Head of DNC's Faith Outreach Disassociates Himself From NHCLC
gregmetzger printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:09:12 PM EST
An article I did that originally ran at my personal blog on  Friday, November 9, detailing the story of Samuel Rodriguez and highlighting the many individuals and institutions that have worked with him, has received a quick and significant reply from the Rev. Derrick Harkins.
As I explained in my article, Harkins is publicized on the advisory board of Rodriguez's NHCLC organization at the NHCLC's website and promotional materials. Harkins' seeming alliance with Rodriguez is one of the puzzling aspects of the Rodriguez story given the fact that Harkins has been the head of Faith Outreach for the Democratic National Committee. Fortunately, Harkins has immediately and unequivocally cleared up the story with his public comment to my article. I post here his comment in its entirety, noting that it corroborates the general timeline I presented in my article and that it once again calls into question the integrity of the NHCLC's presentation of itself to the public. If Harkins has "no association with NHCLC" then why does Rodriguez continue to feature him as a supporter of his controversial mission? Are there other figures that the NHCLC publicly claims to be in support of them who are similarly unaware of their actions? Those questions will remain, but for now here are Harkins' words:

I wanted to take a moment to let you know that that it came as a surprise to me that I was still listed as an Advisory Board member to the NHCLC. I have not had any connection with them or Sam Rodriguez in more than six years, and stand at polar opposites with Rev. Rodriguez on most issues. At the time when immigration reform was being debated in Congress (2006-2007), I was one of a very few African American clergy to voice my support. I gladly collaborated with a number of groups working toward the same end. Unfortunately since then Rev. Rodriguez has embraced some perspectives that differ from my own. I have no association with NHCLC, or the advisory board in any way, and will inform them to remove any reference to me.

Thank You

Derrick Harkins

Derrick Harkins is still listed on the NHCLC site (see http://www.nhclc.org/content/derrick-harkins and http://www.nhclc.org/en/category/leadership/board-advisors?page=1 ) but given that this issue has blown up over a long weekend, I think we could reasonably expect the NHCLC to take care of this next week, after the Monday holiday.

It will be good to see Harkins' photo disappear from where it currently sits, next to Cindy Jacobs image. Quite jarring.

by Bruce Wilson on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:13:44 PM EST

is if reporters like Lisa Miller at the Washington Post stop puffing Rodriguez and start reporting the whole story about him, including what Harkins has done. Until that happens, NHCLC and its publicity juggernaut will keep saying whatever they want/need at the given moment to stay in the media spotlight.

by gregmetzger on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 11:29:48 PM EST

all of this sounds like Rodriguez is playing to the "But it's a CHURCH, it can't be THAT BAD!!!" meme running through a lot of mainstream and liberal groups (especially churches).  He's using their blind spots against them by trying to seem to be supporting causes they support (and so they tend to ignore his reality because he is a "Good Christian").

Very much typical steeplejacker action - The instant I first learned he was Assemblies of God, I knew whatever came from his mouth had to be doubted and taken with a block of salt, and obviously I was right.  Anything the steeplejacker does isn't for helping the poor or the group they've targeted... it's all dedicated to manipulating people into accepting lies and starting down the slippery path towards dominionism.

This is good news that Harkins severed connections some time ago and denounced Rodriguez.  We need to avoid that type of subversive mole like the plague.

by ArchaeoBob on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 05:23:19 PM EST

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