For Release: August 26, 2005
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11
Black Organization Responds to Ad Hominem Attack from People for the American Way Front Group
Project 21 Members Reassert that John Roberts's Civil Rights, Constitutional Views are Closer to Views Publicly Expressed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. than King's to the Left
Responding to an ad hominem attack from a left-wing front group, members of the black leadership network Project 21 defend the assertion that the beliefs of civil rights legend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are more in line with the record of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts than they are with the agenda of left-wing special interest groups currently laying claim to Dr. King's legacy.
In an August 24 press release, Project 21 member Mychal Massie said: "John Roberts is the type of jurist who represents the beliefs of great Americans such as James Madison and Martin Luther King, Jr. Roberts is someone who can be relied upon to administer our Constitution as it is written and not how he or his political benefactors think it should be."
In response, African-American Ministers In Action (AAMIA), a front group of People for the American Way, issued an August 25 press release in which AAMIA chairman Reverend Tim McDonald charged that Massie sought to "pull the wool over the eyes of the African-American community." Professor Roger Wilkins, also quoted in the AAMIA release, said: "John Roberts is no Martin Luther King, Jr."
Responding to AAMIA's charges, Project 21's Mychal Massie made the following statement:
I neither apologize for nor shrink from my comments comparing the beliefs of Judge John Roberts, James Madison and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To suggest that I have in some way discredited Dr. King is simply the knee-jerk, apoplectic hysteria of those who find fault with anyone not espousing their leftist mantra of self-segregation and special rights. As a result, much of what Dr. King stood for has been undermined by their lies and pathetic misrepresentations.
John Roberts has worked to ensure people are not judged by the color of their skin, but rather by the content of their character. Is that not exactly what Dr. King espoused so eloquently? Judge Roberts's rulings and beliefs are rooted in the same document - our Constitution - that both Dr. King and Madison so gallantly defended. It is the left that strives for an America governed by quotas and special rights for perceived oppressed special classes. It is the left, not Judge Roberts, Dr. King or James Madison, who seek to control what persons may say, how they may think and how our children are taught.
Dr. King's agenda was for blacks to be able to sit at the lunch counter of their choice and for black children to attend desegregated schools. He marched for the rights of blacks to participate freely in elections and be able to purchase and live in homes they could afford. He was attacked and jailed in his quest to ensure that all Americans received equal treatment. I defy those feigning insult to cite one example of Judge Roberts not supporting those ideals.
Commenting on this charged political rhetoric from the left preceding the Roberts confirmation hearing in September, Project 21 member Cherylyn LeBon adds:
In my experience as a former senior counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, John Roberts's record demonstrates that he is a careful, diligent and thoughtful lawyer who provided his clients with sound legal advice on civil rights issues. In private practice, Roberts has shown that he has an ability to see all sides of various civil rights issues and has the ability to recognize the complexity of current law in this area. John Roberts is a fair and thoughtful attorney, and I hope that his upcoming hearing in September will reflect these same qualities.
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. Project 21 takes no position on the confirmation of any particular judicial nominee, but believes that it is in the best interest of the United States that judicial vacancies are filled with appropriate speed.
For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html. New Visions Commentaries can be found at http://nationalcenter.org/P21NewVisions.html.
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