ACORN: Bizarre and Corrupt

, Allie Winegar Duzett, Leave a comment

According to John Fund of The Wall Street Journal, there is one question above all that Americans should be asking with regards to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now): “How did they get away with so much for so long?”

Fund posited two possible answers at Accuracy in Media’s 40th Anniversary Conference held on October 23, 2009, the first being a “presumption of good intentions.  ACORN was a community organizing group,” Fund said.  “When their offices were raided in Nevada,” he noted, they told the world, “We’re just community organizers, like the president.”

“Community organizers have a noble tradition in America,” Fund said, referring to America’s past of organizing communities for purposes of freedom.  During the Revolutionary War, community organization was key.   However, Fund said, ACORN has “subverted that tradition, and turned it into something both bizarre and corrupt.”  ACORN has used many ugly strategies to bend banks and other corporations to their will.

“The second reason why ACORN I think got away with it for so long, in addition to the good intentions they were credited for, was frankly the subject of race,” Fund said, explaining that the founders of ACORN—who were white—had started ACORN with a plan to use minorities to overload America’s welfare system and eventually bring capitalism down from the inside, and “have the revolution.”  But, Fund added, “Over the years I think [ACORN] morphed into something far more predatory.”  He explained that today, a few white people run ACORN and its affiliates—while letting the minorities become the face of the organizations and do the dirty work for them.

“The culture of ACORN was to encourage people to bend the rules, break the rules, lean over the rules, to get the job done.  And whenever they got caught…ACORN simply blamed it on a few bad seeds, a few bad apples, and threw them under the bus,” Fund said.  He compared this strategy of ACORN’s to a plantation, saying that it was “plantation-style” to have white people exploiting black people in this manner.  “If there was any exploitation, it was by the people who ran ACORN, who were using minority people as a shield for their predatory activities,” Fund argued.

“We have to get beyond race when it comes to malefactors,” he said.  “When people are doing bad things and misusing taxpayer dollars, they must be held accountable regardless of who they are.”

Allie Winegar Duzett is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.

 

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