Statement from Bertha Lewis, Chief Organizer, ACORN Regarding Recent News ReportsSeptember 12, 2009
The relentless attacks on ACORN’s members, its staff and the policies and positions we promote are unprecedented. An international entertainment conglomerate, disguising itself as a “news” agency (Fox), has expended millions, if not tens of millions of dollars, in their attempt to destroy the largest community organization of Black, Latino, poor and working class people in the country. It is not coincidence that the most recent attacks have been launched just when health care reform is gaining traction. It is clear they’ve had these tapes for months.
We are their Willy Horton for 2009. We are the boogeyman for the right-wing and its echo chambers. If ACORN did not exist, the right-wing would have needed to create us in order to achieve their agenda, their missions, their ideal, retrograde America. This recent scam, which was attempted in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia to name a few places, had failed for months before the results we’ve all recently seen. I am appalled and angry; I cannot and I will not defend the actions of the workers depicted in the video, who have since been terminated. But it is clear that the videos are doctored, edited, and in no way the result of the fabricated story being portrayed by conservative activist “filmmaker” O’Keefe and his partner in crime. And, in fact, a crime it was – our lawyers believe a felony – and we will be taking legal action against Fox and their co-conspirators.
We will not be intimidated by this international conglomerate, which has made as its mission the destruction of our organization. ACORN members are committed to the empowerment of their communities – Black, Latino, poor, and working class – at the deepest level. We are an organization committed to halting the foreclosure crisis and keeping people in their homes. We are an organization committed to ensuring quality, affordable health care for every American. We are an organization that will not be stopped in our commitment to our members and our communities which has included:
- Helping hundreds of thousands of African-American and Latino voters register to vote and get to the polls in recent years;
- Preparing, since 2004, approximately 150,000 free tax returns totaling $190 million in refunds and increased earned income tax credit participation;
- Providing effective foreclosure prevention advocacy saving thousands of American families from losing their homes to foreclosure.
Another statement from Margaret Williams, Board Member, Maryland was issued on 9/10/09 – yup it’s racist.