For Release: October 4, 2011
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or [email protected]
Black Activists Support Former BET CEO's Comments Against Obama Class Warfare
Washington, D.C. - Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are supporting comments made by black businessman Robert Johnson, who took President Obama to task this past weekend for using class warfare to promote his policy agenda.
"When it comes to soliciting support for his policies, President Obama's class warfare approach is a sad measure for the state of our country and a telling sign of his failures while in office," said Project 21 spokesman Ak'bar Shabazz. "Condemning Americans for flying in private planes may win applause at union rallies, but it won't help anyone get a job."
"After the spectacle of Obama encouraging black people to take off their bedroom slippers and march for him at last week's Congressional Black Caucus dinner, Robert Johnson's sobering comments this week about demonizing the wealthy and successful raises the level on concern about this White House's inability to create an environment for job growth and creation," said Project 21 spokeswoman Cherylyn Harley LeBon. "The failed economic policies of the Obama Administration are acknowledged by CEOs and small business owners across the country."
When asked about Obama's attack on the wealthy in his efforts to promote new taxes, Robert Johnson -- the founder of Black Entertainment Television -- told host Chris Wallace on the 10/2/11 edition of "Fox News Sunday":
Well, I think the President has to recalibrate his message. You don't get people to like you by attacking them or demeaning their success. You know, I grew up in a family of ten kids, first one to go to college, and I've earned my success. I've earned my right to fly private if I choose to do so. And by attacking me it is not going to convince me that I should take a bigger hit because I happen to be wealthy... It doesn't mean that I am a bad guy... I went in business to create jobs and opportunity, create opportunity, create value for myself and my investors. And that's what the President should be praising, not demagoguing us simply because Warren Buffet says he pays more than his secretary. He should pay the secretary more and she will pay more.
"It is clear that the only color that matters is green," said Project 21 spokeswoman Shelby Emmett. "Every American, regardless of background or political ideology, understands that class warfare does nothing to create jobs. Furthermore, pitting American against American, attacking the most successful in our country and engaging in 'blame-game' politics does no good for America. The President would be well-advised to listen to successful men such as Robert Johnson."
Project 21 spokesman Jimmie Hollis added: "The comments by Robert Johnson prove that President Obama's class warfare strategy also upsets his rich supporters. I think Mr. Johnson will still support Obama but probably with less enthusiasm at this point."
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).