The ACLU has made the name of the organization Orwellian
The acronym “ACLU” stands for “American Civil Liberties Union.” Once a proud defender of free speech and other liberties, it stood by the principle of defending the right to speak even for those whose speech is offensive.
But that’s so Twentieth Century. A brand new day his dawned, in which the ACLU is in favor of civil liberties only for those who support the left, making the “civil liberties” in the title something like Orwell’s Ministry of Truth and Ministry of Love, the opposite of what it professes to be.
Founded in 1920, almost exactly 100 years ago, the organization’s original credo was (emphasis mine), “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
No more. Here’s law professor Josh Blackman on the changing of the ACLU guard:
…[T]he New York Times published a detailed analysis about the ACLU’s “identity crisis.” The article begins with a vignette about David Goldberger, who argued the famous Skokie Nazi case for the ACLU. In 2017, the ACLU gave him an award. But during the ceremony, he felt a growing unease.
“A law professor argued that the free speech rights of the far right were not worthy of defense by the A.C.L.U. and that Black people experienced offensive speech far more viscerally than white allies. In the hallway outside, an A.C.L.U. official argued it was perfectly legitimate for his lawyers to decline to defend hate speech. Mr. Goldberger, a Jew who defended the free speech of those whose views he found repugnant, felt profoundly discouraged. ‘I got the sense it was more important for A.C.L.U. staff to identify with clients and progressive causes than to stand on principle,’ he said in a recent interview. ‘Liberals are leaving the First Amendment behind.’
No, Mr. Goldberger; these are not liberals. They are leftists, and the difference is that leftists do not care about the First Amendment, any other amendment, or civil liberties, if those things stand in the way of their power. In fact, any liberal who “leaves the First Amendment behind” has also left liberalism behind. And these days the ACLU is staffed nearly entirely by leftists rather than liberals, as the rest of Josh Blackman’s article describes.