Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dear Gov. Palin: Critizing Obama's Community Work Insults Us All

"The history of America has been largely created by the deeds of its working people and their organizations. Nor has this contribution been confined to raising wages and bettering work conditions; it has been fundamental to almost every effort to extend and strengthen our democracy."
--William Cahn, labor historian
"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear Governor Palin:

Last week, at the Republican convention, you chided the
democrat's presidential candidate for president Barack
Obama for having been a
community organizer. You said it was a position with no real responsibilities. But the daddy is writing to tell you three things only a politician working for the rich and a politician attempting to score points to get into office like Palin would make such an ignorant, anti-progressive comment.

Let's be clear: what you really said is that Barack, a graduate of one of the best law schools in the country, an individual who turned down a lucrative income from numerous prestigious law firms to organize unemployed steel
workers and
the poor in public housing on the South side of
Chicago, had no
responsibilities and was engaged in work of little, if any, importance. But in your attempt to demean Obama, you did something more: you revealed your vast ignorance of the immense and invaluable role that community organizers played and continue to play in the development of this country. Clearly, you have little or no knowledge of abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas,
Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth who ended slavery; union
leaders like John Lewis who got rid of child
labor and gave us health benefits and retirement packages,
overtime pay other benefits
; the Betty Friedans, Gloria Steinams and Ida B. Wells who organized so you, a woman, could get the right to vote; the Dr. Kings, Ella Mae Bakers, Bayard Rustins and Fannie Lou Hamers who, though beaten, jailed and murdered, brought an end to apartheid in the southern part of the United States; the Cesar Chavezs' who fought and continue to fight to bring the discrimination and near slave-like conditions of farm workers out of the shadows and to give them full economic and human rights.

But your ignorance and insensitivity to community work and its importance in the development of this country is not the worst thing. Worst of all is your utter insult to black Americans. After all, it is Black Americans who have had to organize and fight continuously and so long to achieve rights and respect that most white Americans take for granted. Indeed, one could argue that it is this struggle, this community work, that is our greatest legacy and our greatest gift in this country. Therefore, in insulting Obama's community work, you, in essence, insulted the historical legacy of an oppressed people who he represents and a struggle that is shared by so many, a struggle that has, at last, gotten this country to a point where the son of a single mother who once used food stamps was nominated the presidential candidate for a major party in the United States.

Besides reading up on your American history, there's only one other way for you to atone for your reckless and ill-informed remarks: apologize to Mr. Obama, his family and the American people for demeaning a history of community work that has made this such a great country.


Mac Walton, aka. the daddy


Anonymous said...

Exactly right, Mac. Thanks for this.

MountainLaurel said...

Amen, MacDaddy. That's exactly what I've been thinking since Gov. Palin's speech, but never could I be as eloquent as you were.

Thank you.

Somebodies Friend said...

An apology would be a great start. Then a serious change in attitude, behavior, and thought pattern would round out the top five...

What, that was only four... well, you get the point.

sdg1844 said...

Amen! That is all.

rainywalker said...

Thanks daddyBstrong, you said everything I wanted too. I worked as a volunteer all over the world in 30 years and for what, nothing? No, we can all make a difference just like Obama did. Apology is not something they understand.

Kellybelle said...

Love that painting of Barack and MLK!

Nun in the Hood said...

Thanks, MacDaddy, for saying so well what I tried to say in my letter to the editor regarding not only the insensitivity, but the down right pit bull techniques of this woman....You are right, she is ignorant, not only on this front by on several others....Thanks for speaking out...It's scary to me that so many americans seem to be buying this woman's sneers and lies....I hope Obama comes out loud and clear on this one.....I have heard Republicans (centrist types)in agreement that the remarks about community oranizers were way off base......So, maybe, just maybe, we will hear an apology....I know you are going 'light' on political coverage, but i hope that you give us more of this type of piece....We are coming down to the wire in selecting leadership for our country....We all must speak out!

CurvyGurl said...

I agree with Mountain Laurel, MacDaddy. Are you planning it to her? I hate poliTRICKs!

MacDaddy said...

Anon: Thanks.
mountain: I'm sure a number of people are thinking the same way. But it's been a while since she spoke and I haven't heard Obama or Biden (especially not Biden and this is supposed to be his job) go after her. She's a nut case. What are they waiting for?
somebodiesfriend: Maybe we should start with an apology to Obama. But I know rainywalker is right: these arrogant folks are not big on apologies.
kellybelle: Others love it too. It's on quite a few blogs. Coming to see you at your blog in a minute.
sdg: Miss you. Have you started back blogging yet?

MacDaddy said...

nun:Yes, we all need to speak out. I'll be blogging a little more about politics, even at the risk of some readers getting sick and no longer coming back. Thanks for coming.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

This deceptively "All-American" woman with the publicly friendly persona has been living in a nearly all-white bubble since her birth and later, college days there. In between, Alaska, town of 6,000 until a few years ago. Two red states, with Alaska being the reddest.

So Sambo Beat The Bitch
is what she allegedly said when Obama beat Hillary, as overheard by mortified waitress named Lucille who is part Eskimo.

I saw a YouTube video where a black teen says he's the father of her daughters unborn child. I don't believe this because the vid is linked to his promotional music MySpace page. But you know what? If her next grand baby turns out black, I would laugh and laugh and laugh...

Mocha Dad said...

I'm offended that Palin and the the rest of the Republicans speak condescendingly about Community Activism. Grassroots, community movements have forced this country to change in major ways.

MountainLaurel said...

Mocha Dad, I think you've hit the nail on the head right there. They are afraid of community activism for just the reason you state. The status quo works just fine for them, thank you very much, and they don't want change. In fact, I think they fear it.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

My son, who graduated from college with very high honors is a "community organizer." This is a man who could do whatever he wants to do. He has the ability, style and perseverence to literally do anything. . . the smartest person I know. . . but he chose to be a community organizer. He chose to help other people at the most effective level he could find. He works for an organization that fights for the rights of America's lowest paid workers. . . as such, he is one of them.
How dare she?!
Thanks for that post Daddy.

MacDaddy said...

CurvyGurl: Yes, I'm sending the letter to her. And I'm coming to see you on your blog.
mochadad: You're right to be offended. We all should be. One thing about community work: People in those communities may appreciate, but you don't get paid very much at all. I believe Obama was paid $800 a month. As a union organizer, I was paid more than many other organizers. But it wasn't much. All the more reason to give props to organizers.
sagacious: Is this your son who worked for the Obama campaign?
Mountain: You and Mochadad got it right: these folks are afraid of change, afraid of the future, because they benefit from the status quo in the present. Hence the demeaning of change agents called community organizers.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the Republicans to pick a "mean girl" and self-described "pit bull" to attack Obama. The Republicans are just a big gang, with a whole lot of power and responsibility. They hold on to it by "hitting on" the rival gang (at least they use words instead of bullets). Their interest is in taking over as much of the territory (USA) as possible -- disguised as votes / electoral college votes.

Instead of RESISTING Obama's strategy to re-frame the problem and focus on problem solving, to one of change vs. status quo, they STOLE Obama's message and are pumping it for all it's worth.

The Republicans engage in GANG STYLE / bullying politics by shifting the focus of the election from constructive debate to destructive name calling / power grabbing.

This begs a strategy question. Martin Luther King would have been a pacifist, but how do YOU stand up to bullies? How should the Democratic party stand up to these charges?

Maybe we should just vote to give the Republicans the states they win in the election, and have 2 federal governments -- one for Republicans, and one for Democrats. Ha.

Anonymous said...

Give Alaska, Arizona, and other former slave states to McCain and Palin, and let them start their own nation.

Felicity said...

MacDaddy, what you wrote was brilliant, let Sarah Palin carry on with her foolishness, she is showing herself for the idiot, that she is.

MacDaddy said...

"Give Alaska, Arizona, and other former slave states to McCain and Palin, and let them start their own nation."
anon: That's funny. I like as a measure of last resort.
felicity: Yes, she's showing herself to be a fool. But will the press let her get away with it? Will we not know what an arrogant right winger she is until she has comfortably settled into her position as VP?

Anonymous said...

We can see that she's showing herself to be a fool, but the problem is that to those who are extreme conservatives, they see only what they want to see -- a super nice, good virtuous woman who they can relate to. The question is, how do you open people's minds who would be taken in by the McCain machine? They feel the same way about us . . . if McCain gets elected, I'm moving to Canada.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what's disturbing here is that Sarah is the kind of smart, pretty girl who "regular" people love. Nothing else matters -- the majority of voters are common people who just want to go to work, earn enough money to get by, and are afraid to break too far from any social traditions. They don't want to think too hard. In fact, they've been socialized to think that really smart, nerdy people aren't really better than they are -- they're "snooty, uppity, etc." Really smart people aren't that smart (in their thinking). They want to superhero type to come in, look fabulous, and save the day. They DON'T want some egghead (who reminds them of their deficiencies) to have power over them. It's the "regular Joe / Jane" who gets the promotion, not that super nerd. The "common regular folk" want someone common, ordinary like them, but better. And better superficially -- and Sarah is just a common, but uncommonly attractive woman.

The problem here is that it seems like logic and reason just aren't working as well as they used to. It used to be that even the "common regular folk" debated IDEAS over the dinner table. It was part of the culture to learn to "disagree without being disagreeable." So now, it's like this election is a really bad TV movie, where logic and reason take a back seat to image and personality.

So what strategy do we need to use to wake people up to the hypocriscy of the Republican machine?

patti t said...

I don't know what I can add that hasn't already been said by others, but I did still want to say thanks for putting this in writing...

I remember being outraged when Guiliani and then Palin belittled Obama's work as a community organizer and wondering how people can support such distasteful, disgusting comments, but they did and they are still supporting it. I can only hope that really good hearted, smart people, on the Republican or independent side, will wake up and actually rise up and walk away, leaving their leaders in the dust. Well that would be wonderful, but unfortunately, I don't see that happening. So it means that everyone else who might still be sane and disgusted with all of this will stand up and be heard and vote. Thanks again for the message. pt

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Mac, Yes, he works for the Obama campaign as a political action person for the political arm of the organization he works for.

Anonymous said...

Poor canada...are they really ready for the influx? maybe we should spread out --maybe to some warmer climes? I'll volunteer for that. Seriously Daddy this is a great post and one I feel a little helpless over - esp in terms of the last anon comment re "regular folk" , who, in another day or even today, really know better but are tired and just don't go beyond the easy hype. I don't know what strategy we can employ to insure obama's victory. Here in this blogging world we are many folks preaching to the choir it seems. Nevertheless the exchange and cameraderie is worth it! Let's never give up.