ACORN Brand Burns Hot as Witch Hunt Continues

ACORN ACORN International Voting Rights

New Orleans    Election Day of 2010 ACORN in the United States closed its doors, but the ACORN brand still burns hot and true as the rightwing whacko witch hunt continues unabated.  Coming into another election season where not only voter suppression but wholesale attacks on anything remotely progressive are likely to be on the menu every day, not surprisingly conservatives are making sure the ACORN flag is flying whenever possible.

NEU4J or New England United for Justice is an organization that consolidated several formerly ACORN state affiliates in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut in their rebranding and survival strategy.  Now the rightwing bloggers and commentators are going crazy because the organization joined a host of others in a lawsuit filed last week to pushback at the voter obstacles. one of a band of rightwing zealot websites tried to obscure the lawsuit by dredging up long discredited and ancient charges about ACORN voter registration efforts back to 2008.  This is little more than a coded call to the ideological storm troopers.

Still waving the ACORN flag high as ACORN International in countries around the world in our federation, it is phenomenal to see how powerful and enduring the ACORN brand has become.   Most prominent has been ACORN Canada which is simply called ACORN by the press and public in that country without as much as an “eh?”  The ACORN brand in Italy, Kenya, India, the Czech Republic and Latin America in fact seems to bring out the troops and support, especially for those more familiar with ACORN’s legacy in the USA.

Recently I read a piece by the policy director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LANNE), the well respected research and advocacy organization in LA for hospitality workers about the struggles of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) in Michigan, entitled The ACORN of the Restaurant Industry, which was drawn from an attack on ROC for its work and an epitaph hurled by a disgruntled Michigan restaurant executive trying to tar ROC by identifying them as ACORN in that phrase.  I hope they were proud.  All indications are that the brand continues to burn white hot and for all the fear it brings to the haters, increasingly it is a red badge of honor for progressives to be painted by the ACORN brush.

I’ve always argued that a universal law of organizing is that you only really lose when you stop fighting.  The strength of the ACORN “brand,” high-priced consultants to the contrary, seems to be evolving and gaining ground.