Statements of St. Louis Project 21 Members and Others on Continuing Unrest in St. Louis
Washington, D.C. / St. Louis, MO - Members of the Project 21 black leadership network, some of whom are St. Louis residents and eyewitnesses to the unfolding controversy, are speaking out about the continuing protests, looting and rioting in the St. Louis area that have resulted in dozens of arrests.
"It's a tragedy what happened over the weekend to young Michael Brown. Cooler heads should now prevail until the investigation is complete. This tense situation does not need outside agitators swooping in fanning the flames of an already tense situation," said Project 21 member Christopher Arps, a St. Louis area resident who attended the August 10 prayer vigil held outside the Ferguson Police Department.
"The most important thing anyone can do in this tragedy surrounding the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown is to take a step back and wait for the entirety of the facts to come to light. The rioting looters are opportunists: people who've taken a tragedy and are using it as an excuse to exercise their most base and criminal desires. These lawless individuals are stealing from a community that's already reeling from losing one of their own," added Stacy Washington, a radio talk show host on WFTK-St. Louis and St. Louis resident. "As a community, the people of Ferguson have already repudiated the behavior of the looters. Now it's time to support the family of Mike Brown, the business owners who lost their livelihoods and the employees who've lost their jobs. I look forward to the conclusion of the investigation."
"Looting and rioting is never justified. These aren't the actions of mainstream black America. These are the hooligans and thugs who make life miserable for everyone else by taking advantage of what they see as an opportunity," said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper. "Likewise, Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump seem more interested in inflaming the situation than seeing to it that justice is done. A rush to judgment before all of the facts are in does nothing for black America or to improve race relations. It would be better for Sharpton to head back to New York City."
"Police shoot and losers loot! Looting doesn't bring justice, but does bring to light those destroying the inner city from within. These public riots merely underscore the private ones endured daily by residents who are held hostages by the 'hood. Run a background check on the looters and watch the story unfold about their real motives," said Project 21 member Nadra Enzi, an anti-crime activist in New Orleans. "Is it too much to ask President Obama and the civil rights lobby to denounce this crime spree disguised as a police brutality protest?"
In 2014, Project 21 members have already been interviewed or cited by the media over 1,000 times, including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh, on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights, defended voter ID laws at the United Nations and provided regular commentary during the Trayvon Martin judicial proceedings in 2013. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.
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).
Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.