#87 – Dick Bernard: Stomping on ACORN

Wednesday’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune carried a long front-page article about a U.S. Senate action “to prohibit the Department of Housing and Urban Development from giving federal housing money to [ACORN #mce_temp_url# ]… because of some “ACORN workers, who appeared to blithely encourage postitution and tax evasion…[through] amateur actors, posing as a prostitute and pimp and recorded on hidden cameras in visits to ACORN offices….”   The vote was 83-7, meaning 7 voted “no” and 9 did not vote.
ACORN is a national organizations  which conservative activists love to hate.Its website (noted above) has the other side of the story, worth noting.
Because ACORN likely has tens of thousands local activists, the odds of a problem here or there is 100% certain.  (I worked an entire career for a very large teacher union, and periodically every teacher, and, of course, by extension their union, would be ‘indicted’ because some teacher did something stupid, and the union had represented the member to at least assure that his/her due process rights were protected.  It was an ugly game played to discredit (and punish) the whole, based on the sin of the few.  So it is with the ACORN flap….
I wrote a letter to the editor of the “STrib”, and a portion of the letter was published in today’s edition, as follows:
“Apparently the Senate has administered a “that’ll show’em” blow at ACORN, condemning the whole for the sins of the few.
Oh, for the justice that might require the sanctimonious judgmental blowhards who promoted this action to be individually called to account for the sins of their collegial “birds of a feather”, or of their supporters back home.
In the same edition which carried my letter, another headline trumpeted “Governor ends state funding for ACORN”.  In the body of the article, it was revealed that the group has not received any money from the state since May of 2008, and “had received a total of $109,000 since 1996.”    That was about $10,000 per year from 5,000,000 or so Minnesotans – less than a pittance, two tenths of a single penny per Minnesotan per year.  That’ll show ’em!
Governor Pawlenty is running actively as a Republican candidate for U.S. President in 2012.  His base has adopted ACORN as the enemy du jour.
The portion of my letter which was not printed in the newspaper continues:
“Ah, the dream…
Succinctly, we’re witnessing bullying behavior in all of its obnoxious forms, the taking down of ACORN only the most recent.
As we should know by now, backing down in the face of a bully only assures an escalation in the bullying behavior.  Who’ll be next?”
I’m sending my entire letter to the editor to my Senators and Congresswoman and the Governor along with a handwritten note.  
You can never satisfy a bully; but a bully can and should be called out on his (or her) bad behavior. Deep down, they’re really cowards….
And I’ll send a check to ACORN, too.
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE:  Some months ago I participated in a most interesting on-line seminar on managing fear.  It remains accessible at #mce_temp_url# .  The power point specifically references the relationship of bullying to personal fear.