Friday, September 18, 2009
Gordon Gartrelle is a Welfare Queen: Confessions of an ACORN Beneficiary
The national press’ latest idiotic distraction is the community organization ACORN’s supposed corruption of such timeless American values as denying assistance to poor and minority populations. ACORN, of course, is still in the news only because Communist in Chief President Obama had a connection to the organization.
Those on the left have taken three main approaches in responding to the shameless duncery of the right wing machine and the lack of integrity of the mainstream media, which have combined to treat this ACORN-video scandal foolishness like a legitimate story:
1.) Point out the foolishness of the controversy and note its status as a non-issue manufactured by mental midgets, opportunistic ideologues, and news whores.
2.) Renounce ACORN. Cut all support for ACORN in theory and in practice , simply because the political damage to the President and Democrats is not worth the effort required to defend the organization.
3.) Defend ACORN. Defend the organization and its mission on the grounds of social justice, especially with regard to poor, underserved minority communities.
It should be clear that I’m in the first camp. I’m also in the third one. Defending ACORN isn’t a purely ideological matter for me, however; I have personal, practical reasons for supporting ACORN: it helped me buy my first home.
In my attempt to seize on the low interest rates, I decided to buy last summer after only a brief period of preparation (little did I know that rates would continue to decline). Based on income and the location of the place I was buying, I qualified for an ACORN first-time homebuyer’s program*. The program provided substantial credit toward closing costs and a lower down payment with no private mortgage insurance (this was key, since I decided to buy without a year’s worth of savings).
Check out the dastardly obligations ACORN required of me after they cleared my paperwork and financials:
A) Mandatory attendance at a 4 hour homebuyer’s informational seminar. During this seminar, a real estate agent, a loan officer, a real estate lawyer, and a home inspector spoke about common mistakes and misconceptions about the home buying process, and were especially focused on highlighting various scams.
and B) Two private sessions with a representative that included discussion about the terms of the program as well as Q and A sessions about every aspect of the home buying process.
I know, how insidious, right?
I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable guy, but the amount of information I needed to digest in such a short time period was massive. These ACORN sessions helped me ask the right questions to the lawyers, the bank, and the real estate agent. As helpful as this ACORN program was to me, this would be exponentially more helpful to parents and people with lower income, bad credit, and limited education.
That such a ridiculous attempt to smear this organization is not only treated credibly, but is framing the debate about community social justice programs is disgusting enough; having had first hand experience with the people of all races and ages who benefit from ACORN’s services, and having witnessed the professionalism of the ACORN workers, who were clearly understaffed, underfunded, and underpaid, I find the tactics especially loathsome.
It’s open season on the black President—that’s a given. He’s been in the PE crosshairs since he became a serious contender for the highest Office in the land. It’s also open season on anything that can even remotely be construed as benefiting black and brown poor people.
*This program may not even exist anymore because its funding was cut soon after I applied.