I find the Republican Party's attempts to disparage the role of community organizers a desperate attempt to continue to divide the American public and control the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.
Community organizers have played a significant role in helping American citizens become knowledgeable of their rights and to stand up for themselves. My vivid childhood memories include community organizers, such as my parents, who helped register people to vote and organized boycotts when blacks were mistreated in the small town in which I was born.
It was not unusual to have to give up my bedroom to organizers from the NAACP or some other civil rights group. I didn't understand it at the time but those experiences molded me into the person I am today.
Now in their eighties, my parents still organize the neighbors to address local government and powerful businessmen to fight overdevelopment and demand services from county departments.
It is heartwarming when children who have become adults see my parents out and about and thank them for their help and guidance.
Folks who are privileged and never had their rights trampled upon have no idea of what a tremendous segment of the nation must cope with and overcome each day. I don't mean only blacks, latinos and other minorities but people who are not in the same socio-economic group as John and Cindy McCain or even Rudy Guiliani.
As long as people in our communities must fight for their rights, there will be a need for community organizers. So, shame on you Rudy Giuliani. Shame on you Sarah Palin; and shame on you John McCain.
Here are some community organizers I thank, in no particular order:
- Jesus Christ
- My parents
- My aunts and uncles
- My school teachers
- Susan B. Anthony
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
- DC Clark
- Malcolm X
- Marcus Garvey
- Bishop Victor T. Curry
- AfroSpear Nation and other bloggers
- Rev. C.E. Steele
- The Black Panthers
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Mother Teresa
- Barack Obama
- Cesar Chavez
- Saul Alinsky
- Schwerner, Chaney & Goodman
© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!, www.vanessabyers.net