Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

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Shem
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Shem » 23 Jun 2018, 23:58

thoreau wrote:
23 Jun 2018, 14:32
Actually, on second thought, post it anywhere you like, and even use my real name, but don't mention Thoreau.
Googling it will lead people straight here.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 24 Jun 2018, 01:21

Shem wrote:
thoreau wrote:
23 Jun 2018, 14:32
Actually, on second thought, post it anywhere you like, and even use my real name, but don't mention Thoreau.
Googling it will lead people straight here.
True. I'll delete it from here and share a copy with Lunchstealer if he wants it.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by lunchstealer » 24 Jun 2018, 15:59

thoreau wrote:
24 Jun 2018, 01:21
Shem wrote:
thoreau wrote:
23 Jun 2018, 14:32
Actually, on second thought, post it anywhere you like, and even use my real name, but don't mention Thoreau.
Googling it will lead people straight here.
True. I'll delete it from here and share a copy with Lunchstealer if he wants it.
Yeah, for that reason I decided not to share it. You could put it behind the veil if you wanted, but otherwise I'll leave it be.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Painboy » 01 Jul 2018, 14:07

Along the same lines.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/30/us/p ... court.html

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. People tend to use principals right up until it stops giving them what they want. Still disappointing.
Some liberals now say that free speech disproportionately protects the powerful and the status quo.

“When I was younger, I had more of the standard liberal view of civil liberties,” said Louis Michael Seidman, a law professor at Georgetown. “And I’ve gradually changed my mind about it. What I have come to see is that it’s a mistake to think of free speech as an effective means to accomplish a more just society.”

To the contrary, free speech reinforces and amplifies injustice, Catharine A. MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan, wrote in “The Free Speech Century,” a collection of essays to be published this year.

“Once a defense of the powerless, the First Amendment over the last hundred years has mainly become a weapon of the powerful,” she wrote. “Legally, what was, toward the beginning of the 20th century, a shield for radicals, artists and activists, socialists and pacifists, the excluded and the dispossessed, has become a sword for authoritarians, racists and misogynists, Nazis and Klansmen, pornographers and corporations buying elections.”

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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by JasonL » 01 Jul 2018, 14:54

They are monsters

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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Warren » 01 Jul 2018, 14:59

Painboy wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 14:07
“Legally, what was, toward the beginning of the 20th century, a shield for radicals, artists and activists, socialists and pacifists, the excluded and the dispossessed, has become a sword for authoritarians, racists and misogynists, Nazis and Klansmen, pornographers and corporations buying elections.”
Those are the same groups.
Last edited by Warren on 01 Jul 2018, 15:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by JasonL » 01 Jul 2018, 15:10

The shocking thing to me is the naked “I only care if people I like get their way-ism” among law professors- like that’s how you measure the the value of a thing you explicitly argued as a bedrock principle like 20 years ago.

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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 01 Jul 2018, 17:23

On some of the stuff with campaign donations or unions or whatnot, liberals have never been 100% on board with a First Amendment analysis. Say what you will against their stance, but at least nothing is changing.

With hate speech, though, there was a civil libertarian left that used to be totally pro-speech, and now they are squishy. So something has changed for the worse. I worry what will happen if a city government in a liberal enclave refuses to give a permit for an event where Jordan Peterson or Charles Murray or Wendy McElroy is speaking, saying that they cannot condone an event with speech that marginalizes people in their communities. Just a few years ago I was 100% certain that a phone call to the ACLU would result in a letter from one of their lawyers to the city government, threatening action by a very experienced team of First Amendment lawyers. Now I'm not so certain.

I don't care if somebody is only on my side for certain issues, as long as I know what those issues are and I know that they won't suddenly switch sides.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Aresen » 01 Jul 2018, 17:44

Painboy wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 14:07
Along the same lines.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/30/us/p ... court.html

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. People tend to use principals right up until it stops giving them what they want. Still disappointing.
Some liberals now say that free speech disproportionately protects the powerful and the status quo.

“When I was younger, I had more of the standard liberal view of civil liberties,” said Louis Michael Seidman, a law professor at Georgetown. “And I’ve gradually changed my mind about it. What I have come to see is that it’s a mistake to think of free speech as an effective means to accomplish a more just society.”

To the contrary, free speech reinforces and amplifies injustice, Catharine A. MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan, wrote in “The Free Speech Century,” a collection of essays to be published this year.

“Once a defense of the powerless, the First Amendment over the last hundred years has mainly become a weapon of the powerful,” she wrote. “Legally, what was, toward the beginning of the 20th century, a shield for radicals, artists and activists, socialists and pacifists, the excluded and the dispossessed, has become a sword for authoritarians, racists and misogynists, Nazis and Klansmen, pornographers and corporations buying elections.”
What shocks me is the lack of understanding that their desired changes could ever be turned against them.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by JasonL » 01 Jul 2018, 18:00

Ahh good call

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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Highway » 01 Jul 2018, 18:36

Yeah, I don't get what these shortsighted idiots think will happen. Who's in political power now? It's not them. What do they think the "Hate speech" that will be banned is? If you give that power to the current guys, it's certainly going to be "calling people nazis and racists", not things that nazis and racists would say. Who's going to bear the brunt of that?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Warren » 01 Jul 2018, 18:51

But it seems to be the way of people. The second any group gets 50%+1 support they start pushing for unlimited power and to have their foes beheaded and lands salted. "At last we can make a just world".
I have libertarian fantasies like that where we force freedom on everyone.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Eric the .5b » 01 Jul 2018, 20:43

Highway wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 18:36
Yeah, I don't get what these shortsighted idiots think will happen. Who's in political power now? It's not them. What do they think the "Hate speech" that will be banned is? If you give that power to the current guys, it's certainly going to be "calling people nazis and racists", not things that nazis and racists would say. Who's going to bear the brunt of that?
"Well, then, we have to get in power."

That's the only answer they have.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 01 Jul 2018, 20:53

They'll even helpfully set the precedents that get used against them.

If lefties don't walk away from the wokeness, the ACLU's 2020 amicus brief in Charles Murray v Lefty Enclave City Council will be cited the following year in Red State v Palestinian Activist Group.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by dhex » 01 Jul 2018, 21:20

The venn on people who agree with that eddy and people who would support flag burning laws would be interesting.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 01 Jul 2018, 21:32

I have a few lefty friends who have said that they think we go too far with free speech.

They also go much farther than I would in their theories about Russian election meddling. (And you guys know where I stand on that issue, so take my stance, raise it to 11, then quadruple it. We're talking "Yeah, voting machines in swing states were definitely hacked by the Kremlin." And "No, I'd never watch The Americans; it's obviously Kremlin propaganda.")

If we weaken the First Amendment, which side do they THINK the Kremlin hackers will take when a state Attorney General candidate says he'd prosecute Imams if their sermons are critical of US foreign policy?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Shem » 01 Jul 2018, 22:13

thoreau wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 13:32
I wish millennials knew names like "2 Live Crew", "Andres Serrano", and "Robert Maplethorpe." I wish they'd watch Dee Snider debate Al Gore. Maybe then they'd understand how easy it is for the boundary of free speech to shift from Klansmen to LGBTQIA+ and Latinx artists.
And, I wish you would understand that it would make literally no difference. The vast majority of people choose their identity and then take their ideals from there. If the identity says their ideals are wrong, they change the ideals. That's part of why people choose to join a collective. If they didn't like that sort of thing, they'd be individualists. You're trying to appeal to them by using a psychology that they reject, as demonstrated by their observed choices.
*I admit to having no informed basis on which to judge whether millennials, en masse believe in social justice rules of rhetoric and debate. However, when there's a staff revolt at an organization that's been pivotal in free speech fights, it's clear that this stuff has spread out beyond the Oberlin cafeteria. This stuff matters on some level.
Who's in charge of college campuses? Who runs the ACLU? Pretty sure it's not actually the 20 and 30somethings at whose feet you're eager to lay this. Perhaps your colleagues and friends weren't so much enamored of free thought as they were surrounded by a milieu that expected them to make motions toward respecting it. Now they're not, so they don't.
thoreau wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 17:23
On some of the stuff with campaign donations or unions or whatnot, liberals have never been 100% on board with a First Amendment analysis. Say what you will against their stance, but at least nothing is changing.
I still don't understand how a campaign donation isn't essentially a bribe.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Shem » 01 Jul 2018, 22:14

JasonL wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 22:29
It would be easier to digest, still wrong but easier, if the people interested in this view of what counts as freedom constrained the dangerous speech talk to only real actual nazis. It keeps looking overtly like “any political other”.
The problem is, we don't agree on what constitutes a Nazi anymore. For a long time, that was the rule, and people would get around it by filing the "Nazi" off the ideology and getting pissy when people pointed out they're still the same thing. Saying "restrain it to only actual Nazis" sounds good until people come back with "we're not Nazis, we're Odinists!"

I actually think the "support overt violence, lose your protection" is probably about as good a compromise we're going to get here.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 01 Jul 2018, 22:17

Shem wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 22:13
Who's in charge of college campuses? Who runs the ACLU? Pretty sure it's not actually the 20 and 30somethings at whose feet you're eager to lay this.
Sure, but in the not-too-distant future those junior staffers will have more power. I'm less worried about what's happening today and more worried about what this bodes for the future.
Shem wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 22:13
I still don't understand how a campaign donation isn't essentially a bribe.
It certainly comes close to that, in spirit. The problem is when totally-not-affiliated-with-the-candidate organizations run ads promoting a candidate. How is that not speech? At the same time, how is the intended "We're scratching your back, we expect you to scratch ours" not also clear?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by thoreau » 01 Jul 2018, 22:39

I will grant two things about generational shifts likely being an over-simplification:

1) Back In The Day, my friends were far from unanimous in free speech absolutism. There were plenty of people my age who weren't on-board with staunch civil libertarianism.

But you know what? Most of them didn't even donate to the ACLU, let alone pursue internships and jobs there. Apparently something has changed, such that there's now a cohort that feels differently about free speech. Somehow we now live in a society where people follow "I'm not a free speech absolutist, but..." with "I'm going to try to get a job at the ACLU" rather than "that's why I don't donate to them."

2) Although the reporting I've seen has characterized the staff revolt as being spearheaded by younger employees, it wouldn't surprise me if members of misunderstood, under-appreciated, culturally significant, and GodI'mGoingTooFarMasturbatingMyCohort Gen X are also among the participants in the staff revolt. I've seen Gen X friends convert to Woke Liberalism. I don't know if it's a massive thing (I kind of doubt it) but it's apparently common enough in my professional and educational segment, and that segment disproportionately takes certain kinds of jobs.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Aresen » 01 Jul 2018, 22:41

Shem wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 22:13
I still don't understand how a campaign donation isn't essentially a bribe.
It is a bribe. Getting people to understand that exclusive government funding of Approved Candidates® is every bit as corrupt and prone to abuse is the problem.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by JasonL » 02 Jul 2018, 08:47

Shem wrote:
JasonL wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 22:29
It would be easier to digest, still wrong but easier, if the people interested in this view of what counts as freedom constrained the dangerous speech talk to only real actual nazis. It keeps looking overtly like “any political other”.
The problem is, we don't agree on what constitutes a Nazi anymore. For a long time, that was the rule, and people would get around it by filing the "Nazi" off the ideology and getting pissy when people pointed out they're still the same thing. Saying "restrain it to only actual Nazis" sounds good until people come back with "we're not Nazis, we're Odinists!"

I actually think the "support overt violence, lose your protection" is probably about as good a compromise we're going to get here.
I don’t think most of these people would give you that compromise unless you drop the “overt” and adopt the “culture of violence deformed however we want” thing. Like, you know George Will and stuff.

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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by lunchstealer » 02 Jul 2018, 12:48

This is the same movement who see due process and the presumption of innocence as a sword of the patriarchy and so forth.

And for the young, beginner wokespeople, it's an understandable position. You see Klansmen get a podium and maybe also see 'free speech zones' and so forth, and without the historical context of the actual Civil Rights Era, you can get a distorted view of how speech protections actually help minorities and the downtrodden. Likewise they see cops get off for shooting unarmed black men, or see rapists get off on 'technicalities' or going after the sexual reputations of their victims, and it can seem like due process and rights of the accused can be a shield for powerful abusers.

They don't see how much worse it is without speech protections. Public decency rules may have protected women from dudes who got distorted views of what sex should be via porn, but even Xers don't really remember when those same laws were also used against gay activists and everyday homosexuals. The First Amendment is a victim of its own success. We've grown up in the age of its ascendancy, and so the groups it has protected have just had those protections as a matter of course. The First Amendment was a tool of the oppressed in the early 20th Century because the powers that be only kind of respected it. People don't remember that Schenck v United States and the Aliens and Sedition acts were what were used to imprison antiwar activists, and that strong defense of the First Amendment as an absolute were how those kinds of abuses were ended. So of COURSE the early 20th Century was when the First Amendment was important. That's when speech as an absolute wasn't respected and the government was imposing restrictions on the speech of minorities.

It's sunny out. Why do we need to fix the roof now? Or more importantly, the roof means that dry conditions are perfect for [whatever pest thrives in dry conditions]. Sure it was bad when the roof was leaking, but we don't have to worry about that anymore, so maybe we should put some holes in the roof now. What could go wrong?
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by lunchstealer » 02 Jul 2018, 12:54

Shem wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 22:14
JasonL wrote:
22 Jun 2018, 22:29
It would be easier to digest, still wrong but easier, if the people interested in this view of what counts as freedom constrained the dangerous speech talk to only real actual nazis. It keeps looking overtly like “any political other”.
The problem is, we don't agree on what constitutes a Nazi anymore. For a long time, that was the rule, and people would get around it by filing the "Nazi" off the ideology and getting pissy when people pointed out they're still the same thing. Saying "restrain it to only actual Nazis" sounds good until people come back with "we're not Nazis, we're Odinists!"

I actually think the "support overt violence, lose your protection" is probably about as good a compromise we're going to get here.
Yeah with the rhetorical bludgeon that everything is white supremacy including defending freedom of speech, I do not trust the woke crowd to hold to any rational definition of nazi, and if the wokespeople are infiltrating ACLU now, they'll be on the bench in 10-20 years. There will be a push to redefine 'overt' support of violence to a lot of stuff that just aren't support of violence, and a push to redefine white supremacy, racism, and hate speech to a lot of things that might need to be on the table for rational discussion (possibly including the value of rationalism).

Which ... whatever holes they put in speech protections will absolutely be widened the next time a populist reactionary manages to get through, and I don't think their speech limitations will successfully prevent that.
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Re: Is the ACLU getting too Woke?

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 02 Jul 2018, 13:42

I think you all are making too big a deal about where a private organization is spending it's limited resources in a time when it is being pressed on all fronts.

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