Does the ACLU Still Care About Civil Liberties?

The organization historically concerned with individual freedoms has abandoned its once cherished platform for something altogether new. 

By King Lars

Recently, Gov. Anthony Cuomo of New York implemented a ban on the display and sale of Confederate flags, swastikas, and other hate symbols. Of course, this is a blatant infringement of the first amendment which allows for the freedom of expression, something that even Cuomo himself acknowledged

Despite their illegality, most of these political moves have gone largely unopposed and uncriticized by the mainstream liberal media. Who really wants to fight on the side of dead Confederates and Nazis, anway?

Well, at one time, there was one organization who would have: the American Civil Liberties Union. 

The ACLU has had a history of riling up both sides of the political aisle in the pursuit of maintaining civil liberties outlined in the United States constitution, boldly proclaiming itself to be the “nation’s guardian of liberty.” The institution campaigned against the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War I and defended the free speech of the Ku Klux Klan and the Westboro Baptist Church. Once a controversial organization hell-bent on protecting civil liberties, it is now, sadly, a shell of its former self. 

In the past, the ACLU would have been on the front line to advocate for any and all constitutionally granted rights, but they are now silent in the presence of growing governmental power. Where is the ACLU to denounce the encroachment of free speech in New York? Where are they to criticize the authoritarian lockdowns in Michigan and California? Is it not our rights as our American to freely express ourselves and peacefully assemble? 

This is shocking to some who remember the ACLU that fought against the powers enacted in the Patriot Act in the era post-9/11, which marked a decisive rise in the power of the federal government. Why is the ACLU gone silent in a time when we need it more than ever?

Well, these days, the majority of the ACLU’s stances are grounded in principles that cater to leftist politics. Namely, the concept of racial equity over equality. Now, the institution argues that freedom of speech can be a detriment, specifically “[s]peech that denigrates such groups can inflict serious harms and is intended to and often will impede progress toward equality…”  The group’s stance on free speech has taken a complete 180; once defending the rights of blatant racists and bigots, the ACLU’s former devotion to free speech once brought the ire of feminists in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The organization has taken on the banner of the vocal progressive-left in America and fights primarily for trendy, left-wing platforms in lieu of true liberty. 

The ACLU has also come out against the second amendment and due process in recent years, arguing against the individual’s right to own a fire arm and the right to due process on college campuses

The manipulation of the organization’s stances on civil rights and liberties should be a cause for concern. Now more than ever, we need someone fighting for the rights we all share as Americans — not just when it is advantageous to one political agenda. 

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed state governments across the country to take extreme measures — many of which are in direct opposition to the constitution. 

Extra-judicial lockdowns have been enacted throughout the country, with many facing opposition from state legislatures. However, these actions seem to only be the beginning of a wave of centralized power.

The ACLU needs to stick to their guiding principles or admit that they are no longer the champions of American liberties. There’s no real inbetween. 

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