Tags: George W. Bush | Barack Obama | Editor's Pick | hud | alphonso | jackson

Fmr. HUD Secretary: Obama Still a Community Organizer

By Ronald Kessler   |   Wednesday, 17 Aug 2011 11:44 AM

The key to understanding Barack Obama is that he was a community organizer, Alphonso Jackson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bush, tells Newsmax.

To this day, few people know what a community organizer is. Jackson does, and it does not bode well for Obama. “A community organizer organizes people who have had difficulty producing,” Jackson says.

“When you are a community organizer, what you get most of the time is people telling you what their problems are and why they don’t succeed.”
In many cases, they are blacks who blame their lack of achievement on whites.

“When I was running public housing in Dallas, blacks would come in and tell me, ‘You know, we can’t do this because the white man keeps us from doing this,’ and I would always say, ‘Well I did, and I came up in a segregated environment,’” Jackson says. “I said, ‘You can do it, if you choose to do it.’”

When Jackson, 65, was growing up in Dallas, blacks had to sit at the back of the bus. They could not drink from the same water fountain as whites. They were not allowed into the same restaurants or even on the same floor of department stores as whites.

Jackson’s father was a Republican, but Jackson grew up as a Democrat. He began to have second thoughts about being a Democrat after a white athletic director at Truman State University in Missouri, who was a Democrat, told him he was not capable of majoring in political science and taking pre-law classes. Instead, he said, Jackson — an All-American athlete — should major in physical education.
Image of HUD's former secretary Alphonso Jackson.
Alphonso Jackson

Jackson told Ken Gardner, a white track coach who was a Republican, what the athletic director had said. “He looked at me and he said, ‘You don’t have to be a physical education major,’” Jackson says. “He took me in to see the athletic director, and the athletic director backed off. I had never experienced a white person who truly had faith in our abilities.”

Jackson asked his father why he was a Republican. “Because the Republicans respect me as a human being,” his father said. “They don’t categorize me as a black.”

His father pointed out that it was Democrats who had tried to prevent him and other blacks from voting, by imposing poll taxes and literacy tests.

Jackson’s father had a fifth grade education but never thought the government owed him a living, Jackson says: “My father worked three jobs. He got up every morning at 5. I got up with him to eat breakfast with him. He went to the foundry. He left the foundry at 4 p.m. He cleaned buildings until 11 at night. He came home and went to bed. We cut yards on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. He had 12 children, and he educated all 12 of us.”

By the early 1980s, the younger Jackson had adopted his father’s thinking, and he became a Republican. A lawyer, Jackson became a good friend of George W. Bush, who got to know Alphonso when he headed the Dallas Housing Authority.

As outlined in my book “Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady,” Bush and Laura would socialize with Jackson and his wife Marcia. Their kids went to the movies together.

“I’m not sure that Obama understands the fiscal and jobs issues that we are facing today,” Jackson says. “His perspective is that the government can do everything.”

Having been secretary of HUD, “I think that government can do very little,” Jackson says. “I truly believe, as did Ronald Reagan, that you should get out of the way and let the private sector handle what it should be handling.”

Instead, he notes, Obama still has the mentality of a community organizer, expanding government and putting the deficit on steroids.
“I’m afraid for our country,” Jackson says.

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is a New York Times best-selling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. His latest, "The Secrets of the FBI," has just been published. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via email. Go Here Now.

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