For Release: November 7, 2003
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106
Black Group Critical of Sharpton's Civil Rights Flip-Flop Sharpton Had Agreed With Project 21, But Now He's Changed His Mind
Reverend Al Sharpton's dramatic 24-hour reversal on federal judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown is strongly criticized by members of the African-American leadership network Project 21.
48 hours ago, Sharpton agreed with Project 21 that Brown deserves fair treatment, including a vote. Yesterday, apparently under political pressure, Sharpton changed his mind.
Members of Project 21 question Sharpton's commitment civil rights in now seeking to deny the black judge a fair and timely confirmation process, especially as Sharpton's new position violates not only the U.S. Constitution but Sharpton's own views.
In a November 5 interview with Sinclair Broadcasting, Sharpton opposed plans by liberal senators to keep the Brown nomination from coming to a full vote in the U.S. Senate through a filibuster. He said: "I don't agree with her politics. I don't agree with some of her background. But she should get an up-or-down vote." The next day, however, Sharpton's office released a statement urging senators "to do everything within their means to prevent" Brown from being confirmed. Speaking on liberal pressure experienced by Sharpton to change his opinion, talk radio host Armstrong Williams, who was in contact with Sharpton, told The Washington Times: "He said they were putting a lot of pressure on him."
"I believe that Al Sharpton's unambiguous about-face is proof positive that liberal racists without question are able, in the face of undeniable evidence, to not just control the Jesse Jacksons and Elijah Cummings of our nation but also someone who - at face value - is believed to be as independent as Sharpton has been," said Project 21 member Mychal Massie, a Pennsylvania small businessman.
Brown has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The daughter of Alabama sharecroppers, she has dedicated her 26-year legal career to public service. An associate justice on the California Supreme Court since 1996, she won 76 percent of the vote to retain her seat on the court. Her appeals court nomination enjoys bipartisan support, and she is highly regarded by her judicial colleagues in California and across the nation.
Speaking on Sharpton's apparent interest in currying political favor rather than fighting for fair treatment and the advancement of minorities, Massie adds: "Succinctly put, in the liberal world, the plantation-masters will permit no blacks to leave the plantation. Those that do will do so at their own peril. Indoctrination and mind control are the order of the day. What a remarkably free group."
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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