Saturday, February 27, 2010

ACORN wins a big one against right-wing attempts to defund it

ACORN won a big battle in its struggle to overturn the unconstitutional congressional provisions specifically naming it for defunding. According to The Center for Constitutional Rights,
Yesterday, Wednesday, federal judge, for the second time, granted an injunction against Congress’ unconstitutional de-funding of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) to apply to federal budget provisions signed into law by President Obama in December 2009 and ordered the United State of America and several named agencies to rescind orders cutting off funding to ACORN and its affiliates and allies. A preliminary injunction was won in December 2009 in the Center for Constitutional Rights’ (CCR) case charging Congress with violating the U.S. Constitution’s protections against Bill of Attainders and the First and Fifth Amendments in several recurring resolutions. Today’s opinion extends that protection by ordering a permanent injunction and directing agency heads to disregard the provisions denying funding and to rescind the memos that implemented the Congressional action.

I think the best way to understand the congressional attack on ACORN is to ask, who's behind it? Or maybe, why is ACORN being targeted now? The answer is simple. The Republicans and their right-wing allies (the line between these two is getting more and more blurred) are deathly afraid of the enfranchisement of poor people and mostly people of color. That's exactly who ACORN is organizing. ACORN has fought for the last 40 years to get poor people, working class people and people of color access to the American dream. In very simple terms that means enfranchisement, education and a good job and home of one's own. These are hardly radical ideas. But they do require some changes, which the Republicans and their right-wing allies are ideologically against. They are opposed to broader enfranchisement, greater access to education and to home loans because securing access to these rights requires government intervention, the great bugaboo of the right.

ACORN is being targeted by the internal enemies of democracy because above and beyond everything else they are scared to death of the enfranchisement and empowerment of poor people and working people, particularly people of color. It's not accidental that this anti-ACORN attack follows the election of a person of color to the what is still to them the aptly named White House. It has not been missed by these people that if only the votes of white people were counted in 2008, John McCain would now be president. So the enfranchisement of poor people, people of color and young people does not bode well for the future of Republican/right wing power. And the primary goal of ACORN has always been the expansion of voting rights. But not just to expand the franchise, but to educate people how to exercise their power - the vote is only a part of that struggle. The struggle continues between the power of bribery (oops, I mean campaign contributions) and the power of the vote of an ORGANIZED constituency. And that's what ACORN does, it helps people to organize so that they can exercise their power. Human centered social change has never happened unless people were organized. And prepared to exercise their power both inside and outside the electoral process. Resistance is key and it takes many forms.

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