09
Sep
08

About that “Community Organizer” thingy …

[Pundit Kitchen]

I got this from here:  Many great leaders had humble start – Muskegon Chronicle Opinion – MLive.com, via Jim Hall’s blog post. As per usual, I hyperlinked to other relevant pages and references… 😎

Palin delighted the Republican faithful when she went attack dog on Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Along with accusing the Illinois senator of being high on big rhetoric and low on meaningful legislation, she mocked Obama’s resume, comparing it with her own.

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities,” she said, prompting an eruption of laughter and cheers.

In case you miss the reference, Palin, now governor of Alaska, was mayor of Wasilla — population 9,780 — from 1996 to 2002. Obama moved to Chicago after college and did church-based organizing to determine the needs of people who lost their jobs after the steel mills closed.

All of this is fair game. Tearing into the opposition, first jobs and all, is expected behavior in a presidential campaign. It’s how the game is played.

But in this small instance, I think Palin or her speech writers overplayed their hand.

To borrow a phrase, this is not about Obama. He’s capable of defending himself — or at least he’d better be.

No, this is about the other community organizers, the ones who never come close to sniffing the Oval Office. It’s about a job so nebulous its responsibilities seem unreal.

I’m thinking about a man I once heard speaking about jobs and opportunity in a crowded church, a man who had my freedom and future on his mind long before those things ever occurred to me.

Cesar Chavez did this work. So did Fannie Lou Hamer, and Grace and Jimmie Boggs. So did Medgar Evers and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Stephen Biko. In a sense, Jesus Christ was a community organizer.

And Pontius Pilate was a governor.

None of this reduces the ways we try to seize our fates. Sometimes we choose the roles we play, and, mayor or organizer, sometimes those roles choose us.

Sometimes those roles rise up from power. And sometimes they rise up in spite of it.

Whoa… especially at the Jesus/Obama – Pilate/Palin juxtaposition.  Deep… 😎

Peace and Much Love,

jw

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