Dear Rev. Rodriguez and the leadership of the NHCLC,
On November 9, I published an article on Rev. Rodriguez and the NHCLC. In this article I noted that the Rev. Derrick Harkins, head of Faith Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, is listed and pictured at the NHCLC website as a member of your Advisory Board. Shortly after posting this article I received a public comment from Rev. Harkins, followed up by a personal email from him, both attesting to his shock that he was being publicized as a supporter of the NHCLC. Here are the exact words as they appear at my article’s web page:
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.
These comments from Rev. Harkins prompt me to ask the following questions of the leadership of the NHCLC:
1. When will you correct your website by removing Rev. Harkins from your Board of Advisors and taking down his picture from all promotional materials associated with your organization?
2. Why has Rev. Harkins been listed on our advisory board when, according to him, he has “no association with NHCLC, or the advisory board in any way”?
3. Are there other figures on your publicity materials that are similarly unaware of the way that their reputation is being used to enhance the public image of your organization?
4. The NHCLC has been a part of amicus briefs siding with major power companies. Is the leadership of NHCLC aware that the organization is siding with power companies in these lawsuits? How does this relate to the stated mission of the NHCLC?
Given the public nature of these questions this letter will be published as an open letter, as will any reply you send to me.