Thursday, September 4, 2008

Definition of a "community organizer"

In her speech last night (I caught part of it, but not the whole thing), Sarah Palin mocked Barack Obama's background as a "community organizer":

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities."
Clever line. Gov. Palin apparently does not know what a "community organizer" does. Let me give her some examples:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a "community organizer."

Rosa Parks was a "community organizer."

Mother Teresa was a "community organizer."

Nelson Mandela was a "community organizer."

One of the regular visitors to my church is a nun, Sister Margaret, who runs a place called Covenant House, which helps teenagers with problems get back on their feet. She brings them to our church. That's one definition of "community organizing;" helping people in your community help themselves.

Other examples? The term is new, but the idea is as old as civilization. St. Paul was a community organizer.

Members of the Junior League are "community organizers." So are members of the PTA. My Dad was a "community organizer" when he was the Scoutmaster for our local Boy Scout troop.

You know that term "street cred?" That's what you get when you walk the streets and get things done that other people can't. That's what you get when you're a community organizer like Barack Obama, and you literally pound the pavement, walk the streets, and get things done that other people can't.

1 comment:

Phil Ha said...

another blogger put it well: Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a governor.