I did Nazi that coming

A Black Lives Matter chapter in Virginia recently shut down an ACLU training about protecting protesters’ freedom of speech because, the BLM activists argue, the ACLU supports Hitler.

They’re talking about the ACLU having defended the freedom of speech rights of white supremacists before the violent march in Charlottesville (the city didn’t want to give the marchers a permit).

‘The thing is, the ACLU has always defended the free speech rights of extremists, and even Nazis. Why? Because in so doing, they defend all of our rights.

In today’s podcast, I talk about the ACLU, the First Amendment, and why supporting the free speech rights of the most extreme among us ends up protecting us all. You can listen below.

And please subscribe to the UnPresidented Podcast on iTunes (UnPresidentedPodcast.com) and leave us a rating & review. And find out more about us, and support the show by donating, at www.patreon.com/UnPresidentedPodcast

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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13 Responses to “I did Nazi that coming”

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  2. Badgerite says:

    Stop and think for a moment about the public reaction to the speech that was on display by the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK in Charlottesville? trump’s council of economic advisers abandoned him en masse. It took a little longer but Gorka and Bannon were gone soon after.
    And no one, not even in the media, is pretending that what was on display in Charlottesville was about “economic anxiety”. All of America could see those ‘protesters’ for what they are.
    Hate filled bigots seeking to threaten, menace and intimidate the residents of a peaceful, and rather liberal college town. I would say the ACLU made the right call. The ‘speech’ of the “alt-right” ( see white supremacists, neo-Nazis and KKK) had no where to hide and was exposed to the public for what it is. And they and their ‘speech’ were roundly condemned. Even by the known invertebrate Paul Ryan. This is demonstrative of the Market Place of Ideas concept behind the First Amendment and how and why it works.
    And this is why the ACLU defends it. No matter whose speech falls under its protection.
    I believe Richard Spencer and his ilk showed up just recently in Charlottesville again and this time there were maybe some dozens of ‘protesters’ and the blatant neo-Nazi and KKK slogans and salutes were not prominently on display. In other words, they had to crawl back under their rock because nobody actually supports their hateful shit.
    I’d say the ACLU did alright.

  3. SylviaLWatts says:

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  4. Nelson Kerr says:

    The ACLU does not exist to promote harmony, the exits protect civil liberties, those are not even l slightly related. You argument could have been used against the Civil rights movement because that caused disharmony for years, a necessary disharmonious mess

    Try a simple experiment think of any law that you want to limit peoples speech with and give it to the foulest and most vile part of the opposing political spectrum, how” harmonious’ would you find that.

    What makes you think harmony was ever the intent?

  5. Houndentenor says:

    Republicans control all three branches of our federal government (some just barely, but the are in the majority) and a majority of state governments. Limits on freedom of speech will adversely affect everyone left of the far right if enacted. This is shortsighted and stupid. If the government could limit free speech the BLM would be shut down tomorrow. I don’t know why they can’t see that.

  6. Tito Potato says:

    Free speech is for everyone, but not for everything. I agree, to a point, with BLM. Germany has limitations on hate speech, but no one says that they have a closed society. If you want a civilized society some views are not valid and should not be condoned.

    ACLU is there to protect civil rights — and they are — but if you want a harmonious society then it is worth accepting that promoting the hatred of other races, creeds and religions is not ok. This is why we do not have a harmonious society in the US.

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  8. S1AMER says:

    “Free speech for me, but not for thee” never works. Not anywhere. Not any time.

  9. Jude Brown says:

    Uh, nope.

    I believe the ACLU has a point: they refuse to defend the Nazis, because the Nazis have eschewed peaceful protest.

    ACLU has the right to step back from protecting violence.

    And I support them in that.

  10. When I was younger, I didn’t understand why the ACLU defended them. I do now.

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  12. keirmeister says:

    When I first moved to NYC back in 1999, the KKK wanted to hold a rally on the steps of City Hall. Lawmakers tried to block them, but the ACLU took up the KKK’s right to peacefully assemble.

    As a young black man who wasn’t particularly political back then, I joined the ACLU immediately thereafter, and have been a proud member ever since.

    Saying you’re for Freedom! doesn’t mean anything if you turn your back on those freedoms the second your safety is challenged or someone says something you don’t like. Obviously there are limits, but in the case of the KKK and the ACLU, as long as the KKK stayed peaceful, they had a right to be d*ckheads in public.

  13. Southeast PDXer says:

    I will support the ACLU and the right for anyone – nurses, comunists, Nazis, or Furries – to peacefully assemble, though I may support or detest their values. It’s called civil rights, people!

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