Beginning on the night that the Baltimore riots started, members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network have been in demand by a media trying to figure out why the looting and rioting there is being favorably compared by some to the historic protests of the Civil Rights Movement.
Project 21 members have done or are scheduled to do dozens of interviews on Canadian television, two 50,000-watt stations in Detroit and another 50,000-watt station in Boston as well as with nationally-syndicated talk radio hosts such as Mike Siegel.
On 4/27/15, Project 21 member Joe Hicks appears twice on the Fox News Channel. On “The Kelly File,” Joe explained to host Megyn Kelly:
There’s no correlation between poverty and trying to burn down our own centers of the city in places that you need… to have places to go to work at…
What I think has happened here… is a pattern that’s emerged, starting with the Trayvon Martin case… But then we had Ferguson, and the Staten Island case. And now we have a series of other incidents concluding with Freddie Gray. And it’s almost this notion that this has become the new civil rights movement… [T]his has gotta have people like Martin Luther King spinning in their grave, to hear people describing this as some sort of movement now…
[T]here’s almost an infantile urge here [on the part of the protesters] to get what they want and get it now… That’s not the way things operate… We knew what the protesters were trying to get in the old days, if you will, of Dr. King and others. It was about justice. It was about becoming a part of American society… The early civil rights folks were after something very different.
The question needs to be asked: what are these folks after [today]? And that’s the mystery. If you ask them, you get a mélange of all sort of issues from “capitalism is horrible” to “we want jobs.” But then there seems to be an impulse [in which] they’re burning down places offering jobs…
After all the progress, after a black president, after a black attorney general, you’ve got these thugs in the street that do create real issues for race relations in this nation.
Joe was also on later, well past midnight on the East Coast. During continuing live coverage of the violence in Baltimore, Joe spoke about the radicalism of some members of the protests.
Later in the week, on the 4/29/15 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” on the One America News Network, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper also brought up the suggestion that the Baltimore rioters were akin to the Civil Rights Movement.
Horace told host Rick Amato:
[Martin Luther King] would be heartbroken. This goes completely counter to the whole notion of the Dream that he told us we ought to, as a nation, embark upon — a dream where people were going to be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…
There is some frustration over the fact that the aspirations that every American has hasn’t been achieved. It’s not the case that it’s okay to engage in these kinds of criminal actions as a result.
In assigning blame, Horace said that President Barack Obama and his policies share much of the responsibility for the way people are being motivated these days. And, when things don’t go as planned, race is used as a means of drawing blame elsewhere.
But we also have to look at the President and the policies that he has promoted and watch and see why what people said when they were first being presented — they wouldn’t work, and they haven’t, and they have made it more difficult for people. In fact, black America is worse off under the Obama Administration than it was before he arrived.
[Obama] has continued to push us further and further down the track of saying “it’s just that we haven’t done it enough.” We’ve spent almost a trillion on his stimulus plan. We did a near government takeover of the health care industry. We’ve regulated the Wall Street community. We continue to push efforts to eliminate our access and availability to one of our greatest resources — natural gas and oil. But [he says] we need to do it more, and then we would see all of these great results. Meanwhile, you need to understand that the reason that you are not seeing the great achievements that you should expect is that white America is holding you back.