ACORN is the New Dirty Word: Rinku Sen at New America Media

By Channing Kennedy Oct 01, 2009

Check out ColorLines publisher Rinku Sen’s new op-ed at New America Media, in which she takes on the dangerous double standard behind the attacks on ACORN, and the consequences of not fighting back:

The attack on ACORN isn’t about fighting corruption. If it was, then dozens of corporations with federal contracts far larger than ACORN’s would be under investigation now, or would already have been cut off. The anti-ACORN Senate bill implicates any government contractor that has fraudulent paperwork, or is accused of violating lobbying or campaign finance laws. That list includes Blackwater, the private security contractor that has been implicated in civilian deaths during the Iraq war. Florida Congressman Alan Grayson is collecting a list of such contractors. Of course, Congress could make ACORN obsolete by passing and enforcing laws that protect poor people from being pushed to the margins of society. Instead of paying ACORN to register voters, the federal government could actually punish voter suppression, which is largely directed at people of color and immigrants. It could adopt automatic voter registration systems that would be triggered by an 18th birthday or driver’s license being issued. It could pass predatory lending laws that protect us from insane interest rates, and then ACORN wouldn’t have to counsel its members about avoiding foreclosure. The assault on ACORN is an assault on community organizing. Organizing is essential to building the power of poor people, immigrants and people of color to protect their interests. This is the time to stand up for ACORN, not just to keep this vital part of our national infrastructure, but also to prevent the hate from tying up all of us. That’s why we must demand that our election officials and media outlets stop this unwarranted campaign against the poor and people of color.

Check it out at New America Media.