September 8, 2008

Tell Sarah Palin that I Am a Community Organizer

Last week during her speech to the Republican National Convention, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) sought to play up her experience as mayor of a small town in Alaska by mocking community organizing:

PALIN: I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities.
I was upset at Sarah Palin for her comments about community organizers. I sat around a kitchen table with four others in 1998 when decision was made to rejuvenate a defunct organization in Cincinnati. We presented ourselves to the community in January 1999. Our group grew from those 5 people to over 200 members by the next year. We were recognized as 'chapter of the year' for our work in 2000 and again in 2001. We trained over 200 high school students with volunteers on weekends and after school in the past decade. These students competed in regional and national computer competitions each year. Over 50 of these students earned scholarships to help them attend colleges. Community organizers made a difference for BDPA Cincinnati chapter.

And Sarah Palin pissed all over our efforts with her comments.

I took over a struggling non-profit small business incubator in 2003. The incubator had 17 small business owners as clients when I came on board. Over the course of the next five years we grew the incubator to upwards of 50 clients. One of our clients is challenging to become the top Black-owned business in Cincinnati. The clients at our incubator provided over 300 jobs per year. We were named the 'non-profit of the year' in 2006 by the local chamber of commerce. Community organizers made a difference for the Cincinnati Business Incubator.

And Sarah Palin pissed all over our efforts with her comments.

Sarah Palin pissed all over the Montgomery Improvement Association - the community organization run by MLK that launched and supported the Montgomery bus boycott. Sarah clowns, 'No responsibility there'.

Sarah Palin pissed all over the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the network of community organizations and churches that MLK co-founded, that proved so crucial to the civil rights movement. Apparently no responsibility there, either.

Sarah Palin pissed all over the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom that the Republicans like to wrap themselves up in, the shared work of countless community organizers and activists. Sarah doesn't see responsibility here, huh?

Sarah Palin wanted to mock Senator Obama. Instead she mocked many of us here in America ... including former President George H.W. Bush.

"I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good."
- George H. W. Bush, 1989

Many of the nation’s leading organization’s responded to Palin’s attack. Over the past few days I have heard from many bloggers and online activists that proudly proclaim, "I Am a Community Organizer". Perhaps one day Sarah Palin will find this list and apologize for her obnoxious comments on community organizers:

  2. African American Opinion
  3. African American Political Pundit
  4. African Path
  5. Afro-Netizen
  6. Allegory in a Chokehold
  7. Anali's First Amendment
  8. Ancestral Energies
  9. Appetite for Equal Rights
  10. A Slant Truth
  12. Black Looks
  14. Black Political Thought
  15. Brave New Films
  16. California Now
  17. Citizen Jane
  18. Community Organizers Against Sarah Palin
  19. Corey Booker via Huffington Post
  20. CripChick's Weblog
  21. Dallas Progress
  22. Dallas South Blog
  23. Dre Politic: Words by Adrien Salazar
  24. Dwight A. Moody
  25. Eddie G. Griffin (BASG)
  26. Elaine Vigneault
  27. Electronic Village
  28. Elle, PhD
  29. eVIPlist
  30. Feministing Community
  31. Fort Wayne African-American Independant Woman
  32. Francis L. Holland Blog
  33. From My Brown Eyed View
  34. greenUPGRADER
  35. Hey Shae!
  36. I'll Offer You Eternal Bliss
  37. Illvox: Anarchist of Color
  38. InkogNegro 1.75
  39. Jack & Jill Politics
  40. Jump Off The Bridge
  41. Karen Waters via Augusta Free Press
  42. Keith's Space
  43. Labor Is Not a Commodity
  44. Living Life Abundantly
  45. MicroBrother
  46. MOMocrats
  47. Monroe Anderson
  48. NYCweboy
  49. Pacifica Election Central
  50. Pirate Satellite
  51. PlanetSave
  52. Production Not Reproduction
  53. Professor Kim's News Notes
  54. RaceWire
  55. Radical Russ via Pam's House Blend
  56. Regina's Family Seasons
  57. SerenityLife
  58. Something Within
  59. Springer's Journal
  60. Sojourner's Place
  61. The 'D' Spot
  62. The 'D' Spot Redeux
  63. The Hillary 100
  64. The Jesus Blog
  65. The Jose Vilson Blog
  66. The Safer Blog
  67. The SuperSpade
  68. This is Not My Country
  69. UltraVioletUnderground
  70. USA Today
  71. Vanessa Unplugged
  72. We Are All Community Organizers
  73. What If
  74. What was I THINKING?
  75. Where the Revolution's Gonna Begin
  76. Wichita NAACP Blog
  77. WoC.PhD
  78. Write Black
  79. Young Black Professional Guide
I am very interested in feedback from all villagers that read this post. What is your honest take on Sarah Palin's comments about community organizers? What say u?


PerfectMomentProject said...

I love it... nice..
A message of hope for the week...

Daughtry's message: What about now

Unknown said...

Wayne, I hear you. I found it absolutely insulting to the efforts of so many courageous people, past and present, who are dedicated to community issues. This shows a lack of respect and arrogance on the part of the GOP.

All-Mi-T [Thought Crime] Rawdawgbuffalo said...

im down add me all my work is in prisons and with juv offenders

Unknown said...

Janet - Thank you for joining this Day of Blogging for Justice: Community Organizers. Link to your post has been added...

RDawg - Have you posted about your efforts as part of our Day of Blogging for Justice: Community Organizers campaign? If so, just provide me with the link-URL and I'll add to the list...

Anonymous said...


This is an excellent post. Really, really strong. And I don't know whose idea it was to have a collective blogger response on this day but that was great too.

Also, thanks for your comments. I did go back and do some quick edits and repairs, namely to include the community organizer logo.

Take care.

Michael Davis-Dallas Progress said...


My post is up. You had a great title, so I "borrowed" it.

Mike D.

Unknown said...

Awesome post and cause! Palin just opened mouth and inserted foot! In my opinion she insulted valuable workers worldwide. Giuliani also made a comment that I took offense with, but another day another post for his crap, today is Sarah's day to get put on blast!
I am not on your list but I did write a post about the issue. Have a look when you get a chance.

HeyShae! said...

I'm thinking someone gassed Sarah up and wrote her speech for her which left her open to inserting that foot into her mouth. She should have thought about what she was about to recite rather than just going in blind.

Here's my post on my community efforts.

Fredric said...

That's good stuff!

Zhana21 said...

Excellent post. Somebody's getting pissed on today but it's not the community organisers.

Thanks as well for listing all the blogs.


Unknown said...

Keith - Fredric (YBP Guide) had a post last week entitled, "I Am A Community Organizer". I saw it and suggested to the The AfroSpear kinfolk that we have a Day of Blogging. Francis chose the day (9/8/08). I sent out a press release yesterday to media and others. Viral marketing at its best...

Michael - Your post has been added to the list. Do you see any that we are missing?

Regina - Palin is an attractive politician ... however, she is inexperienced. At some point her inexperience is going to cost her. Hopefully it happens during this 60-day campaign and not during a 4-year term of office as Vice President. Your post is now on the list...

Shae & Zhana - Your post is on the list. I'm glad that we have been able to turn the anger and vitriol of Rudy and Sarah into an uplifting day of blogging for justice and education about community organizers...

Fredric - You got it started young brotha! Well done...

HeyShae! said...

I am very much enjoying reading about the efforts my fellow bloggers who have given back to their communities. Kudos to all that are/were/plan to be involved in their communities.

Christina Springer said...

Thanks for a great day of blogging. It has been downright uplifting to see our delicious diversity of voice! I've been enjoying everyone - including your - perspective!

Thanks for being list central. You made my work that much easier today.

Keith said...

Hi I'm waying in on this...I just finished a post on my blog ("Keith's Space")concerning this very issue...It's called "Activist"
and it's an open letter to Governor Sarah Palin explaining the
historic importance of Community
Organizers and Activists, just in case she didn't know.-lololol.

Keith said...

My url is

Carla Y. Nix said...

Excellent and powerful post, Wayne. Hear! Hear!

I read an interesting statement from someone on Twitter. They said, "Jesus Christ was a community organizer!"

'Nuff said!


Kevin Andre Elliott said...

Great work, Villager. Keep doing what you do!

microbrother said...

The greatest community organizer ever, would say, 'I am a community organizer!'....Jesus Christ

microbrother said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Carla & MicroBrother - I agree that Jesus Christ was the first known 'community organizer'!

Shae, Christina, Kevin & Carla - I think we did a remarkable job on short notice. I see over 60 bloggers that participated in the event yesterday. That is something to be proud of...

Eddie G. Griffin said...

Let me add that I am a community organizer working to solve the teen pregnancy problem. Sarah Palin missed the boat on both accounts.

SerenityLife said...

Excellent blog Wayne!

I actually submitted mine after 12 AM (sorry I was late no excuse) but I received an interesting comment from a Palin supporter that made me wonder how a conservative defines community organizing and how a liberal defines community organizing.

It seems as though I will not see eye to eye with this man but I appreciate all the individuals here who have given me plenty of other examples of what is a community organizer in their eyes.

Here is my post:

clnmike said...

She is obviously wrong if not for communityorganizers, blacks would still be picking cotton, women wouldnt have the right to vote, and the United states would be flying the Union Jack instead of the Stars and Stripes.

Lisa Johnson said...

I was really disgusted by her comments as well. I blogged about it the next day. Here's a link to the post.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for linking my blog. This is great to show how many people really believe in community organizing.

Unknown said...

Anali & Dre - I've updated this post with a link to your 'community organizer' post...

Mike - You're right. However, it appears that her words are resonating with many white women (judging from poll numbers)...

SerenityLife - I read the comments on your blog post. I agree they were enlightening from a republican perspective. Anyhow, it feels good to see what we were able to get documented on behalf of 'community organizers' everywhere...

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...


Hi, received your comment, to my article about Black Looks and particularly passive-aggressive community organizers The toxic passive aggressive sycophantic hypocrisy of black (on black) racism by liberal progressive ‘Africanist community organizer’ black activists.

Wasn't it Malcolm X, who said "Who made you so stupid?"

In my opinion off hand the two top community organizer organisations for poor blacks, neither of whom encourage inhumane population policy procreation slave and cattle fodder breeding, and both encourage tough love self-sufficiency, are Delancey Street and the Nation of Islam.

In prisons, Aryan brotherhood, and the Black Guerrilla Family (my husband was a member of the latter), his mother a Black Panther.