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The Community Organizing Con

Community organizing never actually helps the community.

By Will Offensicht  |  April 6, 2017

We recently wrote about how the failures of what's known as "community organization" or "Social Justice Warriors (SJW)" helped bring about President Trump's electoral victory, and explained why such efforts seldom benefit anyone other than the organizers.

Despite the proven failure of community organizing to actually improve communities, it might seem like something that ought to at least work in principle.  Alas, this is a Panglossian mistake.  Let's look at just how unlikely these efforts are to ever benefit any members of the communities they claim to serve.

The Drive-By Shooting

On Sunday, April 2, there was a drive-by shooting on Copeland Street in Roxbury, which is part of the gun-free victim-disarmament zone found in Boston.  A father and his six-year-old son were both wounded; neither was killed.

The father told the police that he believes that he was the intended target, but of course, he has no idea who was shooting at him, dear me, no!  The police say that as usual, the victim is not being fully cooperative.

The boy's mother insists that the father was not the target, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Her credibility is undermined by the fact that the father, like so many inner-city shooting participants, has a lengthy criminal record including pleading guilty to gun charges, probation violations, and three stretches in state prison.

The Boston Herald reports that Tito Jackson, a member of the Boston city council who is planning to run for mayor, is criticizing the police:

"Data and statistics tell a part of the story. But we need to understand that violence is very, very concentrated, and you may say violence across the city is down, but in neighborhoods and on specific blocks it may not be down," Jackson said.

Evans and other department brass have owned up to low clearance rates for non-fatal shootings - 14 percent in 2015 and 16 percent in 2016 - saying the city deserves better but detectives' efforts are often "frustrated" by tight-lipped victims and witnesses[emphasis added]

Although drug gangs shoot each other in the battle for market share, they're united in their conviction that even seeming to cooperate with police is a capital offense for anyone, gang member or not.  Gang members gain points for taking out snitches.  Citizen's reluctance to arouse suspicion by talking to the police is a major factor in the lack of success in solving murders in this particular neighborhood.

Mr. Jackson said that police were to blame for uncooperative witnesses because they aren't able to adequately protect witnesses - which is true, but not really the job of the police.  It would also be very helpful if the law allowed witnesses to protect themselves, with legal firearms, but of course Mr. Jackson would be aghast at this idea.

He also accused the police chief of racism because he had blamed "community pressure" for the shortage of black police officers.

Jackson last month hinted if he became mayor he would replace Evans [the white Chief of Police], but the [black] commissioner's superintendent-in-chief defended his boss yesterday.

"This is what I went through when I became a police officer, and we still get that all the time - 'How can you work for this organization when there's still killing of black men; you're an Uncle Tom, a sellout," Gross said.

"It's funny, when he says 'step up'" - and cooperate with police - "he gets heat but when I say it, I don't get one negative thing," he said. "Who is really playing the race card here?"

"Community Organizing" at its Finest

This story is all too typical of Social Justice Warriors and community organizers:

A black politician exploits a tragedy by criticizing the police and for not solving more violent crimes in mostly-black Roxbury.  He touches on the reluctance of witnesses to come forward by blaming the police for not protecting witnesses.

He wants to organize the Roxbury community to support his run for mayor.  This will benefit him, but what could he do as mayor to benefit Roxbury?

Firing the police chief won't help.  Rahm Emannuel fired the Chicago police chief and Chicago homicides and murder rates kept climbing.  The mayor can't protect people who snitch on drug gangs, so the murder clearance rate won't improve.

The mayor of Boston can't improve educational opportunities either.  As a Democrat, he'll be owned by the municipal employee unions.  Teachers' unions are dead set against anything that will diminish their right to run overpriced dropout mills; having spent millions defeating a statewide initiative to allow more charter schools, they are in no mood to change their ways.  The other Boston unions are united against working harder, maintaining streets better, or fixing up low-income housing.

He couldn't let the good guys defend themselves, even if he wanted to, because the liberals who live there would rise up and tear him to shreds with their bare hands.  Until very recently, Boston women weren't even allowed to carry harmless pepper spray!

In reality, there is nothing this politician could do to actually improve his community in any meaningful way.  But, organizing the community may propel him to higher office, so that's what he does.

Who knows how far he might go?  Barack Obama organized himself all the way to the White House!

Such is Saul Alinsky's heritage - much sound and fury elevating "activists" but doing nothing for the community.