The American Civil Liberties Union is a “nonprofit and nonpartisan” organization that claims its dedication to fighting government encroachment of individual rights.
It states on its site:
“With more than 1.7 million members, 500 staff attorneys, thousands of volunteer attorneys, and offices throughout the nation, the ACLU of today continues to fight government abuse and to vigorously defend individual freedoms including speech and religion, a woman’s right to choose, the right to due process, citizens’ rights to privacy and much more,” adding that “The ACLU is frequently asked to explain its defense of certain people or groups—particularly controversial and unpopular entities such as the American Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Nation of Islam.”
Would the ACLU defend the freedom of speech of the KKK and neo-Nazis today? One leaked memo from 2018 suggests otherwise. The memo, “ACLU Case Selection Guidelines: Conflicts Between Competing Values or Priorities” stated that it may decline a case “the extent to which the speech may assist in advancing the goals of white supremacists or others whose views are contrary to our values.”
Reason reports that Ira Glasser, an executive director of the ACLU for 23 years before retirement, expressed his concern over the organizations politicization of issues. By becoming less absolutist when defending freedom of speech, the ACLU risks “shrugging off a hard-earned legacy.”
“There is no social justice movement in America that has ever not needed the First Amendment to initiate its movement for justice, to sustain its movement to justice, to help its movement survive,” Glasser says. He’s the subject in the new documentary Mighty Ira on his time in the ACLU.
Shortly before the trial of Derek Chauvin, American Pigeon correspondent Yaakov Strasberg filmed an undercover video of a 30 year long ACLU member and protest monitor admitting that “an activist on the inside, but a protest monitor on the outside.”
Undercover video shows 30 year long @ACLU member/protest monitor admitting that "he's an activist on the inside, but a protest monitor on the outside".
(Video was taken shortly before the Derek Chauvin trial.)
— American Pigeon (@AmericanPigeon) October 7, 2021