For Release: April 2004
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106
Black Activists Condemn Elitist "Earth Day"
Elitist environmental activists observing "Earth Day" on April 22 are promoting a regulatory agenda hostile to minority ambitions for economic and social advancement. Members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 prefer an alternative environmental justice agenda that ensures human welfare is not sacrificed to meet regulatory goals.
"Most people in our country favor things such as clean air that are raised on Earth Day. However, I believe that Earth Day has changed into an opportunity for socialists and others with interests in slowing down our economy to suppress the resource development, exploration and production that our country needs to maintain our quality of life," said Project 21's Ak'Bar Shabazz.
Policies advocated by the environmentalist establishment show little regard for the economic priorities of the average American, and can be even harder on poor and minority citizens. For example:
* Provisions to combat the unproven theory of global warming, as dictated by the United Nation's Kyoto Protocol, would force almost 1.4 million black and Hispanic Americans out of work and raise the price of food, energy, gasoline and other necessary goods.
* "Smart growth" land use plans restricting new home construction essentially creates a new form of segregation by preventing upwardly-mobile black prospective homebuyers from being able to find preferred affordable housing.
* Elitist environmental groups prefer to focus on issues like abortion and campaign finance reform rather than legislation that will clean up and give an economic jump-start to inner-city communities. These groups also lack diversity in their hiring.
"The notion of sacrificing economic empowerment for the sake of assuaging the feelings of a handful of environmentalists is offensive," said Project 21 member Michael King. "These activists seem to think their notions of solving pseudo-scientific concepts like 'global warming' will save humanity, but at what cost? These increased costs create a new underclass unable to afford to buy homes, vehicles and household goods."
More information on environmental justice can be obtained at http://www.nationalcenter.org/CEJ.html.
Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.
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