Black People : What is the American Civil Liberties Union?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The ACLU was formed to protect aliens threatened with deportation, along with U.S. nationals threatened with criminal charges by U.S. Attorney General Alexander Mitchell Palmer for their communist or socialist activities and agendas[11] (see Palmer Raids). It also opposed attacks on the rights of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and other labor unions to meet and organize.

    In 1940, the ACLU formally barred communists from leadership or staff positions, and would take the position that it did not want communists as members either. The board declared that it was "inappropriate for any person to serve on the governing committees of the Union or its staff, who is a member of any political organization which supports totalitarianism in any country, or who by his public declarations indicates his support of such a principle."[12] The purge, which was led by Baldwin, himself a former supporter of communism, began with the ouster of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a member of both the Communist Party USA and the Industrial Workers of the World.[13] The ACLU's chairman since its founding, Harry F. Ward, resigned in protest of the decision.[14]

    Conservatives and Republicans have frequently criticized the ACLU. One well-known example occurred during the 1988 presidential election: then-Vice President George H. W. Bush noted that his opponent Michael Dukakis had described himself as a "card-carrying member of the ACLU" and used that as evidence that Dukakis was "a strong, passionate liberal" and "out of the mainstream."[15] The phrase subsequently was used by the organization in an advertising campaign.[16]

    After the September 11, 2001 attacks and the ensuing debate regarding the proper balance of civil liberties and security, including the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, the membership of the ACLU increased by 20%, bringing the group's total enrollment to 330,000.[17] The growth continued, and by August 2008 ACLU membership was greater than 500,000. It remained at that level in 2010.[18]


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  2. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) consists of two separate non-profit organizations: the ACLU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization which focuses on litigation and communication efforts, and the American Civil Liberties Union, a 501(c)(4) organization which focuses on legislative lobbying.[2]


    The ACLU's stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States."[


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