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View Diary: GOP no longer laughing at community organizers UPDATEDX2 (249 comments)

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  •  The problem Republicans are going to (15+ / 0-)

    face, though they may not recognize it, is that you can't organize something you don't have.  When Obama went to organize the community, the community was already in place.  
    Now, there may be some super bureaucrats around the country who are tuned in, but most public officials are unaware that the African American community is not only cohesive, but everywhere.  One of the constants of urban renewal projects proposed for African American "ghettos" was the request that they be provided with "community centers."  But, most urban planners never seemed to figure out why those were requested and why, when they suggested "community policing" and the creation of police sub-stations, those weren't considered adequate, even though the promised reduction in criminal activity was attractive.
    What was rarely, if ever, understood was the need for a meeting venue that was separate and distinct from the sectarian facilities where whoever owned the facility would presume to set the agenda and rule.
    In order to effectively organize, the African American community had to secularize--to bridge the sectarian divides, in part because the ministers, like "leaders" of all stripes, tend to be a bit authoritarian and dictatorial.

    It's my sense that perhaps the greatest inadvertent mistake that was made since the civil rights movement was Moynihan's assertion that the African American family was flawed or missing.  African Americans have always maintained family connections--during slave days and later.  Once people started to look, they found innumerable instances of supposedly illiterate slaves keeping in touch with family who'd been "sold" away by sending messages that, perhaps, someone else had written for them.  The tradition of having scribes was not lost when they were transported to a new land.  The traditional family connections weren't lost either.  That women bore children in order to "get a check" did not mean they didn't love those children or didn't get support from the fathers.  If being married made it harder to support the children, they didn't get married, officially.  African Americans have a long tradition of doing things un-officially.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 03:31:31 AM PST

    •  You've hit on a flaw (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, Sagittarius

      in Republicans who supported the Iraq war, too.

      is that you can't organize something you don't have.

      Did they really think they could invade a country, force Democracy and be greeted as liberators?  Since when are "Democracy" and "force" compatible at all?

      VOTE McCAIN! The world really is flat.

      by nolalily on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 07:09:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is why (0+ / 0-)

      one of my goals as a baby urban planner is to give people what they want. I have a deep dislike for ivory tower planners.

      People sit where there are places to sit. -William H. Whyte

      by Luthe on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 01:15:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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