Washington, D.C. – As Americans commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., members of the Project 21 black leadership network note that the civil rights icon’s goals of increased opportunity and social mobility for black Americans are at risk thanks to destructive policies promoted by green activists and progressives.

In the week preceding the King holiday, Project 21 Director of Membership Development Donna Jackson delivered powerful remarks about this problem to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. She highlighted the devastating effects that the push for risky and unproven green energy, at the expense of reliable and relatively affordable fossil fuels, has had on minority – and particularly black – communities.

“In so many ways, plentiful and affordable domestic energy is part of the ticket out of poverty and dependence,” Jackson told the assembled lawmakers. “For example, we see the entrepreneurial spirit of the black community in many black-owned small businesses, but those businesses struggle and sometimes fail under the weight of expensive energy. Unaffordable energy also means less of the industrial employment that has historically led to the emergence of a vibrant black middle class. Without these high paying blue-collar gateway jobs, low-income and minority communities have fewer options to earn what is needed for home ownership and decreasing the wealth gap.”

This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be observed by a nation that is divided in ways Dr. King dreamed would be overcome. Much of this division lies in government policies intended to help the very people they hurt.

“When I think of Dr. King and his legacy, I cannot help thinking about how we have come so far as a people yet have regressed back into racism. Only now the racism is reversed. It seems unreal, but the strategy is as old as the world because the goal is to divide and conquer,” said Project 21 member Auriol Sonia Morris. “Now, we are to believe that it is progress to disadvantage one group for the benefit of another. The current examples are too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say, Dr. King would be appalled that blacks are championing the likes of Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project – which are patently racist.”

“Dr. King’s dream of a colorblind society in which people are judged by their character has turned into a nightmare, with the far left placing skin color and other superficial traits on a pedestal,” said Project 21 Member Michael Austin. “To truly honor Dr. King’s vision, blacks must reject identity politics and embrace individual freedom and character.”

“More than 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement reached its peak, it is hard to believe that we as a nation and communities have taken steps backwards to become a country polarized by hate-filled division,” said Project 21 Member DawnMarie Boursiquot. “Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech became famous because it took the focus off outward appearance and focused on substance, character and talents – becoming a culture that celebrates differences. Now we call that cultural appropriation.”

Project 21 recently released a second edition of its “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America” that contains 56 recommendations encompassing areas including criminal justice, education, health care and election integrity. To honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, Project 21 members suggest policymakers would do well to take a closer look at the Blueprint as a means for helping eliminate crippling government policies and ensuring the American Dream is attainable for all.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 50,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.

Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here. Follow Project 21 on Twitter at @Project21News for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by Project 21 members, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia

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