Sunday, October 15, 2017

The new free-speech wars within the ACLU

The ACLU’s own staff are attacking it for defending the alt-right’s rights.  Unusually for a mainly Leftist group, the ACLU was once a principled organization.  That may finally crumble  under a barrage of Leftist hate

America’s commitment to freedom of speech, embodied in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, is under increasing pressure everywhere from liberal university campuses to the White House.

Now even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) appears torn over which side it should be on in the new free-speech wars.

The ACLU has long been a beacon of liberty in the Western world, whose commitment to free speech for all puts to shame pallid imitators such as the UK’s misnamed Liberty lobby group. If the ACLU joins the retreat from an absolute defence of free speech, then…

The trouble centres on the ACLU’s defence of free-speech rights for the ‘alt-right’ and neo-Nazis, most notably around the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended with an anti-fascist protester being run down and killed.

This has sparked a serious backlash, notably among newer and younger members. ACLU membership has reportedly almost quadrupled since the election, with thousands seeing the organisation as a bulwark against President Trump’s attempts to trample on civil liberties.

After Charlottesville, many of them have recoiled from the ACLU’s defence of ‘hate speech’, effectively declaring that ‘we didn’t mean THOSE sorts of civil liberties!’. Or as one resigning member of the ACLU board in Virginia tweeted to his former colleagues: ‘Don’t defend Nazis to allow them to kill people.’

Protests focus on the alleged tension between the ACLU’s commitment to free speech for all on one hand, and to racial equality and justice on the other. When the lobby took on a lawsuit against the Washington Metro, contesting a ban on ads for a book by alt-right posterboy Milo Yiannopoulos, ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio was adamant that defending free speech for ‘white supremacists’ did nothing for the rights of black activists:

‘The idea that the speech of Black Lives Matter is being defended through the representation of someone like Milo is a farce in my view.’

Now some 200 of the ACLU’s 1,300 employees have signed an open letter protesting about the organisation’s ‘rigid stance’ in defence of the First Amendment and free speech for all.



Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you let important organizations fill up with lefties who would never get the irony that if the organization were completely filled by people on the right it would still work as hard as ever to defend the rights of all.

Bird of Paradise said...

The Atheists Communists & Lawyers Underground(ACLU)just another leftists group hiding behind the civil rights movment their just like the SJW it was founded by a communists

Anonymous said...

How sad that even the ACLU's lawyers cannot see that free speech for all is the only thing protecting their own speech.
Anyone who would allow the mob to trample on another's rights will eventually see their own underfoot.