Poverty is not funny
September 5, 2008 6 Comments
Obama responds to the attempts by Republicans to ridicule his experience as a community organizer:
The LA Times has a round up of more reactions to this new GOP attack.
USA Today reports:
Community service groups reacted strongly Thursday. Maude Hurd, president of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), said her group helps people learn leadership skills so they can work for better schools, wages and treatment from financial institutions. She said the “condescending attacks” were disappointing. A coalition of faith-based groups said political leaders should be thanking community organizers, not insulting them.
Obama was working for a group of churches that were concerned about their parishioners, many of whom had been laid off when the steel mills closed on the south side of Chicago. They hired Obama to help those stunned people recover and get the services they needed–job training, help with housing and so forth–from the local government.
… This is what Palin and Giuliani were mocking. They were making fun of a young man’s decision “to serve a cause greater than himself,” in the words of John McCain.
update: Via McClatchy on September 5, 2008, a report about Palin’s speech that day:
[Palin] again mocked Obama’s time working as a community organizer.
I realize that only someone who has never been a community organizer would not realize how hurtful that line of attack is. She’s not just attacking Obama, she’s mocking anyone who has worked on behalf of a community. And Governor Palin, with all due respect, when I was a community organizer, I had actual responsibilities. A community organizer considers the community to be their responsibility, and considers it their obligation to work as hard as possible to protect that community from harm. That is why we take low-paying jobs to confront hard issues like poverty and violence. The opportunity to work on behalf of a community is an honor if you ever get the chance. It is so painful to hear your disdain, Governor Palin. You sound so heartless and so disconnected from the spirit that guides true community service.
Every time you mock community organizers, it is like a twist of a knife. It makes me fear for what this country could become if you are elected to higher office. Community organizers already have it hard enough. Communities living in poverty already have it hard enough. This country doesn’t need your disdain and mockery of its hardship. This country already has it hard enough.