logo

Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

VA Governor Blames ACLU For Charlottesville Violence

image
Created: 15 August, 2017
Updated: 17 October, 2022
3 min read

A characterizing attribute of fascism is the suppression of views and voices.

Enter the ACLU of Virginia. Viewed as a traditional liberal voice for the oppressed and voiceless, the civil liberties organization last week came out in support of the First Amendment right of neo-Nazis and white supremacists to march in Charlottesville.

Since the horrific events of this last weekend, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has spoken out against the ACLU’s position of supporting the march’s location and the ability to have it in such a populated part of town.

“We asked - the city of Charlottesville asked for  to be moved out of downtown Charlottesville to a park about a mile and a half away - a lot of open fields. That was the place that it should've been. We were, unfortunately, sued by the ACLU," said Terry McAuliffe, in an interview for NPR.

"I'm angry that - I am angry that this was not moved to McIntire Park, where the city of Charlottesville had requested. I am very angry today because these people, they were dispersed, and that allowed this guy with the car to run through downtown Charlottesville with people everywhere.”

The ACLU has since came out with a response to the Governor’s criticism of their approach.

https://twitter.com/ACLUVA/status/897172889459449857

The group states:

“We are horrified by the violence that took place in Charlottesville on Saturday and the tragic loss of life that resulted from it. The ACLU of Virginia does not support violence. We do not support Nazis. We support the Constitution and laws of the United States. We would be eager to work with the governor and the attorney general on efforts to ensure that public officials understand their rights and obligations under the law.

But let’s be clear: our lawsuit challenging the city to act constitutionally did not cause violence nor did it in any way address the question whether demonstrators could carry sticks or other weapons at the events.

We asked the city to adhere to the U.S. Constitution and ensure people’s safety at the protest. It failed to do so. In our system, the city makes the rules and the courts enforce them. Our role is to ensure that the system works the same for everyone.”

When the ACLU filed a lawsuit supporting the demonstration, it opened up a nuanced argument:

Is it the responsibility of organizations like ACLU or even Uber and AirBNB (who last week refused services to the influx of Alt-Right demonstrators), to make a judgment call on the extent with which someone is able to express their First Amendment rights?

What happens when the views people are representing (neo-Nazi, Alt-Right, White Nationalism) are defended by the rights they are, in a way, opposing (suppression of minorities)?

The amount of judicial restraint or activism an organization uses when interpreting the First Amendment right of opposing points of view creates a dichotomy of issues that is as convoluted as it is controversial.

It is crucial, however, to understand that as issues like this present itself, political affiliations only further fog the issues. Basic human dignity should serve as the foundation with which decisions are made, not political affiliations.

Read more

fair maps
Gerrymandering Reform: Are We Asking the Wrong Question?
Photo Credit:  ...
01 March, 2024
-
7 min read
joined hands
10 Reasons Why Americans Are Not as Divided as You Think
Photo by on  Party leaders, politicians, and media pundits and talking heads would have US voters b...
28 February, 2024
-
7 min read
people
LetUsVote: New Campaign Launches to End Discrimination Against Independent Voters
Open Primaries, in partnership with Unite America, announced the launch of LetUsVote Wednesday, a nationwide initiative that aims to mobilize and empower independent voters, who make up the largest voting bloc in the US but are treated like second-class voters....
27 February, 2024
-
4 min read
voting
For Good or Bad, Primary Changes May Be Coming to Elections Near You
Photo Credit:  The last couple of years have seen an increase in states looking to change their prim...
26 February, 2024
-
4 min read
voted
The Primary Problem: Only 8% of Voters Elect 83% of Our Representatives
In his latest podcast, former Democratic presidential candidate and Forward Party Co-Founder Andrew ...
26 February, 2024
-
3 min read
Weber
Blame This One on Secretary of State Weber
Eight years ago, there was a competition still in play between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton wh...
26 February, 2024
-
4 min read