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Government Policies Designed to Help Minorities Are Hurting Them Instead

Washington, D.C. – As Americans commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., members of the Project 21 black leadership network note that the civil rights icon’s goals of increased opportunity and social mobility for black Americans are at risk thanks to destructive policies promoted by green activists and progressives.

In the week preceding the King holiday, Project 21 Director of Membership Development Donna Jackson delivered powerful remarks about this problem to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. She highlighted the devastating effects that the push for risky and unproven green energy, at the expense of reliable and relatively affordable fossil fuels, has had on minority – and particularly black – communities.

“In so many ways, plentiful and affordable domestic energy is part of the ticket out of poverty and dependence,” Jackson told the assembled lawmakers. “For example, we see the entrepreneurial spirit of the black community in many black-owned small businesses, but those businesses struggle and sometimes fail under the weight of expensive energy. Unaffordable energy also means less of the industrial employment that has historically led to the emergence of a vibrant black middle class. Without these high paying blue-collar gateway jobs, low-income and minority communities have fewer options to earn what is needed for home ownership and decreasing the wealth gap.”

This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed by a nation that is divided in ways Dr. King dreamed would be overcome. Much of this division lies in government policies intended to help the very people they hurt.

A. Sonia Morris

Auriol Sonia Morris

“When I think of Dr. King and his legacy, I cannot help thinking about how we have come so far as a people yet have regressed back into racism. Only now the racism is reversed. It seems unreal, but the strategy is as old as the world because the goal is to divide and conquer,” said Project 21 member Auriol Sonia Morris. “Now, we are to believe that it is progress to disadvantage one group for the benefit of another. The current examples are too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say, Dr. King would be appalled that blacks are championing the likes of Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project – which are patently racist.”

Michael Austin

Michael Austin

“Dr. King’s dream of a colorblind society in which people are judged by their character has turned into a nightmare, with the far left placing skin color and other superficial traits on a pedestal,” said Project 21 member Michael Austin. “To truly honor Dr. King’s vision, blacks must reject identity politics and embrace individual freedom and character.”

“More than 50 years after the civil rights movement reached its peak, it is hard to believe that we as a nation and communities have taken steps backwards to become a country polarized by hate-filled division,” said Project 21 member DawnMarie Boursiquot. “Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech became famous because it took the focus off outward appearance and focused on substance, character and talents – becoming a culture that celebrates differences. Now we call that cultural appropriation.”

Project 21 recently released a second edition of its “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” that contained 56 recommendations encompassing areas including criminal justice, education, health care and election integrity. To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, Project 21 members suggest policymakers would do well to take a closer look at the Blueprint as a means for helping eliminate crippling government policies and ensuring the American Dream is attainable for all.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 50,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.

Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here. Follow Project 21 on Twitter at @Project21News for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by Project 21 members, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.


Below are additional quotes from Project 21 members.

Melanie Collette

Melanie Collette

Project 21’s Melanie Collette:

Every year we take time to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader of the American civil rights movement who dedicated his life to advancing political freedom in the United States.

Dr. King advanced political freedom by stressing its importance in terms of economic opportunities and human rights protection. He argued that economic stability must be coupled with both civil rights and economic opportunity if real progress was going to be made toward achieving true political freedom in America. In other words, he believed that while it is important to have laws protecting people’s rights and freedoms, it is equally important to exercise our freedoms in meaningful ways.

As we take time this season to remember Dr. King’s message of justice and peace, let us also reflect on how his struggle for civil rights contributed to our political freedom today—a reminder that courage can move us from thought and belief into action for positive change!


Emery McClendon

Emery McClendon

Project 21’s Emery McClendon:

Once again America has an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights giant of the 1960s.  Americans, and especially black Americans,  have benefited from the role that he played in securing equality for every American.

It is unfortunate, however, that some have attacked his dream. By labeling our country systemically racist, they diminish the progress that America has made in the area of civil rights. Each and every American citizen should be proud of the opportunity that we have to continue to move forward as a united nation, seeking to break down the barriers of division that strain our relationships with one another.

MLK was a great American, and it is with pride and great honor that we celebrate his legacy and continue to march along this journey to the mountaintop. I urge every American to reflect on his accomplishments and pass his legacy on to others.

Demetrius Minor

Demetrius Minor

Project 21’s Demetrius Minor:

On this day when we remember and celebrate the legacy and life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let us not just remember his words, but his deeds. Dr. King led with bravery and courage and he lived with conviction. He was an advocate for justice, an ambassador for equality and a fighter for those who were the most vulnerable and marginalized.

It is easy to insert his quotes on our social media outlets, but the greater goal should be to live out his dream. The fight for equality and justice remains, and the best way to continue the legacy of the slain civil rights leader is to lobby for policies that ensure that every American has the opportunity to have a meaningful way of life. This includes a good quality education, reimagining what justice looks like, and communities that help one another flourish and achieve upward mobility.

Author: The National Center