Monday, September 8, 2008

Activists


Last week, during the hatefest that was the Republican National Convention, Governor Sarah Palin made a snide remark about community organizers and activists. She said, "I guess being the mayor of a small town has a lot in common with being a community organizer... except that you actually have responsibilities."

I was listening and wondering where she was going with this statement. One really doesn't have anything at all to do with the other but, the people in this crowd cheered loudly when she said it. I think if she had said "boogie oogie oogie..." they would have cheered. What really scares me is that a majority of people who think like this just may elect the next president.

I know Governor Palin will never see my blog but, if she could, I'd like to explain to her that yes, being a mayor carries a lot of responsibility. A mayor is an elected official who carries the responsibility of serving the needs of those who voted he or she in office. Now, let me talk about activists and community organizers. These people often go unnoticed... they are nameless and faceless voices in the wind yet, voices that have inspired great movements.

Governor Palin, I am an activist. I write and I speak to people around me, I get them to thinking, I get them to arguing... sometimes with me... but, I get folks thinking just the same. You may never know my name but, what I write and what I say may inspire some great leader who will take the ball from there and run with it and affect some type of change.

Here is a famous example of one of those community organizers and activists that you talk about... Rosa Parks. Have you ever heard of her? She wasn't a politician. She certainly was never a small town mayor like yourself but, her one moment of activism organized and galvanized a community in her small town of Birmingham, AL. Thanks to her activism, I could possibly sit next to you at a table and eat moose, if that was my thing. I don't have to eat moose in the "colored section".

Rosa Parks wasn't the first Black woman who refused to move out of her seat for a white person. At the time of her arrest, she was an active member of the NAACP. She had been talking to her fellow maids, cabbie, and domestic workers for months about integration. She willingly and purposely allowed herself to become a symbol of the growing discontent in her community. Her arrest caught the attention of an unknown 26 year old Baptist minister named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was also one of those "community organizers" and "activists" (with "no real responsibility") that you mocked, and the modern civil rights movement was born.

See Governor Palin, it doesn't take a famous person and it certainly doesn't take a politician to make change. Great movements are usually sparked by little people and small voices... nameless and faceless community organizers and activists who have the courage and the moxy to say, "Enough" or "Something ought to be done about this." These people usually inspire a charismatic leader who leads the charge, who becomes a "name", and gets the credit for a movement that was started with these unsung heroes... the community organizers... the activists. These are people who take responsibility, Governor Palin... they take responsibility for themselves and the people around them.

It was these same "community organizers" and "activists" that inspired the people in thirteen small colonies to overthrow an oppressive British government and become these very United States of America. Read your history Governor Palin, it's all there.

If I were you Governor Palin, I wouldn't be so quick to mock these people... they also inspire people to vote... thinking people... the kind that won't vote for people like you.

14 comments:

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

Very well said!

She need to read this.

Toni said...

Bravo Keith!

Angie B. said...

Somebody needs to show that heiffer
this post. I'm With "Southern Girl"
She needs to read this.

Mister Frisby said...

Speak the truth Brother

David Mann said...

I was on the Electronic Village and I read this..Just had to check out your site to tell you I liked this post. Especially the remark about "Eating Moose in the colored
section."lolol..That was crazy.

Da New Black Panther said...

Right on Brother

Sunflower said...

My First time on your blogs...but you make a very strong case sir.

Sister Fattah said...

"I am a Community Organizer"-
Thank you brother for this peice.

Keith said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments..They're very much appreciated.

Kyra said...

Very Very Well written my brother.
Saw it on Electronic Village, just comin over here to show you love.
(smiles)

PCD (Pretty Circle Drawer) said...

palin makes me eyes itch and my stomach churn...that being said, she just strikes me as one of the oddest people to be throwing rocks. does she OWN a mirror? or is she that detached from her own reality? well, if she is...that wouldn't surprise me either. anyhoo, your points were very well stated...i wish she could read it.

Mizrepresent said...

Kudo's Keith, so very well put!

blackgirlinmaine said...

As a former community organizer, I agree with you 100%.

Villager said...

It looks like America didn't buy the hype from McCain-Palin...

peace, Villager




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