Increasingly cowardly ACLU backs down over free speech tweet

Now what could possibly be wrong with this tw**t by the American Civil Liberties Union showing a kid with an American flag and a stuffed toy wearing an ACLU “free speech” shirt?

Are you kidding me? You’ve been around here long enough; you should know how bloody wrong this is, and should be able to name at least two things.  Some Twitter responses and the ACLU’s “apology” are below the fold (click on “read more”).

Some responses:

And then came the accusations of white supremacy:

In fact, the ACLU got heat from both the Left and Right (as it always has). From a Rightie:

The ACLU, which should have said nothing, instead capitulated by issuing the apologetic tweet below, but they were clueless even in that. Haven’t they heard of Pepe the Frog and what he stands for? Someone at the ACLU really should have known that.

I realize the ACLU is catering to people here, as it needs their contributions to function. But you reach a point where you have to keep your eyes on the prize—defending civil liberties for everyone—and not try to satisfy every little corner of identity politics.


  1. Posted August 25, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Pfff, when even ACLU is becoming poisoned OR coaxed by the regressive lefties, we have a real problem.

  2. Mark Reaume
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    sub 😦

  3. Posted August 25, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The failure of an institution is apparent when it becomes cowed by outsiders. Hopefully this is just an aberration within the public communications department.

  4. Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    No outrage about a gendered toy? They’re slipping!

    • Brian Salkas
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      And the fact that “he” was a “boy”. Gender binaries were soooo 2016

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Et tu, ACLU?

  6. Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Nothing feeds into the paranoia of “white genocide” like leftist outrage over pictures of white people. And seriously, describing it as “fash”? I guess we better punch ’em! Because “white supremacy is everywhere” which equates an image of a white person with white supremacy. We don’t even need hateful symbols to distinguish assholes from allies, just skin color! What other message does this send? How can sensible people argue against the paranoid when this BS becomes the standard of the left? And then of course, the actually offensive little black boy with a “black lives murder” button just seals the deal as this is the attitude of the base “right”. They keep reinforcing each other’s perceptions. It’s like watching a double ended train wreck from the passenger car.

    I hate this country right now!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      I take it “fash” means ‘fashionable’?



  7. Taz
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    But how do we know that child’s name isn’t Robert Lee?

  8. Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t take this seriously. It’s social media account and managed by some intern or somebody.The real worry would be when ACLU changes its mission statement or the president of ACLU publicly issues a statement in these lines. Their actions so far don’t give a hint of cowing.

    • Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      It is considering changing its mission statement. It already did by saying it wouldn’t defend protestors carrying guns, and is also contemplating changing how it defends those purveying “hate speech.”

      I doubt that a social media factotum would be allowed to unilaterally issue tweets without some higher approval. And of course the “apology” had to come from higher up.

      We all need to worry if the premier organization defending civil liberties starts to back down in the face of the Regressive Left.

  9. Michael Clouser
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Anti white racism is growing rapidly. In part because the perpetrators don’t believe they can be racists themselves if they do not have white skin.

    • yazikus
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      “Anti white racism is growing rapidly.”

      Care to elaborate?

      • biz
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        See Twitter, HuffPo, Salon, Mic, and much of the rest of the clickbait internet, many university campuses, etc.

      • Posted September 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Black Lives Matter.

    • Martin X
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Do you have data or is that just anecdote?

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I know right? Soon white Americans may end up facing as much daily persecution as America’s long-suffering conservative Christians.
      Sure, white supremacist organisations are stronger now than they’ve been in decades, and sure there were Nazis marching through an American town and threatening to gas black protesters…but those tweets against the ACLU really were snarky! So basically it evens out.

      • biz
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, tell me about it. Think about all of the people lately that have been shut down on college campuses and fired from jobs for offending white conservative Christian sensibilities. Wasn’t that guy Bret Weinstein and his family chased off of Everygreen college by a mob because he deviated from the white Christian party line? Wasn’t there a riot at Middlebury college that put a professor in the hospital because white Conservatives where offended? Wasn’t that guy recently fired from his job Google for offending white Conservatives? Didn’t Bill Maher have to make a groveling apology lately because white Christians were offended? And haven’t moderate Muslims been blacklisted by the SPLC for offending white Christians?

        Oh wait…

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted August 26, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          If you want me to agree that identity politics is an asinine and pernicious framework through which to view the world, then I’m with you. If, on the other hand, you want me to look at those examples and accept that white people are subject to daily racism and prejudice that’s where you and I part company.

          And I know plenty of examples of Christian conservatives being fired or laid off or physically threatened for their beliefs about gays, about women, etc., so the comparison between specious claims of ‘anti-white racism’ and specious claims of ‘anti-Christian oppression’ is an apposite one.
          Of course there are occasional incidences of both. That doesn’t mean that either are significant factors in modern America, and I’m not going to soothe the fevered brows of people who believe they are.

  10. Lamar Hankins
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The ACLU, of which I have been a member for more than 40 years, has always represented people on the basis of issues, not politics or party affiliation, or skin color. I can’t imagine that it is worried about losing financial support from people who are unlikely to contribute to it — both the alt-left and the alt-right.

    The ACLU lost a lot of contributions when it took a case involving some Nazis who wanted to march through a largely Jewish neighborhood in Skokie, IL, in 1978. But the case was taken (and won) because of the principle that the First Amendment protects us all, not just the politically correct.

    The ACLU does not pick cases on the basis of whether its decision-makers like the person whose rights are being violated by the government. They decide on the merits of the case.

    • jwthomas
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink


  11. George
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Back in 1977, the ACLU defended (all the way to SCOTUS) the right of the American Nazi Party to march in Skokie, IL, a(then)heavily Jewish Chicago suburb. The two ACLU lawyers on the case were both Jewish – Burton Joseph and David Goldberger.

    The ACLU was heavily criticized and contributions dropped significantly. Maybe they do not want to go through that again. What a pity.

  12. Kevin
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Why not a Mexican or Canadian flag? It smacks of religion. This kid doesn’t even know what a nation is. It’s like filling fandom into children before they know that the Broncos or the Cowboys are supposed to be their favorite team for the rest of life.

    They would have made their point better by putting a cross in the other hand.

    • Warren Bailey
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      You do realize that the “A” in ACLU stands for American don’t you? I’m thinking that perhaps you don’t understand that or perhaps just don’t care at all.

      Now if it were the ECCLU for “Evangelical Christians Civil Liberties Union” you may vaguely have some point however that sort of an organization would be flying the Christian Flag.

      Seriously, replies like this just make me very very sad as the ACLU was founded to protect the rights and freedoms of American citizens and those who should be under the protection of the United States government. It has nothing to do with the laws of any other nation and it is entirely appropriate for the ACLU to in fact stand by the flag and the best that it represents

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 26, 2017 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        I think you’re missing the point. Kevin’s point was, as I understand it, that you could give a three-year-old a Swastika or a hammer and sickle or an ISIS flag and he would wave it just as enthusiastically, with no idea what it signifies.

        I see an implication in the original tweet (possibly unintentional) that only patriots need apply.

        “the ACLU was founded to protect the rights and freedoms of American citizens and those who should be under the protection of the United States government.”

        Not quite right. The ACLU’s stated mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country …” (Wikipedia)
        That’s a bit wider, it includes every person whether anyone thinks they “should” be under the protection of the US Government or not.


  13. Posted August 25, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of when a while back, in Germany, we had outraged reactions to a black kid (temporarily replacing a white one during a commercial campaign) on the wrapping of a popular candy bar. Back then it was the far-*right* racists driven nuts by it…

  14. BJ
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I guess it’s time to start punching white kids. If you’re old enough to have the fine motor skills to hold a flag, you’re old enough to be called a racist Nazi fascist!

  15. Posted August 25, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Wow. Starting at the first picture, I had no idea how far off the rails it would go. Scrolling down revealed more and more crazyness.

  16. Posted August 25, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Cute kid. A typical example of blatant lookism.

    • Sixtus
      Posted August 25, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Not to mention a deeply ingrained ageism. 🙂

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        “Cutesy-ism” I’d call it. Excuse me while I barf…


  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The ACLU tweet can be justly criticized as insipid and corny. But it’s quite the hasty generalization to infer it as racist.

    Let us not, nevertheless, wallow in pity quite yet for the poor put-upon white race, like some common Trumphumpers.

  18. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    White folk are ubiquitous. White supremacy ideologically is not.

  19. Harrison
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    It would be nice if this spurred the ACLU to realize regressives are not their friends and that they’re not worth pandering to.

  20. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    What do I fond worng with that tweet? The kid’s waving a flag! ‘Muricans seem to have a fetish about flags, they have them everywhere. Something they share with [name your favourite dictatorship] rallies.

    It also implies that non-patriots are excluded from their concerns. (Remember the House un-American Activities Committee?)

    I expect that’s reading too much into it. Prob’ly that says more about me and my deep suspicions of patriotism than it does about the ACLU…


  21. Newish Gnu
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    “Problems” with the picture:

    White kid only
    White kid with flag
    Lack of wide-brimmed hat on kid
    No evidence of sunscreen on kid
    Unrealistic stuffed animal
    Colors on stuffed animal aren’t correct gay pride order/color
    Kid holding animal in dominance-asserting manner
    And, finally, complaining cartoon kid on shirt unfairly stereotypes children

  22. Posted August 25, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    IN context, it IS tone-deaf and therefore stupid.

  23. starskeptic
    Posted August 26, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Please tell me you didn’t just equate Kermit the frog with Pepe the frog…

  24. Posted August 29, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    How is the ACLU organized? Do they have chapters/state franchises?

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