2011 Statement Contradicts Claim From DNC Faith Outreach Head Harkins
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 10:18:21 AM EST
On November 9, 2012, an article by Catholic journalist and author Greg Metzger, Questioning the "Hispanic Karl Rove of evangelicals" -- which noted that Democratic National Committee Faith Outreach head Rev. Derrick Harkins' has been listed (and still is) on the Advisory Board of Rev. Samuel Rodriguez' National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (along with, of all people, apostle and prophet Cindy Jacobs) -- drew a rapid reply from Faith Outreach head Harkins, who expressed "shock" at being listed on the NHCLC board. Harkins issued a public statement, through Metzger, in which the DNC Faith Outreach head claimed that he had not worked with Rodriguez' NHCLC for at least six years.

But Harkins' claim seems to be directly contradicted by a Joint Statement for the House Judiciary Committee, on immigration, that Harkins issued together with NHCLC President Samuel Rodriguez on March 1, 2011. The Joint Statement identified Rodriguez as the NHCLC's President.

Declared Harkins, in his statement to Metzger,

"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"

[image, below: Rev. Derrick Harkins has been listed on the NHCLC Advisory Board since early 2009, according to cached pages of the NHCLC website retrieved from the Internet Archive]

and get a straight answer out of him? I don't want to call Harkins a hypocrite or a liar without knowing more than I do now, but this is pretty damning evidence of the usual "poor memory" of uncomfortable alliances.

by trog69 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:46:00 AM EST
Harkins continues to be listed as an NHCLC Advisory Board member, and I will make a point of this.

Is he truly concerned about getting his name off the NHCLC board list? Over a week has elapsed since Rev. Harkins responded to Greg Metzger's initial Nov. 9 piece. Harkins does not seem to have prioritized the matter, or else the NHCLC is being intransigent. But that would make little sense. Harkins would have every right to sue the NHCLC for misrepresentation or defamation of character if that were the case.  

In addition, it would have been better had Harkins been forthcoming with the fact that he collaborated with Samuel Rodriguez in 2011. I doubt there would have been negative repercussions from all but the most partisan on the left had Harkins admitted to a gradually dawning realization that Rodriguez was perhaps a poor choice of a leader to partner with. But now he's stuck with his factually challenged claim to have broken with Rodriguez and the NHCLC over six years ago.    

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 05:52:35 PM EST

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