First, he was a community organizer
By Frank Salvato
web posted May 3, 2010
When Barack Obama entered the 2008 Presidential Election scene, aside from recycling the Clinton mantra of "Hope and Change" (yes, Mr. Obama's use of the campaign slogan was not original in nature), we were told that his most endearing credential was that he had navigated the "mean streets of Chicago" as a community organizer disseminating "hope"; that he had been successful in making the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of Chicago a better place to live, a safer place to live. As of April 25, 2010, the residents of Chicago have stood witness to 113 homicides. I suppose, for President Obama, all that's missing is a "Mission Accomplished" banner.
By now, everyone has heard at least one story about the out-of-control violence taking place in the mean-streets of Chicago. Gang crime is so bad in some parts of the city that parents, when there are two existing in the household, routinely remind their children not to play in front of the windows in their houses for fear of being struck by a stray bullet fired from the gun of a gangbanger. The situation is so bad that some lawmakers in Illinois' capitol, Springfield, have called upon the governor, Pat Quinn (D), to call in the Illinois National Guard to supplement the Chicago Police Department.
While the notion of sending in the Illinois National Guard sounds good on the surface, as John Howell of AM560 WIND in Chicago contends, the first time a National Guardsman has to shoot a civilian the real fireworks will start. I'll take that a step further, the real fireworks will start when a Chicago gangbanger shoots and kills an Illinois National Guardsman. Illinois Governor Quinn has since rejected the idea so we shall never know how much blood would have been running in the streets had these two scenarios played out.
So, the issue of street violence in Chicago remains with no immediate prospects for improvement.
In 1985, Mr. Obama was hired as a community organizer by the Developing Communities Project in Chicago and given the position of director. The Developing Communities Project was a church-based organization comprised of eight Catholic parishes on Chicago's infamous far South Side.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics there were 666 instances of murder & non-negligent manslaughter and 34,172 instances of aggravated assault in Chicago during 1985.
Mr. Obama worked at the Developing Communities Project from 1985 until mid-1988 during which time he increased the organization's staff from one to thirteen and increased its operating budget from $70,000 to $400,000.
Again, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 744 instances of murder & non-negligent manslaughter and 33,529 instances of aggravated assault in Chicago in 1986.
And during his just-short-of three years with the Developing Communities Project – during which time he also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute – he allegedly set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens, a location that still exists in extreme poverty today.
Once again, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 687 instances of murder & non-negligent manslaughter and 34,172 instances of aggravated assault in 1987.
In mid 1988, community organizer Obama decided that he had done such a good job for the good people at the Developing Communities Project that he bid them "adieu" (mission accomplished) and set out to see the Continent of Europe for three weeks and then the ancestral African nation of Kenya for five weeks before starting his education in the law at Harvard University.
The rest, as they say, is history, or what we are allowed to know of the facts about Mr. Obama's history, so many records and documents are sealed, don't you know...
The most often accurate Wikipedia explains community organizing this way:
"Community organizing is a process through which people living in proximity to each other are brought together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest...community organizers generally assume that social change necessarily involves conflict and social struggle in order to generate collective power for the powerless..."
It begs to be asked; wouldn't the unbridled murdering of members of a community be in the utmost of "shared self-interests" of a community? Wouldn't the senseless slaughter of the youth from poverty stricken Chicago communities rank right up there with, let's say, teaching ACORN the Alinsky method of pressuring financial institutions into making bad home loans to people who could never pay their mortgages or registering fictional characters and dead people to vote?
For those who believe that the years of the Obama Community Organizing Experience saw an anomaly where serious crime is concerned:
1990: 850 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 41,114 aggravated assaults
1991: 925 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 42,237 aggravated assaults
1992: 939 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 41,080 aggravated assaults
1993: 845 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 39,753 aggravated assaults
1994: 928 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 40,380 aggravated assaults
1995: 824 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 30,086 aggravated assaults
1996: 789 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 37,097 aggravated assaults
1997: 757 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 36,519 aggravated assaults
1998: 703 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 36,110 aggravated assaults
1999: 641 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 28,027 aggravated assaults
2000: 631 murders/non-violent manslaughters, 26,545 aggravated assaults
It should be noted that Mr. Obama served in the Illinois Legislature from 1996 until 2004 where he would have been able to employ lessons learned from his extraordinary community organizing experience to affect "change" for what would become – or "transform," if you will – the gangbanger battlefield streets of Chicago.
So, it would seem, one of the most important issues facing the communities serviced by Mr. Obama's organizing – the unacceptable level of violence resulting in homicides – was either left unaddressed or, if it was addressed, was done so in such a poor fashion that the slaughter continued to increase in the years after his "organizing."
So, for all you Progressives and Obama-apologists, all you Alinskyites and all of you "hope and change" junkies, I ask, which is more important: to make sure those who can't afford mortgages get them so the rest of the nation can bail them out down the road or securing the neighborhood streets from gang violence? Is it more important to make sure that you get people who have no fact-based understanding of the issues registered to vote or to make sure that when little Jimmy walks home from school he doesn't end up kicked to the curb with a bullet in his head?
Many among the electorate have come to understand that President Obama and his administration have their priorities mixed-up. I would point to the absolute failure of his "community organizing" – as it pertains to the most important job of a community organizer, keeping the members of the community alive – and say he had his priorities mixed-up long, long ago.
But, hey, if the number of registered voters trumps the body-count, then I guess he did one hell of a job.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show airing on AM1220 WSRQ and on the Internet catering to the US Armed Forces around the world and on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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