Is ACORN behind violent unrest in Ferguson?
By Matthew Vadum
ACORN's old Missouri chapter is playing at least a supporting role in the violent unrest and crime wave that has plagued Ferguson and St. Louis, Missouri since the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown.
With all the pathologies on parade right now in and around Ferguson, really, how could the loyalists of ACORN, which once claimed a membership of 400,000, have stayed away from the opportunity to lynch a white police officer for doing his job? The recruiting and fundraising opportunities for the cop-hating progressive movement are virtually unlimited.
What's going on in Ferguson is mobocracy at its ugliest.
Activists are blackmailing the grand jury that is now hearing evidence against police officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown in August reportedly in self-defense. If the grand jurors refuse to indict Wilson, radical activists are promising even more mayhem.
The message is unmistakable: indict the cop, and there will be peace. Don't, and Ferguson will burn.
One of the groups deeply involved in causing chaos in Ferguson is Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.
MORE is the rebranded Missouri branch of the former Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010. That ACORN state chapter reconstituted itself in December 2009 as MORE under orders from ACORN's national headquarters. President Obama used to work for ACORN, and he represented it in court as a lawyer.
MORE has been active in the protests and in efforts to free jailed demonstrators so they can continue vandalizing businesses, intimidating perceived adversaries, setting fires, throwing projectiles and urine at cops, and engaging in the left's usual modes of so-called nonviolent protest. MORE believes that protesters should be given a blank check to inflict whatever harm they wish on the community in pursuit of social justice.
MORE is also a recipient of taxpayer funding – and to no one's surprise, it is not a good steward of those dollars.
MORE received $21,000 for its "foreclosure prevention" efforts but "did not fully comply" with the rules, according to the St. Louis city comptroller's "fiscal monitoring review" released a few days before Brown was shot.
MORE is one of the now defunct ACORN network's most active renamed state chapters. In 2010, MORE activists did their best to cause a near-riot at a Chase bank office in a St. Louis suburb. Activists screamed, "Predatory lender, criminal offender!" and demanded that banks not foreclose on defaulted mortgages. MORE also was trying to shake down Chase, whose philanthropic arm contributed millions of dollars to ACORN, for some more money.
MORE's executive director is longtime ACORN organizer Jeff Ordower. Ordower, an outspoken vote fraud apologist, previously ran Missouri ACORN and oversaw ACORN's Midwest operations. He was also an SEIU organizer in Texas.
In his online biography, Ordower boasts that he was "one of a group of founders of the Chicago based organization Gender Just, which merged queer, class and racial justice." The bio states that he "is welcoming co-conspirators in attempts to scale up numbers of radical organizers who can financially support themselves in the work."
Under Ordower's leadership, MORE is a magnet for the community organizers, lowlifes, and lawbreakers now waging war in the streets nightly against beleaguered Ferguson police and businesses.
Following longstanding ACORN practice, MORE has been throwing out the welcome mat for criminals. On its Facebook page the group offers fugitives an opportunity to stay one step ahead of the authorities. It recently hosted an event that allowed possible absconders to verify if warrants were pending for their arrest. The Facebook post asks would-be attendees:
Don't know if you have any outstanding bench warrants? Join MORE and ArchCity Defenders for a free warrant search. This is an opportunity to find out if you have any warrants without having to worry about being arrested in the process.
Criminals are, of course, natural community organizers.
Community organizing guru Saul Alinsky openly admitted his ties to the Al Capone gang in 1930s Chicago. Alinsky befriended hit man "Big Ed" Stash and Frank Nitti, who took over the gang after Capone went to prison in 1931.
In Alinsky's own words, Nitti "took me under his wing" as he explored the inner workings of the criminal underground. "I called him Professor and I became his student," Alinsky said.
Attacking the structure of society is what criminals and community organizers do. As Alinsky wrote in Rules for Radicals, a community organizer must foment unrest and anarchy.
The organizer’s first job is “community disorganization” by manufacturing crises in order to inflame the community. The organizer must “create the issues or problems.” He must “rub raw the resentments of the people of the community” and “fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression.”
The organizer must “agitate to the point of conflict” because without friction and controversy, “people are not concerned enough to act.” Having harangued the community out of its feelings of complacency, the organizer then directs its rage at specific targets and scapegoats, providing “a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations.”
Officer Darren Wilson makes a perfect target for the highly active remnants of the ACORN activist empire.
Matthew Vadum (website) is an investigative journalist in Washington, D.C., and author of the ACORN/Obama exposé, Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Ripping Off and Terrorizing American Taxpayers. Follow him on Twitter. E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.