up a racial cesspool of fear, hatred and false pride. We are dealing with a spiritual malady of the sinfulness of the human race, and true ministers of the Gospel need to be peacemakers and not racial agitators!"
Since August, Project 21 has issued six press releases and published numerous news-related blog posts addressing the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and related events. Over the past four months, Project 21 members have completed nearly 350 radio and television interviews and been otherwise cited in the media on issues related to police officers and the black community.
Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media almost 2,000 other times in 2014, including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and the 50,000-watt radio stations WBZ-Boston, WHO-Des Moines, KDKA-Pittsburgh, KOA-Denver and WJR-Detroit, on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights, defended voter ID laws at the United Nations and also provided regular commentary during the Trayvon Martin judicial proceedings in 2013. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).
Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.
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