In the wake of the devastating Detroit riots of the summer of 1967, Michigan Gov. George Romney — a liberal Republican — met the radical organizer Saul Alinsky to discuss the grievances of the urban black poor. Now Romney’s son is fighting for the Republican nomination, and his main rival, Newt Gingrich, has made Barack Obama’s alleged ties to Alinsky a centerpiece of his campaign.

“I think you ought to listen to Alinsky,” Romney told his white allies, according to T. George Harris’s 1968 book, “Romney’s Way.”

“It seems to me that we are always talking to the same people. Maybe the time has come to hear new voices,” he said.

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