Breaking: Mentor States that Obama Was Training and Working in Chicago in 1982


by Sharon Rondeau and Martha Trowbridge

(May 22, 2012) — A Northwestern University professor emeritus, John McKnight, stated that he mentored Obama in community organizing in Chicago in 1982.

However, Obama claims he was attending Columbia University in New York City at that time.

In recounting the screening of the program applicants, McKnight said, “Tell us about yourself and why you want to change the world.”

“We had 20 particular organizations where we could place people,” McKnight said.  Trainees were to be “apprenticed” to “organizing neighborhoods.”

According to McKnight’s biography:

For nearly three decades, John McKnight has conducted research on social service delivery systems, health policy, community organizations, neighborhood policy, and institutional racism. He currently directs research projects focused on asset-based neighborhood development and methods of community building by incorporating marginalized people.

A YouTube video reveals how McKnight said, that on the first day, each trainee introduced himself and said why he or she “wanted to change the world.”  He recalled that the last student to do so was a “tall, skinny guy with big ears and a funny name:  ‘Barack Obama.'”

“Barack was one of our first trainers,” McKnight said, and mentioned the years 1982, 1983 and 1984.

Obama reportedly told McKnight that he wished to enter “public life.”  McKnight suggested that he would have to attend law school in order to become an elected official and reportedly wrote the letter of recommendation for Obama.  Obama reportedly believed that McKnight was “the only professor I know who would write” a letter for him, presumably because he “didn’t do too well in college.”

McKnight said that he reminded Obama that he had been involved in “advocacy” work but that politics “was almost the reverse.”  McKnight then discussed “the possibility of a new unity” and that his trainees were “a big part” of that movement.

One Response to "Breaking: Mentor States that Obama Was Training and Working in Chicago in 1982"

  1. The Obama Timeline author   Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    From The Obama Timeline:

    [In 1988] A Harvard letter of recommendation for Obama is also written by John McKnight, who serves on the Gamaliel Foundation’s Board of Directors as well as the board of National People’s Action (NPA), yet another Alinsky-inspired activist group. The NPA consists of thugs and agitators who, when picketing the homes of business and government leaders to demand more welfare benefits and government handouts sing: “Who’s on your hit list, NPA? Who’s on your hit list of today? Take no prisoners, take no names. Kick ’em in the a** when they play their games.”

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