Wednesday, May 24, 2006

When We Want Your Opinion, We Will Give It To You

The New York Times is reporting that the ACLU is considering "new standards" that would discourage its board members from publicly criticizing the organization's policies and internal administration.

"Where an individual director disagrees with a board position on matters of civil liberties policy, the director should refrain from publicly highlighting the fact of such disagreement," the committee that compiled the standards wrote in its proposals.

"Directors should remember that there is always a material prospect that public airing of the disagreement will affect the A.C.L.U. adversely in terms of public support and fund-raising," the proposals state.

The ACLU seems to think that free speech is not a requisite for their organization. Considering that they are the defenders of the most outrageous statements and are the supposed champions of the first amendment, isn't this just a wee bit hypocritical?

"For the national board to consider promulgating a gag order on its members — I can't think of anything more contrary to the reason the A.C.L.U. exists," said Nat Hentoff, a former A.C.L.U. board member.

Yet, Anthony Romero, the executive director, said it was not unusual for the A.C.L.U. to grapple with conflicting issues involving civil liberties. "Take hate speech," he said. "While believing in free speech, we do not believe in or condone speech that attacks minorities."

Actually, the issues are not "conflicting," they are contradictory. After always raising the spectre of Big Brother to defend some of its most vile causes, the ACLU has now become what they claim to despise. They have anointed themselves the Overlords of Political Correctness and they would tell us what speech is worth defending, who will have a voice and who will not.

There are some people in the ACLU who truly do believe in free speech for all, even those with whom they may disagree. Anthony Romero is not one of them, he has a different agenda and it is far more threatening to our freedoms than any Big Brother Boogeyman.

It seems he would like to purge the ACLU of those who do not agree with him. Read the whole article which details the acrimony inside the ACLU and see a sample of how tolerant Romero is of criticism and dissent.

Crossposted at Stop the ACLU.

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