For Release: November 13, 2003
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106
REMARKS BY PROJECT 21 DIRECTOR DAVID ALMASI AT THE JUSTICE FOR JUDGES "RACE AND THE NOMINATION PROCESS" PRESS CONFERENCE, U.S. CAPITOL, WASHINGTON, D.C., NOVEMBER 13, 2003, 12:30 AM
I am here today as a representative of Project 21, the African-American leadership network of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Project 21 was formed over a decade ago when it was observed that the vast numbers of conservative African-Americans were being overlooked by the media and misrepresented by those claiming to be the leaders of the black community. There are many members of Project 21 on the panel here with me right now, and Project 21 member Mychal Massie will be speaking at the 3:30 AM press conference on faith and this judicial obstruction.
As Mr. Woodson mentioned earlier, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies survey of a few years ago found the black community evenly divided between conservative, independent and liberal political leanings. There is no black liberal majority that you might think the way Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton portray the black community in the press. But I'll go Mr. Woodson one better. A Gallup Poll that was just released this week shows that black conservatives are actually in the majority. Of those polled by Gallup, 30 percent identified themselves as conservative and only 22 percent as liberal. Black conservatives are truly the unknown emerging majority.
Project 21 members are regular folk like you and me, and they are sick of being misrepresented and overlooked. When it comes to the issue of judicial nominations, they are outraged.
Over the last few weeks, I've been contacted by many of the Project 21 membership about the inability of these judges - black California Associate Justice Janice Rogers Brown, in particular - to receive a fair up-or-down vote on their nominations to the appeals courts. Project 21 member Murdock Gibbs, a musician from Coppell, Texas, is outraged that a highly qualified black woman is essentially the victim of liberal discrimination based partially on her race and partially on her views. Project 21 member Michael King, an Internet consultant from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, is outraged that "The Black Commentator" website feels no shame in posting cartoons ridiculing Justice Brown in a manner that would be considered racist in any "white" publication. Project 21 member Kevin Martin, a state government employee from Baltimore, Maryland, is outraged at the treatment of former nominee Miguel Estrada - who withdrew his nomination after more than two-and-a-half-years of waiting and a prolonged filibuster - and focused that outrage into putting together a rally outside the offices of the liberal obstructionists at People for the American Way. Project 21 member Don Scoggins from Springfield, Virginia, a real estate entrepreneur, is so outraged he's written letters to many of the senators debating right now to let them know about his outrage over this ongoing judicial obstruction.
They are all outraged that the liberal obstructionists just a short distance from us right now are holding up fine nominees like Janice Rogers Brown, Carolyn Kuhl and Patricia Owen in their name. They claim that they are fighting, in part, for the views of the black liberal majority. There is no black liberal majority. The people in this room confirm that fact. The outrage of Project 21 members across the country confirms that fact. And the fact that the majority of senators - and all of you here - are willing to spend all night and all day tomorrow fighting for these nominees shows that the American public - black, white, Latino, Asian and otherwise - all want an end to the obstruction and a straight up-or-down vote on each nominee. Thank you.
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