Zoom Conversation Today (Pacific lunch) with Nadine Strossen, former director of the ACLU
Please come to https://ucla.zoom.us/j/93534879077; you can also read the article (20 pages); here is the introduction:
Michael Powell on Jun 7, 2021 New York Times article – “Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the ACLU Faces an Identity Crisis” – raised a perennial issue that rocked not only the ACLU, but society in general, throughout my adult life: we choose between freedom of expression and other aspects of the civil liberties / human rights agenda? Since the founding of the ACLU over a century ago, it has defended all fundamental freedoms for all, including freedom of expression and equality, especially for individuals and groups traditionally victims of discrimination. Some critics of the ACLU accuse its vigorous advocacy of equality rights as somewhat antithetical to its advocacy for free speech. Conversely, other critics of the ACLU accuse its continued defense of free speech rights, even for those conveying anti-civil liberties messages, of being somehow antithetical to its advocacy for freedom of expression. equal justice.
The ACLU’s mission is closely linked to the responsibility of the government: to defend all the rights of each individual, without privileging particular rights over others, nor the rights of particular individuals or groups over others. Therefore, debates about the ACLU’s efforts to promote our nested national aspirations of “freedom and justice for all” also have resonance for government policy. The ACLU-focused debates mirror more general debates about the appropriate prioritization of racial justice and free speech in our public sphere, for example in public schools and universities.