LA Times: The ACLU Should Decided Free Speech Based On Social Justice Or Something

LA Times: The ACLU Should Decided Free Speech Based On Social Justice Or Something

As you’re well aware, there’s been a long simmering debate about Free Speech, particularly on campus. It is now exploding into a much wider debate, and the LA Times gives “Laura Weinrib, a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, and the author of “The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise“, a platform to call for rolling back Free Speech by government decree

The ACLU’s free speech stance should be about social justice, not longstanding precedent

The American Civil Liberties Union has been much scrutinized since its decision to represent white supremacists in their quest to march in Charlottesville, Va. Board members have resigned and allies have declared that the ACLU, at long last, has gone too far. In the aftermath, the ACLU of California issued an equivocal statement, endorsed by the national ACLU, clarifying that the 1st Amendment “does not protect people who incite or engage in violence” but reiterating the organization’s complete support for “freedom of speech and expression.”

Commentators have rightly observed that the ACLU has defended far-right speech since its founding, despite fierce criticism. But there is a common and mistaken premise in this analysis. It assumes that the organization has always believed, as it does today, that “freedom of expression is an end in itself.” In reality, the early ACLU viewed free speech as a tool of social justice, suited to particular purposes under particular conditions.

She then goes through the history of how the ACLU defended the Nazis and fascsists here in America who marched in the 1930’s, because, get this, it supposedly made the labor movement stronger. Now, though

Almost a century later, is a dogged commitment to free speech still the best strategy for an organization that is avowedly pursuing the “advancement of civil rights and social justice”? That question once again requires evaluation of conditions on the ground.

You can see she’s building up to something. The professor is upset that 1st Amendment protections are given to corporations (perhaps we should take them away from the corporation that publishes her book, and the school that employs her?), and

Today’s 1st Amendment has plenty of eager defenders. As the ACLU reassesses its agenda, it should consider a warning issued by a disaffected board member when, on the brink of World War II, the organization assumed its current neutral posture. “Speech and the other civil liberties are meaningful only to men who dare to use them,” he insisted—and “before ‘daring’ come bread and water, come roots in the community, comes respite from fear.”

Can you see the “well, sure, everyone should have free speech, but…..” in there? These same people never seem to realize that what they consider fearful can be turned around on themselves. You know what? I want a respite from the fear caused by her book. I find it hateful and mean. It should be banned and not allowed to be published anymore. See how easy that it?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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