Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The ACORN situation: A personal note.

I worked as an ACORN organizer for a short period of time in 2002. It was an intense, difficult, exasperating, and inspiring job at which I utterly failed.

However, that's kind of beside the point. During the time that I worked for ACORN, I registered hundreds of voters. I went into low-income, largely Hispanic neighborhoods, and I spent hours at the downtown Dallas bus stop.

Every voter registration form that I turned in at the end of the day was legitimate. There was never any attempt by my boss to get me to pad the registrations with fake names. It was a legitimate effort to empower low income folks to vote. In fact, everything I experienced when I was working for ACORN showed me a picture of an organization that is legitimately concerned with improving conditions for the working class in America.

Now, if the Repugs are really going to sink as low as to attack a legitimate community organization like ACORN that is working to improve the lives of working class Americans, then that's despicable.

On the other hand, if there is fraud happening, then sure, it should be investigated. But this whole situation in Nevada stinks. It smells exactly like a righty attempt to stop people from voting - the kind of efforts that the fascists are attempting all over the country in an effort to dam the flood of new Obama voters and prevent the inevitable landslide.

This is not to say that ACORN is not without its problems. For example, ACORN brutally repressed an IWW attempt to organize its organizers. ACORN's modus operandi is often a little more confrontational than it needs to be, and sometimes its campaigns alienate those people who should be its natural allies. But overall, ACORN is a decent, hardworking organization that is legitimately trying to empower people to take back their neighborhoods from crime and inept and corrupt public officials.