For Release: September 7, 2010
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or [email protected]
Black Conservative Leader Challenges Sharpton, Morial and Fauntroy to Tea Party Debate
Project 21 Chairman Demands Civil Rights Establishment Figures Defend Unfounded Racist Accusations About Tea Party Movement
Washington, DC – Mychal Massie, the chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network, is challenging the Reverend Al Sharpton, National Urban League CEO Marc Morial and Pastor Walter Fauntroy to a debate over their extremist comments and racist allegations against the tea party movement.
"Among the comfort of their admirers, these men are brave attackers. But I am challenging Al Sharpton, Marc Morial and Walter Fauntroy to come out in the open to see if they have the collective backbone to face me in a debate about their tea party allegations," said Massie. "It's easy to throw stones from behind a fence, but I want to see them step up and defend themselves publicly. I want them to explain themselves under the microscope of debate."
In the days before Glenn Beck's August 28 "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial, progressive black leaders viciously attacked the apolitical event in particular and the tea party movement in general as opposing civil rights gains in America and disrespecting the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In particular, Fauntroy -- a former congressional delegate from the District of Columbia -- compared tea parties to the Ku Klux Klan, saying, "you have to use [the names] interchangeably." Morial said the Beck event "hijack[ed] the imagery and symbolism of August 28 and the Lincoln Memorial to promote an agenda of intolerance." Sharpton claimed the event would "distort what Dr. King's dream was about."
In his WorldNetDaily commentary, Massie rebutted the civil rights establishment's allegations of racism and political extremism: "The tea party is a joining together of persons from all political parties. It epitomizes the very thing Fauntroy readily acknowledged that the 1963 [March on Washington] did -- it brings together people of conscience of the every race, creed and color to march for jobs and the restoration of constitutional freedoms."
Massie added: "I say it's time for the likes of Fauntroy, Morial and Sharpton to defend their rhetoric. Over the years, I have quietly offered to debate these types -- now I throw down the gauntlet and publicly challenge them. I will personally secure a venue to debate any one -- or all of them together -- pursuant to the legitimacy of their comments... I call upon the media to assist me in my effort. The media are quick to parrot every word these so-called civil-rights leaders say that is antagonistic and divisive. In the interest of fair reporting, let them be equally quick to insist that they accept my challenge."
All three men will be contacted by Project 21 via certified mail to set the terms of the debate.
"Are these men going to step up, or are they cowards who only say things for the sake of fomenting discord," said Project 21's Massie.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).