The ACLU and Corporate America

I’m afraid I’m still focused on the presidential campaign.  I didn’t intend to spend so much time on this subject, but it seems the activities of Black Lives Matter and the support they have received from the ‘liberal’ media need some kind of explanation.  The media pretends it’s a question of whether BLM members have a right to be angry about structural racism.  They do, but that’s not the point.  The point is whether it makes sense for progressives to shut down Bernie Sanders.  What can explain this mystery?  A word of warning: we can’t blame all Black Lives Matter activists for this. Apparently some Seattle members of Black Lives Matter were shocked when they learned that Bernie’s speech had been shut down.

Strangely, the ACLU seems as untroubled by this spectacle as the media.  This organization has been sending emails asking for signatures and donations to fight government surveillance of Black Lives Matter.  They seem unaware that many of us don’t agree with what they are doing.  It turns out that the ACLU does not necessarily represent progressives.  In fact, since the 1970s the ACLU has been a leading advocate for the expansion of constitutional rights for corporations.  Its advocacy of corporate rights has actually served to diminish its human rights gains.((Nace, Ted, Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy.  Berret-Koehler Publishers Inc. San Francisco. 2003.))

But the ACLU is an advocate for minorities, right?  Not necessarily.  Here is an example of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois response to a problem that Chicago’s black youth was trying to address:  The ACLU bypassed black activists and made a back-room deal with  Mayor Rahm Emanuel that has the potential to shut down dialogue on the issue of stop and frisk.  The ACLU was negotiating their own deal secretly while claiming to support the STOP Act that the activists were trying to pass.  The ACLU’s deal will not require the police department to release information about stops, as the STOP Act would have done.  In other words, the ACLU’s deal won’t solve the problem, it will only make things easier for the city.  ((Hayes, Kelly, ACLU of Illinois Sells Out Chicago’s Black Youth. Truthout, 14 Aug. 2015. Available: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/32361-aclu-of-illinois-sells-out-chicago-s-black-youth))

The influence of the ACLU might also explain the curious fact that Black Lives Matter hasn’t shut down any of Hillary Clinton’s speeches.  Maya L. Harris, one of three senior policy advisers to lead the development of an agenda for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was formerly a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.  From 2008 until she took her current position, she was Vice President for Democracy Rights and Justice at the Ford Foundation.  Prior to joining the ford Foundation, she served as the Executive Director of the ACLU of Northern California.  ((Wikipedia: Maya Harris. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Harris))

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