Since the ruling class will always periodically need paramilitary style fascist groupings, it surely won’t permit Charlottesville to be the death knell of First Amendment Absolutism, which is its main instrument for legitimizing fascism as a discourse and facilitating fascist organizing.
Hence, the national chapter of the ACLU has shamelessly dug in its heels, with this disgusting statement from Executive Director Anthony Romero, which recapitulates the childish bromides of Magic Paper Theory, enumerates all the fine work the ACLU does for people who don’t wish to exterminate an entire race, and then callously and ridiculously insists that his organization’s Virginia chapter “made the right call” when it insisted Charlottesville make antifa counter-protesters conveniently available for murder by automobile.
Of course, as an alum of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, running errands for capital and its covert operations is precisely how Romero earns the big bucks. Shame clearly isn’t in his repertoire, as his infamous call to “Pardon Bush and Those Who Tortured” illustrates.
Things are more complicated for local chapter executives who likely earn a fraction of what Romero does, don’t have his CIA pass-through grooming, and will bear more culpability when things go wrong. Surely every ACLU chapter head is wondering if they’ll be the next one tasked by nazis to facilitate a crime. So let the ass-covering begin.
Yesterday, the executive directors of California’s three ACLU chapters issued the following statement:
There are troubling events planned in our state in the coming weeks. This is an incredibly painful and difficult time for millions of Californians. For those who are wondering where we stand – the ACLU of California fully supports the freedom of speech and expression, as well as the freedom to peacefully assemble. We review each request for help on a case-by-case basis, but take the clear position that the First Amendment does not protect people who incite or engage in violence. If white supremacists march into our towns armed to the teeth and with the intent to harm people, they are not engaging in activity protected by the United States Constitution. The First Amendment should never be used as a shield or sword to justify violence.
The most obvious problem with this statement is the implicit distinction it makes between white supremacists and white supremacists who “incite or engage in violence.” Of course, a white supremacy rally is nothing but incitement to violence, given that there’s no peaceful way to dominate an entire race, and history shows that these groups do not limit themselves to theory. It is this ludicrous distinction that is at the heart of objections to First Amendment Absolutism, much as the free speech assholes want to make it about intolerance toward bad opinions.
One can only guess how the California chapters will separate nazi wheat from nazi chaff under their new policy. Will they make prospective clients pinkie swear to no weapons before they secure their right to express racial hatred in dangerously confined public spaces? Will they make them forswear cars, since these are clearly weapons also? Or will they err on the side of caution, and, based on Charlottesville, fail prospective clients on the imminence test outright?
Whatever the case, any exposure of how deeply stupid and dishonest is the ACLU’s quaint notion of “peaceful” white supremacy is to the good, even when its unwitting.