When the 250,000 protesters expected in New York for the Republican Convention finish throwing stuff at the delegates and giving them fake directions, as creepy left-wing cartoonist Ted Rall advocates (see the Other Charlotte’s It’s the Hatred, Stupid, below, today), expect many of the same folks to show up at the next major Gathering of the Radical Bush-Hating Tribes: The “No Room for Poverty Rally” on Sept. 4 in Washington, D.C.
Since Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” some 40 years ago turned out to create more social problems than it solved (it took three decades for Washington, D.C., to get rid of the drug-infested wasteland near our downtown in one of the “Model Cities” that the Johnson’s Great Society created), the stated aim of this new rally is to get even more government programs going, including the setting up of a “White House Conference on Poverty” by the next president. The thinking seems to be this: Just as the problem of free speech can be solved by more free speech, so the problem of poverty programs can be solved by more poverty programs.
Sponsoring the rally is an organization called the Community Action Partnership, which claims to be “the preeminent community building, human services delivery, and low-income advocacy network in America” (check out its website for the vintage New Deal-style graphics–I expected an audio loop of “This Land Is Your Land” to play any second). Partnering the partnership is a huge range of the usual suspects, including La Raza and our dear sisters at the National Organization for Women, which is promoting the rally on its own website. Here’s what NOW says:
“Organizers say the rally — focusing on health care, jobs, housing, education and the digital divide — will urge the presidential candidates to pledge to create a White House Conference on American Poverty to tackle issues particularly impacting low-income residents of the U.S.”
Digital divide? When was the last time the NOWistas visited a so-called “poverty” neighborhood? I live just a block away from one of the largest concentrations of housing projects in Washington, and there’s scarcely a teenager on the street who’s not working a cell phone, a BlackBerry, or a PlayStation. I don’t know how they got this stuff, being so poor and all.
I couldn’t help but notice that one of the rally sponsors is the Alliance for Justice, not what you’d call an anti-poverty group: its chief goal these days is to block President G.W. Bush’s judicial appointments. Hmm, can’t help but think that rallying against poverty really means rallying to defeat You Know Whom.