One People's Project
WASHINGTON—In the days after the so-called “Tea Party” held on Sept. 12, Tim Jones became somewhat of an internet hero for some in the right. That is due to a video of him taking on who he says were a few members of ACORN as they went into the rally area and attempted to sell the yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flags. According to Jones in the video, the African American vendors told a police officer that they were members of the organization that advocates for the poor. Sadly, ACORN has become a bogeyman of sorts for the right over the past year not just because of misconduct of some employees caught on video, but mostly because President Barack Obama used to work as a lawyer for them and some conservative activists see it as a good way to go after him.
The video has over 50,000 hits in one week of its posting on YouTube. A number of right-wing, anti-Obama blogs and websites have posted it, many of them calling Tim Jones a hero. Mark Levin posts the video on his Facebook page calling Jones an “American Patriot” and posting his email address so people can thank him. Some posters on Free Republic have attempted to change the adult vendor warning to the protesters of “He’s just a kid!” to her defending Obama by saying, “He is our King!” Of course, the racism comes out in several occasions. On the LiveLeak posting of the video, one person commented, “LOL @ whoever thought sending ghetto mamas to a conservative rally was a good idea.” A MySpace blog entry on the page for something called “ExposetheLiberals” titled “Black Acorn members walk around trying to sell a flag they hate 2 patriots 2 gain profit” went further, complaining about how these were the only black people he saw at the rally, and attacked black people for staying away. “With 1.5 million patriots I mean I would of expected to see at least few thousand blacks I mean they do live in and partake in this country of America! Do they hate America that much?” the poster asked, providing the incorrect number of people that attended the rally. “This tells me pretty much every one of them still follow Obama!” On Breitbart.tv, a comment on the video thread there by someone who called himself “demdicks” tries to pick a fight. “The 2010 elctions (sic) are going to be a riot, literally!!” the poster writes. “I know I’ll be there and so will tens of thousands of other people just HOPING to see some acorn, black panther action. Bring it on, boyz, we be waitin’ on ya.”
Jay Adams, the videographer who shot the video, did another video to comment on what had taken place in the first one. “In shooing out of ACORN, I hope to show that we’re shooing out a solution that is not going to work for this country,” he said. What works for this country is what our founding fathers have based – built this nation upon.”
There has however arisen a problem. While it is not known at press time who the street vendors in question were, ACORN says they never had people working at the rally, and with the exception of Tim Jones assertions in the video, no one else has been able to confirm that the situation was as Jones has said it was, and he has not been heard from since the video. The video’s legitimacy is based on the word of a man who has maintained a low to non-existent profile since the video came out, and the cameraman, a conspiracy theorist who believes that Russia want to launch a nuclear war to conquer the world.
Vendors are a common sight at any given rally or march in Washington D.C. What they sell on a particular day depends on who is going to be out. If it is an anti-war rally, peace sign buttons are the order of the day. If it is an inauguration, Patriotic-themed items will be for sale. This day saw the tea parties, and the vendors, who position themselves early in the morning to get the best spots sold the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag that was designed by Continental Colonel Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina in 1775 as a standard for the commander in chief of the American Navy. In addition, they sold foam pitchforks, “flush Congress” plungers, and various buttons. But according to ACORN spokesperson Ian Phillips, the only flags any of their members sell would be to their members at conventions. None of their people were at the Sept. 12 rally as vendors or for any reason representative to ACORN, and whomever was being targeted by Tim Jones in the video might have been unfortunate pawns in a rather racist game of his.
“It wasn't us,” Phillips told One People’s Project. “Unfortunately, you know this better from the work that you do, the kind of bogeymen that they've created over the years of some kind of freeloading person of color. Now they have transferred and said all these folks are with ACORN.”
Phillips says this kind of scapegoating is something that the organization has had to deal with, well before the Leadership Institute’s James O’Keefe videotaped various ACORN staffers suggesting ways to violate the law. Earlier in the year there were warnings from conservative figures like Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that ACORN was mounting a counterstrike against this element. “In Florida, they put it on their list groups that ‘ACORN is going to be there, come out in force and tell ACORN what you think of them or ACORN is going to infiltrate, If you see anyone holding a camera, they're from ACORN,’ but we never come to these things,” he said. “We never engage these kooks. We don't go and film, none of our staffers do.”
When One People’s Project contacted Adams to discuss the video in question, he first responded with “piss off,” but was persuaded to comment further. “Watch the video,” he wrote. “It is evident based upon the testimony of Tim Jones, the failure of the accused to address the allegation, etc., etc. But you don't want to see the truth. You want to misreport and misinform because you think this serves your interest. In this light, you're a fraudster defending fraudsters.”
I agree, we must do what we can.
Thank you kozanne for inviting me and your support.
I appreciate everyone’s thoughtful comments and support. We the People need to find a way to be more effective. I don’t know how yet, and I learn best by doing. Still searching for more effective ways. At least 2 truths can be followed:
1. Non-violent protest works
2. Shine the light bright, sound the alarm loud when fraud is detected.
Thanks again for your support,
With the possible exception of radio host Mark Levin very few conservative notables have commented on or promoted the Tim Jones video.