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Conservative African-American Group Project 21 Addresses Lott-Thurmond Controversy
Project 21 (e-mail release) ^ | 12.11.02 | David Almasi

Posted on 12/12/2002 4:08:51 AM PST by mhking

Conservative African-American Group Project 21 Addresses Lott-Thurmond

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 11, 2002

CONTACT:  David Almasi (202) 371-1400 x106 or e-mail

Members of the conservative African-American leadership network Project 21
are dismayed by recent remarks by incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott

At a December 5 100th birthday celebration for retiring Senator Strom
Thurmond (R-SC), Lott said: "I want to say this about my state: When Strom
Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it.  And if the
rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these
problems over all these years, either."  Thurmond's 1948 presidential
candidacy was based on a pro-segregation platform.

Lott since has apologized, saying his comments were "a poor choice of words"
and that his praise for Thurmond referred to Thurmond's stance on issues
other than segregation.

Project 21 members hold differing views on whether Lott should resign as
Majority Leader.  Although no Project 21 member says Lott actually supports
segregationist policies, many believe he should resign the post.

Project 21 member and syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock says: "The only
people who benefited from Lott's comments are Democrats who now have an
all-purpose bogeyman.  Next year will see President Bush's tax cuts morph
into the 'Trent Lott Tax Act,' designed to siphon money from poor blacks and
hand it to rich white people in the suburbs.  President Bush's goal of
individual Social Security accounts will be dubbed the 'Trent Lott Pension
Scheme' to rob black widows and hand their pensions to wealthy whites on
Wall Street.  And good luck to GOP candidates who pose for pictures with
Lott.  They can look forward to seeing their faces beside Lott's in campaign
attack ads.  What a splendid way to anger black Democrats and drive them to
the polls.  Lott should do the right thing and take a seat in the back of
the Senate bus."

Project 21 member Ak'bar Shabazz, a Republican Party activist, supplied his
own view: "If Republicans are serious about not conceding the black vote to
the Democrats, then Senator Lott must be removed from his leadership
position.  His presence will allow Democrats to continue to portray
Republicans as insensitive to the concerns of the black community.  As we
continue to inform and relay the true nature of the conservatism, his words
will be used as ammunition against us for as long as he's present.  We have
to remove that round from the chamber."

Not all Project 21 members believe Lott should step down as Majority Leader.

Reverend Jesse Peterson, president and CEO of the Brotherhood Organization
of a New Destiny, speaking for his group, said: "We have accepted Lott's
apology and need no further explanation.  He's proven himself over the years
to be a good man.  Al Sharpton is thinking of running for President.  I
wonder if he'll apologize for the Tawana Brawley incident and past comments
he made about Jews.  We are asking Trent Lott not to resign, and trust him
any day over any member of the Congressional Black Caucus or Sharpton."

Very many Project 21 members compared the criticism of Lott to that received
by liberal politicians displaying racial insensitivities, citing an apparent
double standard.  Comments by Project 21 member Michael King reflected the
thoughts of many: "Bill Clinton's political mentors — former Arkansas
Senator J. William Fulbright (D) and former Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus
(D) — were both rabid segregationists, yet Clinton gave Fulbright a medal
and praises him to this day.  West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) is
not only a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, but he has never gone on
record as renouncing or apologizing for his involvement in that
organization.  Yet we are supposed to tar and feather Trent Lott?"

Project 21 has been a leading voice in the African-American community since
1992.  For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 371-1400 x106 or, or visit Project 21's web site at

- 30 -

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
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1 posted on 12/12/2002 4:08:51 AM PST by mhking
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

2 posted on 12/12/2002 4:09:13 AM PST by mhking
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To: mhking; Trueblackman
Is this Trueblackman's group?

BTW, he was great last night on The Factor!
3 posted on 12/12/2002 4:11:59 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer
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To: Oldeconomybuyer
Is this Trueblackman's group?

Kevin's a member, but this isn't the group that he's most associated with - he's with the African-American Republican Leadership Council (and I missed him on The Factor last night!).

4 posted on 12/12/2002 4:16:35 AM PST by mhking
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To: mhking
bump for later
5 posted on 12/12/2002 4:17:27 AM PST by Unknown Freeper
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To: mhking
Selective Moral Outrage: Looking beyond Trent Lott’s gaffe.

On Tuesday, October 22, 2002, Bill Clinton traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to honor the life of the late Arkansas senator, J. William Fulbright by dedicating a seven-foot-tall bronze statue of the man.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "The $100,000 sculpture is the final [expenditure] of an $850,000 fundraising campaign for a project to honor Fulbright. The $750,000 fountain was dedicated October 24, 1998."

Among other things, Clinton said, "If [Fulbright] were here today, I'm sure he would caution us not to be too utopian in our expectations, but rather utopian in our values and vision."

And back on May 5, 1993, in what the Washington Post characterized as a "... moving 88th birthday ceremony for former senator William Fulbright, President Clinton last night bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the man he described as a visionary humanitarian, a steadfast supporter of the values of education, and 'my mentor.'" Clinton added, "It doesn't take long to live a life. He made the best of his, and helped us to have a better chance to make the best of ours.…The American political system produced this remarkable man, and my state did, and I'm real proud of it."

Of course, the man Clinton was praising, who he called his "mentor," who supposedly embraced utopian values and made the world a better place for everyone, was also a rabid segregationist.

In 1956, Fulbright was one of 19 senators who issued a statement entitled the "Southern Manifesto." This document condemned the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Its signers stated, among other things, that "We commend the motives of those States which have declared the intention to resist forced integration by any lawful means." They stated further, "We pledge ourselves to use all lawful means to bring about reversal of this decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to prevent the use of force in its implementation."

Of course, in 1957, the first serious challenge to Brown occurred in Fulbright's backyard. Fulbright's Democrat colleague, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus (another early Clinton backer) ordered the National Guard to surround Central High School in Little Rock to prevent nine black students from attending the school. President Dwight Eisenhower dispatched the 101st Airborne Division to protect these teenagers and enforce the Supreme Court's decision.

Fulbright later voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He voted against the 1965 Voting Rights Act. And he did so because he believed in separating the races — in schools and other public places. He was a segregationist, heart and soul.

Now, given the turmoil surrounding Trent Lott's foolish statement last week about Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential campaign, you'd think there would have been at least some outcry when Bill Clinton lionized Fulbright a mere six weeks ago, or when he awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993. But there was nothing in the Washington Post admonishing Clinton, which today published a scathing editorial against Lott. There was no criticism in the New York Times, which today is running a vicious column by Paul Krugman implying that Lott is an overt racist.

And while I'm on the subject, I don't remember some of the conservatives now voicing outrage at Lott holding Clinton to the same standard either in 1993 or October of this year.

But I'm not making excuses for Trent Lott. He should have apologized for his insensitive comments, and he did. Nor am I making excuses for Strom Thurmond's past. I'm questioning the hypocrisy of selective moral outrage by the Left.
6 posted on 12/12/2002 4:21:57 AM PST by Republican_Strategist
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To: mhking
There is no rule that says that the President of the Senate has to be a sitting senator. If the Republicans were smart they would dump Lott and give the job to Alan Keyes. Now THAT would make for interesting politics.
7 posted on 12/12/2002 4:23:18 AM PST by trek
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To: Republican_Strategist
Why Gang Up on Lott When Rather and Wallace Get Off?

Instead, I was wondering when the major media would get around to reporting Dan Rather’s racist remarks.

I am talking about his comments in July of 2001, while on the Imus show, when Rather slammed CBS news exec for forcing him to report on the Gary Condit story.

Rather said on air, "What happened was they [CBS management] got the willies, they got the Buckwheats. Their knees wobbled and we gave it up."

Of course, the Buckwheat term is used to describe a frightened black man. At the time of Rather’s use of the term, NewsMax noted that other public figures had gotten into hot water, even lost their jobs, for using the term.

Not limousine liberal Dan Rather.

Or what about his CBS colleague Mike Wallace. Wallace once said, with film rolling, that Blacks and Hispanics had difficulty filling our loan applications. According to Wallace, they were simply too busy “eating watermelons and tacos” to learn how to read and write.

The comments made by Rather and Wallace are far more insensitive than anything Trent Lott has said. Why have they never been held to account or asked to resign?

The liberal hypocrisy continues.
8 posted on 12/12/2002 4:25:17 AM PST by Republican_Strategist
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To: mhking
Agree that Trent Lott in his Southern hospitality mode of exaggerated praise at a hundred year old birthday party said some thoughtless things falsely implying support for segregation when he probably had national defense in mind.

But as long as we're into bashing people for thoughtless remarks, let's go for some humdingers.

Can anyone remember Jesse Jackson saying "hymietown" or Hillary Clinton saying "Jew b*****d" or Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D-CA) saying "n****r labor organization?"

And none of them said it at a hundred year old birthday party.

9 posted on 12/12/2002 4:25:35 AM PST by patriciaruth
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To: Republican_Strategist
Byrd Never Apologized for Klan Membership

Critics of Sen. Trent Lott have spent the last 24-hours parsing the words of the series of apologies he has offered for praising Sen. Strom Thurmond's 1948 Dixiecrat presidential candidacy last week. But satisfactory or not, at least he did apologize, which is more than anyone can say about Senate Majority Whip Robert Byrd's comments regarding his Ku Klux Klan past.

"I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement," Sen. Lott said, using the "a" word explicitly.

While Byrd did issue an apology last year for invoking the phrase "white niggers" during a nationally televised TV interview, the top Democrat has never expressed much personal contrition for his role as Ku Klux Klan Grand Kleagle in the 1930s.

In fact, as recently as nine years ago, Byrd explained that he joined the group that specialized in lynching African-Americans because it "offered excitement."

Though the West Virginia Democrat went on to tell the Washington Post in June 1993 that his stint in the KKK was the mistake in his life that he most regrets, he never acknowledged that the group's Jim Crow agenda had anything to do with his decision to sign up.

Instead, Byrd explained that he decided to become a cross-burning, night-riding, sheet-wearing member of the Klan because "it was strongly opposed to communism."

Twelve years earlier, in another interview with the Post, the West Virginia Democrat sounded anything but contrite when asked about his days as a Klansman.

"Suddenly, Byrd's face freezes," wrote Post reporter Martin Schram in May 1981. "The muscles on either side of his jaw harden to what must be the consistency of golf balls. His eyes are lasers burning deeply into his questioner."

"I really do not want to answer that question," the former Grand Kleagle glowered. "It is something I have addressed time and time again."

"He is tired of hearing about it," Schram wrote. "Tired of having to answer for it. It was just a mistake of youth, he goes on."

Finally, Byrd explained in testy tones, "Just as a lot of young people these days join organizations they regret joining, I joined as a youth and regretted it later. I made a mistake."

In a comprehensive Lexis-Nexis search through 32 years of media reports on Sen. Byrd's Klan past, was unable to unearth a single quote where the top Democrat used the word "apology" or "apologize" - or where he strongly condemned the violent hate group in any way.

Byrd's strongest statement on the Klan was apparently delivered during the same 1981 Washington Post interview.

"I abhor the Klan," the Senate Democrat said. "Every time I see on television men wearing robes, it turns me off. I look upon the Klan as a silly, asinine group that tries to act outside the law, and uses violence and intimidation as their currency."

But Byrd's references throughout the years to the murderous hate group seem peppered with adjectives like "silly" and "asinine" rather than the stronger language one might expect about a group he claims to "abhor."

Nowhere among the top Democrat's Klan quotes could we find terms like "dangerous," "racist" or, for that matter, any reference whatsoever to the group's persecution of blacks.

Despite Byrd's not using words like "apology" and "apologize," his representatives have insisted that he has repeatedly made his "regrets" about his Klan days clear.

On several occasions the former Kleagle has talked about the "mistake" he made that will dog him for the rest of his days. Once he actually referred to joining the group of black-lynching racists as "a youthful mistake."

Still, as late as 1946, when Byrd was well into his adulthood at age 29, the politically ambitious West Virginian didn't seem particularly regretful about his "mistake."

"The Klan is needed today as never before," Byrd proclaimed in a letter to the KKK's Imperial Grand Wizard, the Post reported.

And if he truly "abhorred" his past "mistake," he didn't seem particularly eager to make amends when it came to the issue of integrating the armed forces under President Harry Truman.

In another letter written around the same time that was unearthed last year by columnist Michelle Malkin, Byrd vowed never to fight in the military "with a Negro by my side."

"I should rather die a thousand times and see old glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again," the ex-Klansman pledged, "than see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen of the wilds."

As Malkin also noted, 20 years after Byrd described African-Americans as "race mongrels," he spent 14 hours filibustering against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He also voted against Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, the only two blacks ever nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court.

And then, of course, there was last year's unfortunate "white nigger" reference.

Perhaps those complaining that Sen. Lott's explicit apology didn't quite meet their standards would do better to turn their attention to Sen. Byrd's lack of contrition for his enthusiastic membership in a group whose goal was the extermination of the black race.
10 posted on 12/12/2002 4:30:05 AM PST by Republican_Strategist
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To: mhking
"As we continue to inform and relay the true nature of the conservatism, his words will be used as ammunition against us for as long as he's present. We have to remove that round from the chamber."


I did not hear Lott's speech. But it sounds like he probably did not mean he was proud to support Thurmonds's campaign concerning segregation. He would be stupid to do so. However, having said that, he should have chosen his words more carefully and, for the sake of his party and conservatism, should resign. The author is correct, we need to diffuse this now. The only way he can make it right is to resign. Harsh, but I see no other option. As a politician, he should know to pick his words more carefully.

11 posted on 12/12/2002 4:32:59 AM PST by sneakers
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To: sneakers
I hear him. Here is what he said "We wouldn't have some of the problems we have today if you had been elected President". That was it. That's all he said.
12 posted on 12/12/2002 4:34:55 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: AppyPappy
I HEARD him.
13 posted on 12/12/2002 4:35:08 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: trek
Keyes - a true patriot and conservative. The Republican party should be taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge this man has. Yep, interesting politics indeed! Keyes for President in 2008!
14 posted on 12/12/2002 4:38:01 AM PST by sneakers
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To: mhking
Bingo. They realize that the governor of Mississippi is a DemonRAT who will appoint a RAT to the seat.
15 posted on 12/12/2002 4:38:04 AM PST by steveegg
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To: patriciaruth
Don't forget, Jackson spit into white people's food, either; Hannity reminded us of this yesterday on his show.
16 posted on 12/12/2002 4:43:52 AM PST by nicmarlo
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To: steveegg; mhking
They realize that the governor of Mississippi is a DemonRAT who will appoint a RAT to the seat.

That, in part, is what this is about....besides the attempt to alienate black voters from Republicans in 2004.

17 posted on 12/12/2002 4:45:40 AM PST by nicmarlo
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To: mhking
Don't know about y'all, but I'm already tired of this non-story. If the Republicans hold strong for a while and the Dems keep trying to "make this dog hunt", I can't see any outcome but the Dems losing more credibility with this childish ploy. Since no one will come out and accuse Lott of being a racist/segregationist, there is no rational reason to keep beating on this drum and the average American knows this.
18 posted on 12/12/2002 4:51:06 AM PST by trebb
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To: nicmarlo
That is not just "in part"; that's the entire aim of it. Care to guess how long it would take before a RINO leaps over to the DemonRAT caucus (if not the party itself) once the Senate becomes 50-50 again?
19 posted on 12/12/2002 4:55:15 AM PST by steveegg
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To: nicmarlo
One more thing; the Project 21 folks know that the RATs know.
20 posted on 12/12/2002 4:56:19 AM PST by steveegg
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