Sunday, September 07, 2008

Obama Video Response to the McCain/Palin Attacks on Community Organizers

The community organizer who hired a young Barack Obama for the job that Sarah Palin ridiculed him for expresses her own thoughts about it to a Canadian new service:
In the 30 years Loretta Augustine-Herron has been a community organizer in Chicago, she has been involved in many projects, from ridding a public-housing facility of asbestos to interviewing a young job applicant named Barack Obama ....

“I was offended,” she said. “It was a real slap in the face.”

Before attending Harvard Law School and emerging on the U.S. political scene, Mr. Obama was hired by Ms. Augustine-Herron to direct the church-based Developing Communities Project in Chicago from 1985 to 1988.

People such as Ms. Augustine-Herron said that community organizing is not something to be mocked, and defended it as an effective way of helping people deal with problems, from housing and health care to employment and voter registration. And she believes it is a perfect training ground for politicians.

“You learn how the government is run, how it should be run, what it means for you, how it affects you and how you can affect it,” she said. “You show me a good community organizer and I'll show you someone who knows everything about the government.”

Ms. Augustine-Herron said that the most important thing Mr. Obama did during his early years in Chicago was train people like her to be more effective in leading the community to initiate change.

“Imagine someone that young, 24 years old, working seven days a week, long hours,” she said. “Anyone that dedicated to the process is ready to run a country.”
It looks like Sarah Palin should learn more about community organizers before she opens her mouth on the subject in the future. One lesson she obviously did not learn from small town life is to avoid commenting on subjects that you admit you know nothing about. It also looks like Barack Obama has learned a few lessons on how municipal government works precisely because of his community organizing position so many years ago.

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