Amid all of the hyperventilating about America going down the path of ruin, and the fact that decent, god-fearing Americans should be cleaning their guns, another story has somehow escaped larger notice this week.
ACORN, short for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been forced to shut its doors, thanks in no small part to a manufactured “scandal” in which what seems to have been a heavily-edited video made the rounds, and was played relentlessly on cable news outlets, especially FOX News.
Even though no one at ACORN had committed any crimes, there was a stampede in Congress to deny them funding. Not surprisingly, every member of the GOP voted to defund ACORN. What is particularly interesting - and maddeningly stupid is- that over 150 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to deny them funds as well.
We’ll get to the stupidity in a moment.
There is an overpowering reason that ACORN had to be destroyed, denied of any and all funding, made into a disreputable organization. As The Hightower Lowdown’s headline put it in the January 2010 issue:
Acorn’s real “crime” is that it empowers the poor
That has been a lot of the source of real rage in this country since the election of 2008. The “wrong” sort of people were celebrating that night, and certainly the wrong sort of people were flooding into Washington D.C. on Inaugural Day to celebrate Barack Obama taking office.
As much as I try to avoid words like “empowerment,” that is precisely what ACORN did. It empowered the poor and the working class in this country. It taught ordinary folks that they didn’t have to sit and home and whine about the conditions of their lives, but could organize together and improve life for themselves, their families, their communities, and their country.
Naturally, this has always made ACORN a threat to those who revere the status quo, or feel threatened by the thought of working class folk organizing on behalf of their communities.
One would expect Republicans to jump on the nuke-Acorn bandwagon, but Democrats, who have not only benefitted from the votes of committed low-income and working class individuals, but have traditionally sought their votes?
Yes, it was not only stupid, but it was also short-sighted beyond belief.
Who benefits with ACORN out of the picture? Those who want to rip-off communities without fear of political reprisal, and those who don’t like to see “undesirables” marching into the voting booth.
We will be left with charlatans who organize under the clarion call of “freedom,” but who are are in truth nothing but the shock troops of corporations and a right-wing movement determined make true individual empowerment nothing but a distant memory.
A good person to interview locally about ACORN
If the local paper or TV stations were interested in speaking with anyone with knowledge about ACORN, they would do well to seek out former Grapevine editor Peter Tooker, who once worked for the organization in the 1970s.
In fact, there was even an ACORN office in Fayetteville.
Quote of the Day
An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's. -- J.D. Salinger
7 questions on sacred cows of cinema
At a time when more and more families gather around the TV to watch the latest animated crap-fest and let their minds all turn to goo together, it’s good to remember that there are still good movies out there to watch.
This is a fun little quiz that I found on the BBC website this morning. I only got five out of seven right, so obviously I have some serious goo to clean out.