Freedom of Speech Threats in the Presidential Race

October 13, 2008

For those of you who are not familiar with the tactics used by "community organizers" in America's inner cities over the past 30-40 years, it appears you are about to get a lesson in them in this year's presidential politics.

I first became familiar with the techniques used by the Obama campaign back in the 1960s when I was involved in the inner city issues of Rochester, New York. As a columnist I watched Saul Alinsky himself, the originator of the "community organizer" tactics, "organize" the clergy in Rochester to demand that the city give land cleared in President Johnson's "War on Poverty" to a black, inner city group called "FIGHT" and the City's major job producer, the Eastman Kodak Company, "give" more jobs to black people because they were black. FIGHT, which stood for Freedom-Integration-God-Honor-Today, was headed by a "community organizer," named Franklin Florence, a black minister.

After about 3 years of his dictatorial and abrasive behavior, a group in the inner city, a more peace-loving group of blacks led by a black man named Bernard Gifford, challenged Florence's leadership at their 1969 annual meeting. I wrote about what happened at that meeting as follows on June 23, 1969 for the Rochester-Times Union: "The philosophy of 'confrontation' or 'rubbing raw the sores of discontent' was the philosophy that the whites bought and paid Alinsky for - and that is just what they got - along with a lot of white manipulation of the FIGHT organization.

"However, confrontation in the streets gets pretty tiresome. Furthermore, it doesn't seem to help matters - if one can judge by the rapidly deteriorating housing condition around FIGHT headquarters. As Gifford put it the night of the convention (to vote for leaders of the organization) 'Now is the time to cure the patient - the ghetto. There have been enough diagnoses of the problems.'"

Gifford won the race in 1969, after having withdrawn from running against Florence the year before because of very real and very dangerous threats against his life. Saul Alinsky was present at the 1969 meeting when the blacks rejected his pupil and I observed that he "looked very unhappy."

Most of you undoubtedly know at this point that the media has not vetted Barack Obama in this past year nearly as thoroughly as it has Sarah Palin in the past five weeks. Very few voters actually know what a Chicago "community organizer" actually does, in spite of the nearly 40 years of failure Saul Alinsky techniques have produced in Chicago.

With a few reporters now beginning to actually do a little research into Obama's past experiences and associations, we are seeing something quite different. The studied and effective calm voice of an experienced orator like Obama seems to be backed up with far more aggressive behavior when challenged. It began with efforts on the part of the Obama campaign to sue media outlets that report his actual history, i.e. that he was the lawyer that sued Citibank for the ACORN organization (the same group now under fire for voter fraud in a number of states) to force it to change its loan requirements for "minorities."

The latest efforts at intimidation by Obama supporters involved a Los Angeles radio talk show host, Frank Pastore of KKLA who interviewed Stanley Kurtz, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who was doing some research into Barack Obama's background. Kurtz is a Contributing Editor of the National Review, and a Harvard PhD in social science. His writings on family issues and "political correctness" have also appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Below is a brief report on what happened when "community organizer" tactics were brought into the picture as it relates to Barack Obama and the current financial disaster we are involved in. They very much remind me of the intimidation tactics I wrote about in 1969 used by Franklin Florence who was taught by Saul Alinsky:

Frank Pastore: [ACORN is] involved in election fraud and a number of other things, but in Chicago what Madeline Talbot was doing-and she is actually the person that specializes in doing this-was pressuring financial institutions to make loans to minorities with bad credit ratings, and pressuring financial institutions and banks to do this, or else they couldn't merge, or do business, or expand, or whatever, so it was really a smack down. And then what happened is these banks were able then to bundle these and sell them to Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae sold them on the international markets and everything was hunky dory as long as real estate values continued to go up. But if they flat lined, or began to turn (as they in fact did), then of course these loans defaulted and you ended up with a $700 billion bail out getting voted on in the House of Representatives. You were involved a couple of weeks ago with something else on WGN radio in Chicago. Why don't you lay out what actually happened and your reaction to the whole thing?

Stanley Kurtz: I was scheduled to go on the Milt Rosenberg show, maybe the first or second day after I started looking at those documents in the archives at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and I spoke with a radio producer a few hours before I came out there. He told me that he had called the Obama campaign and had invited them to send a representative on to debate me. He said that they refused to send a representative and they demand that I not be allowed to go on the radio, and when Rosenberg and his people had said that they wouldn't do that they asked for the name of the-I don't know whoever was the head of the station was-so they called and demanded I not be allowed on the radio. I knew that when I went down there, but even so I just thought it was some strange oddity. I didn't take it that seriously, and when I got there I heard from someone that they had already (this was a half hour before I went on) received 7,000 phone calls demanding that I not be allowed onto the radio. At that point I was sitting in this big lobby at the Chicago Tribune building which is a very famous old building in Chicago, and the whole lining of the lobby is filled with beautiful things chiseled into the stone of about free speech and free press. So, I kind of read those, and took some of them down and used that later on the show.

Pastore: Yeah, I'll bet.

Kurtz: So, they took me into the show and they were just inundated with callers demanding that I not be allowed to speak basically. And Milt Rosenberg-you could see that he was very shocked really by this, and he called his producer down twice in the middle of the show to explain what was happening and they figured out this was coming out of the Obama campaign.

For the complete report go to the Town Hall website.

I learned from my 1960s observation of Saul Alinsky and the community organizers that he personally trained that it was based on Marxist philosophy, but packaged in smooth talk. Barack Obama personifies this.

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Copyright ©2008 Mary Mostert