WASHINGTON, DC — Saying people need to “stop rationalizing and excusing criminal activity,” members of the Project 21 black leadership network condemned the politically motivated riots that have erupted across America, and applaud the possibility of Antifa being designated a domestic terrorist organization.
Project 21 was founded 28 years ago in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots to highlight black Americans willing to speak out for law and order and to show the political diversity of the black community.
On the five-year anniversary of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, Project 21 members met with the mayor and city council members of that city to discuss ways they could implement policy recommendations found in Project 21’s “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America.” The Blueprint, published in 2018, contains 57 policy ideas “to remove barriers blocking blacks from reaching their full potential.” Project 21 similarly sought to work with the mayor and city council of Baltimore, Maryland in the wake of President Donald Trump’s comments and tweets that called for more governmental accountability related to crime and quality of life there.
Today Project 21 members condemned the irrational, counterproductive and politically motivated nature of those rioting after the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington: “Expressing grievances to our elected officials in the form of protest is a time-honored tradition. But what we are watching unfold across the country is a coordinated effort to destroy the rule of law and order in our communities and to gin up racial tension. In video after video, we see masked white protesters dressed all in black destroying property in black neighborhoods. And it’s blacks who are trying to stop the Antifa protesters from defacing small businesses. President Trump has rightly suggested declaring Antifa a terrorist group. What we need is for everyone to take a step back. The officers who killed George Floyd will be tried and judged by a jury of their peers. That is the system of justice that we have and cherish here in America. I’m praying for peace.”
Project 21 Member Christopher Arps: “Every American of good conscience was sickened by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer with a troubled past. I also believe that every American of good conscience is sickened and angered by rioters and anarchists who are taking advantage of protests to loot and burn private and public property. I said during the Ferguson uprising over five years ago that legitimate protestors must speak out forcefully against those who have infiltrated their ranks as just a cover to cause mayhem, confusion and destruction. I also said they must limit their demonstrations to daylight hours only in order to differentiate themselves from the lawbreakers. Obviously, our nation still needs to have conversations on race but this is not the way to initiate it.”
Project 21 Member Derryck Green: “People have frequently quoted Dr. Martin Luther King that ‘a riot is the language of the unheard’ to justify the rioting, looting and vandalism across America in response to the police-involved killing of George Floyd. But Dr. King also said that riots are ‘socially destructive and self-defeating.’ Riots are counterproductive because they undermine any moral authority – real or presumed – associated with the pursuit of justice. The opportunistic practice of destroying private property has nothing to do with justice. People should stop rationalizing and excusing criminal activity.”
Project 21 Founding Member Deroy Murdock: “Rioters have looted George Floyd’s spotlight. In raping and pillaging dozens of American communities, these hoodlums have shifted the nation’s attention away from Mr. Floyd’s atrocious killing at the hands of the malicious Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin and three of his at-least-criminally-negligent colleagues. Instead, Americans are focused on the mayhem and bedlam that are tearing our republic in two. Once again, the left is ‘fighting for’ blacks while also demolishing our neighborhoods and ruining our lives. Enough is enough!”
Project 21 Member Marie Fischer: “I understand the anger, but I do not understand destroying your own neighborhood to protest an innocent man’s murder. I do not understand many who are bailing out these ‘protesters’ as a sign of support. How about you fund the minority business owners whose stores and businesses have been destroyed by rioters? They should fund those who were and are building these communities instead of the ones tearing them down under the guise of social justice – which in this case is neither social nor just.”
Project 21 Member Martin Baker: “Protesting wrongs and seeking redress is something that is guaranteed by our Constitution and is something I encourage any and all to do as it becomes necessary and appropriate. But let’s do as the Bible says and do those things ‘decently and in order.’ Rioting and looting will never get any rogue officer fired or arrested. And you are wasting your time and breaking the law yourself, thusly making you as criminal as those against whom you purport to be protesting.”
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 40,000 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.