Organizing is honorable work

Published 10:58 pm Friday, September 5, 2008

This week, the issue of the value of work came up during the GOP convention.

While most of the time we agree with the basic fundamentals of family values and faith-based initiatives, we have a problem with the speech writing on two occasions during a couple of invectives delivered by vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani about community organizing.

The two made their remarks in reference to the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, and his first job out of law school as an organizer for the Calumet Community Religious Conference on the South Side of Chicago.

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We take exception to these remarks, although they were meant to rally the troops for their side.

When someone talks degradingly about community organizing, they’re talking about those who help others reach beyond their limitations.

They’re talking about people we know right here in Selma and Dallas County: the Focus Group led by state Rep. Yusuf Salaam; the folks who work with the Jonathan Daniels Community Development Corporation and the Dallas Regional Arts Commission.

Because, in the true meaning of community organizing, these groups and many others in the region work to improve life for the rest of us.

A democracy depends on people reaching up and organizing. It depends on all people having a voice.

The speechwriters at the GOP convention got this one wrong.