The political shakedown game has been played in Chicago for over a century, and Barack Obama was part of that game when he moved to town in 1985. The game is played by demanding kickbacks and threatening to stir trouble, and while the rules have changed, community organizers now extract "concessions", which amount to patronage bribes.
Barack Obama was a community organizer for 3 years before attending Harvard Law School. He stopped being one allegedly because "he was tired of begging politicians for handouts. He wanted to be on the inside, where he believed the real power to inspire and organize people lay." When it comes to Obama's presidential library on the south side of Chicago, he now finds himself on the other side of the table.
Enter Jeanette Taylor, the education director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, who walked into a public meeting last September, where Obama took questions via video conference. “The library is a great idea, but what about a community benefits agreement?” Taylor asked, a CBA being a patronage contract; “The first time investment comes to black communities, the first to get kicked out is low-income and working-class people. Why wouldn’t you sign a CBA to protect us?”
According to Politico: "Obama... said, “I know the neighborhood. I know that the minute you start saying, ‘Well, we’re thinking about signing something that will determine who’s getting jobs and contracts and this and that’ … next thing I know, I’ve got 20 organizations coming out of the woodwork'". The Community Organizer was furious, saying "He got a lot of nerve saying that,” Taylor told [Politico]. “He forgot who he is. He forgot the community got him where he is.”
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