Thursday, March 22, 2012

Alinksy's Affiliate: Gamaliel

One of the affiliates of Alinsky's IAF is a group called Gamaliel.

Barack Obama not only worked for a subsidiary of Gamaliel in Chicago (1985-1988) but he also had close ties with a member of their board, John McKnight.   The two were close enough that McKnight wrote a letter of recommendation for Obama's Harvard application.  He also was mentioned in Obama's book, only not by name, but rather as an “older man who had been active in the civil rights efforts in Chicago in the sixties”. 

While at Harvard, Obama took advanced training courses at the Industrial Areas Foundation.  Before leaving Harvard, Obama wrote a piece titled "After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois".  In the writing, he states: 

 In Chicago, the Developing Communities Project and other community organizations have pooled resources to form cooperative think tanks like the Gamaliel Foundation. These provide both a formal setting where experienced organizers can rework old models to fit new realities and a healthy environment for the recruitment and training of new organizers.


He then went on to discuss POWER and where to get it:

 Nowhere is the promise of organizing more apparent than in the traditional black churches. Possessing tremendous financial resources, membership and — most importantly — values and biblical traditions that call for empowerment and liberation, the black church is clearly a slumbering giant in the political and economic landscape of cities like Chicago. A fierce independence among black pastors and a preference for more traditional approaches to social involvement (supporting candidates for office, providing shelters for the homeless) have prevented the black church from bringing its full weight to bear on the political, social and economic arenas of the city.

Over the past few years, however, more and more young and forward-thinking pastors have begun to look at community organizations such as the Developing Communities Project in the far south side and GREAT in the Grand Boulevard area as a powerful tool for living the social gospel, one which can educate and empower entire congregations and not just serve as a platform for a few prophetic leaders. Should a mere 50 prominent black churches, out of the thousands that exist in cities like Chicago, decide to collaborate with a trained organizing staff, enormous positive changes could be wrought in the education, housing, employment and spirit of inner-city black communities, changes that would send powerful ripples throughout the city.


  While campaigning in 2008, Obama said that at the feet of his mentor McKnight, he received
“the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School.”


There was a Gamaliel event for the 10th Anniversary of the National Leadership Assembly in December 2005.  Speakers at the event included Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jim Wallis and Wade Rathke (ACORN).

Fox News Journalist and commentator, Juan Williams, knows about Gamaliel.  He praised them at a roundtable discussion a month after the 2008 election.

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A major issue of the Gamaliel organization is immigration.  This is one example of a Gamaliel event on immigration reform and abolishing the 287g program.  The 287g authorizes the Federal Government to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, pursuant to a memorandum of agreement, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of sworn US Immigration and Customs (ICE) officers.
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 "We ask our political leaders to seek reasonable solutions such as a just and humane immigration reform.  We should FIX the broken immigration system with a path to citizenship (Jeff Flake's STRIVE Act). 
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The Comprehensive Immigration Reform activists got their way.  Obama has shut down the program.  No new agencies have signed up since August 2010.  Yet, the same federal government (and some "Republicans") is claiming that states have no power to enforce immigration laws because it is specifically a  "federal" issue.

Because it's not about what is best for the security of our country.

It's about POWER.