For Release: December 7, 2015
Contact: Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or [email protected]
Black Conservatives Comment on Obama's Terrorism Address
Call Speech "Least Inspiring Presidential Speech Ever,"
Say President Failed to Instill Confidence in Already-Suspect Policy
"Passion is No Excuse for a Failure of Leadership"
Washington, D.C. - Members of the Project 21 black leadership network are commenting on and available for interviews about President Barack Obama's address to the nation on terrorism and his agenda for dealing with this threat to American citizens and other western nations.
"President Obama gave what might have been the least inspiring presidential speech ever," said Project 21's Council Nedd, an Anglican bishop with strong ties in the Middle East who is also an elected Pennsylvania State Constable. "This was Obama's opportunity to issue a clarion call that would never be forgotten. Instead, it was unremarkable. I waited for him to say something reassuring to restore some confidence in him and in the security of our nation or even announce great change in our policy toward Syria and ISIS. All he seemed to do was reiterate failed policies."
Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper added: "The President's attempt at reassuring words did not align with his actions. He boasted about our military's prowess, saying it 'will hunt down terrorists in any country where necessary.' Meanwhile, he's insisted on an ever-smaller military footprint in regions where it counts most. Passion is no excuse for a failure of leadership."
The President and his staff have been reluctant to acknowledge that the recent attack that left 14 dead in San Bernardino was an act of terrorism. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, however, is reportedly addressing it as terrorism, and digital and financial evidence makes a strong case that there were ties between Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfen Malik and international terrorism. In his address, Obama did call the San Bernardino attack terrorism, but still refused to assign blame to organized terrorism - claiming there is "no evidence" of a direct link between the attackers and any terrorist group such as ISIS.
While pledging to continue to work abroad to fight terrorism, Obama's domestic component to his address was largely a challenge to Congress for increased restrictions on gun sales, a defense of Muslim Americans and a plea to not blame them the attacks of radicals.
"The President claims that the no-fly list is a good proxy for determining who should own a firearm, yet 72 employees of his own Department of Homeland Security are on a terrorist watch list," noted Cooper, a legal commentator and former constitutional law professor who also served as a staff member for congressional leadership. "At no point did Obama recognize the importance of all Americans working collaboratively to ensure our safety. He apparently prefers to demonize those who say something when they see something."
Nedd added: "What was also clear to me in his address was that Obama wants the American people virtually defenseless on a personal level, and more dependent on the federal government for their security and sustenance. How he can use a terrorist attack to promote his gun control crusade is beyond me. Can't he see all these terrorist attacks seem to keep happening where people are the most defenseless?"
Polls have consistently recorded public discontent regarding the Obama Administration's handling of national security issues such as the terrorist threat of ISIS, Syria and Iraq.
"Obama's address offered nothing new," said Project 21 member Kevin Martin, a Navy veteran who served in the Middle East. "The American people long ago concluded this administration's tactics against international terrorism aren't working, and Obama's address did nothing to reassure them. Obama did nothing but talk in circles and offer a rehash of his failed tactics that have not stopped ISIS despite his past boasts of them being the 'JV team' and that they have been contained. Furthermore, the American people aren't going to buy the notion that expanded background checks on lawful gun purchases would have stopped this terrorist attack in San Bernardino."
Project 21 members have logged tens of thousands of interviews and media citations, including over 2,000 instances in 2014 alone. Media that recently sought out Project 21 insight includes TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, the Orlando Sentinel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WHO-Des Moines, KOA-Denver, WGN-Chicago, WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh. Topics included civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, voter ID, race preferences, education, illegal immigration and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 members provided substantial commentary regarding the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray incidents. Project 21 has also defended voter ID laws at the United Nations.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org). Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.
Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.
- 30 -