Julianne Malveaux: Project 2025 is an attack on Black people

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—Project 2025 is a conservative manifesto if a Republican is elected President in 2024.  Crafted by the Heritage Foundation, the 900-page book comprehensively addresses every agency that the President can influence, with suggestions for the agencies that should be eliminated or altered.  It is an attack on our merit-based civil service system, suggesting that presidential appointees should replace long-term civil servants.  African Americans should note that we are overrepresented in the federal workforce—18.2 percent compared to 12.6 percent of the total population.  

Whites are also overrepresented, being 61 percent of the federal workforce, compared to 59 percent of the overall population.  Hispanics (using the federal designation) are the most underrepresented of any population.  Interestingly, if Project 2025 and Project 47 had their way, we would not even know these numbers.  They’ve both proposed stopping counts by race, as they want our society to be “color blind”.

While Project 2025 was put together by the Heritage Foundation, it reeks of the 45th President.  Many of his loyalists and former employees have contributed to the volume.  For example, Dr. Ben Carson wrote the chapter on HUD, Peter Navarro, another Trump crony who was, among other things, Assistant to the President, authored a chapter on trade.  Incidentally, Navarro is currently serving jail time for contempt of Congress.  But the 45th President says that, if elected, he would “absolutely” bring Navarro back.  You can dive into the volume, replete with an authoritarianism recidivism, by checking it out at project2025.org.

While the African American community is not mentioned explicitly (except for the mandate to eliminate affirmative action and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts), the policies that Project 2025 are aligned with conservative policy.  Project 2025 would cut spending in education, housing assistance, and other areas where African Americans and others frequently benefit.  The project would also reduce government regulation, especially in labor markets.  Project 2025 is a comprehensive attack on contemporary government organization, and it also has a component that is actively seeking the most conservative people to populate a new Republican administration.

The former President goes even further than Project 2025, since the Heritage Foundation is a tax-exempt organization that cannot support any particular candidate.  Project 47 comes from the Trump Administration and embraces much of Project 2025, but also more aggressively addresses the Department of Justice, which would be weaponized to get revenge on President Biden (even though he didn’t do anything to the former president) by going after him for offenses, real or imagined.  Project 47 would actually establish the next Republican president as a dictator who can hire and fire at will, eliminate agencies at will, and do whatever he wants.

The plan would weaken or eliminate the Department of Education, sending some federal funds, especially Title I funds that are targeted toward low-income students, back to the states.  While President Biden has attempted student debt relief, the next President would eliminate those efforts.  Other discretionary funds that the Secretary of Education can grant will also be cut under Project 2025.

Project 2025 reeks of Christian conservatism, describing our nation as one with “Judeo-Christian values”.  From that perspective, the agenda emphasizes the “traditional family”, perhaps excluding the majority of the population.  It would also impose work requirements on Medicaid, but where would those affected work, and how much would they be paid?  The Project 2025 document would shred the safety net, leaving the poor to fend for themselves, ignoring employment discrimination and the structural inequities that result in the poverty that so many people experience.

Reproductive rights? Forget about it.  Project 2025 would reduce abortion access and even criminalize abortion is some cases.  It’s “leave it to the states” perspective could mean that more than half of all women would have no access to reproductive medical services.

In the past month or so we have seen a number of weather challenges that are related to climate change—tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme heat.  But Project 2025 would gut climate policy and roll back the Inflation Reduction Act.  Since Black people live closes to pollution sources and have disproportionate health effects from climate issues, ignoring climate issues is an attack on Black people.  And let’s not talk about voting rights.  Project 2025 would tighten voting regulations, perhaps eliminating early voting and mail voting, imperiling the African Americans voter franchise.

Project 2025 began in 2022 and was released in book form last year as A Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise.  It lays out a frightening Republican agenda, a reversal of many of the hard-won victories of the past several decades.  I’d like for some of the Black Americans who think our 45th president “wasn’t so bad”, to read the book and govern themselves accordingly.  President Biden likes to say that democracy is on the ballot.  He should also say that economic justice, health access, and educational equity are also on the line.

(Dr. Julianne Malveaux is an economist and author based in Washington, DC.  Juliannemalveaux.com)



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