The Strangest Of Bedfellows: ACLU, KKK Together in Georgia 'Adopt-A-Highway' Lawsuit

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, will be helping the Ku KluX Klan in its lawsuit to adopt a highway in Georgia, as it believes the case touches on the freddom of expression guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Full Story
Mario

Toronto, Canada

#1 Sep 24, 2012
Informed Opinion

Fort Myers, FL

#2 Sep 25, 2012
It's a shame that people generally misunderstand the mission of the ACLU.

No organization is more valuable as a defender of our Constitution than the ACLU.

It exists to protect and defend the rights and freedoms enumerated in the Constitution against attacks on those rights and freedoms.

That means it will be defending very unpopular expression and conduct because popular expression and conduct is not subject to attack.

People who attack the ACLU generally don't believe the Constitution protects others, only them. They are so surprised when the failure to protect the rights of others boomerangs and they discover they are unprotected.

Strel

Tallahassee, FL

#3 Sep 26, 2012
Just look around this board. When you drill down and start asking questions of the rabid anti-ACLU types, you nearly always find that they have an utterly wrong view of how civil rights work.

The kind of argument you make above is too abstract for these reactionaries to understand. The idea that the ACLU would defend someone objectionable on principle just isn't in their intellectual vocabulary.

It's not hard to see why, when you ask them where they get their information. They remind me of Creationists that reject summarily reject any science supporting modern biology, without regard to facts, logic or evidence.
Just Mike

Dahlonega, GA

#4 Sep 26, 2012
Informed Opinion wrote:
I agree with you about the ACLU's watchdog affect regarding civil rights, but I also think that some of their "defenses" fly in the face of common sense. Prima facia, defending the KKK seems ridiculous... but freedom of speech should and must be defended- for ALL Americans.

However, that right does NOT extend to "expressions" that usurp the rights of others... in my OPINION, if not by law. Blacks have a right to be protected from blatant public displays of, and encouragement of discrimination. Actually, I think this case will be adjudicated in favor of the state, ultimately, for public safety considerations.

Anyone know how the ACLU is funded? I assume they don't receive government funding.

Since: Aug 10

Jefferson, GA

#5 Sep 26, 2012
Just Mike wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you about the ACLU's watchdog affect regarding civil rights, but I also think that some of their "defenses" fly in the face of common sense. Prima facia, defending the KKK seems ridiculous... but freedom of speech should and must be defended- for ALL Americans.
However, that right does NOT extend to "expressions" that usurp the rights of others... in my OPINION, if not by law. Blacks have a right to be protected from blatant public displays of, and encouragement of discrimination. Actually, I think this case will be adjudicated in favor of the state, ultimately, for public safety considerations.
Anyone know how the ACLU is funded? I assume they don't receive government funding.
Memberships and donations.
Just Looking

Dawsonville, GA

#6 Sep 26, 2012
Why is Lamar named in the lawsuit? The permitting and the right of way belongs to the GA Department of Transportation. You would not think he has a dog in this fight or is there more we, the puiblic don't know.
Strel

Tallahassee, FL

#7 Sep 27, 2012
Just Mike wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you about the ACLU's watchdog affect regarding civil rights, but I also think that some of their "defenses" fly in the face of common sense. Prima facia, defending the KKK seems ridiculous... but freedom of speech should and must be defended- for ALL Americans.
However, that right does NOT extend to "expressions" that usurp the rights of others... in my OPINION, if not by law. Blacks have a right to be protected from blatant public displays of, and encouragement of discrimination. Actually, I think this case will be adjudicated in favor of the state, ultimately, for public safety considerations.
Anyone know how the ACLU is funded? I assume they don't receive government funding.
They get donations and attorneys' fees from winning lawsuits, which are nearly always lawsuits against the government.
I have to disagree with you that the KKK's public expression of opinion violates anyone's rights. None of us have the right to be protected from blatant public displays of speech we simply don't agree with or even find deeply offensive. Exceptions are made for sex and minors, public safety, etc.
But what is the public safety issue here?
Clearly, the KKK is doing this for publicity and so they can have their name on an intimidating sign on US 19. That much is obvious.
But should that be illegal? Where does it stop? The effect would in the long run, be detrimental to the local economy and reputation. Maybe they should be allowed to post the sign, and let the market forces in the community sort it out.
I bet the sign wouldn't be there long.
Informed Opinion

Fort Myers, FL

#8 Sep 27, 2012
Just Mike wrote:
I agree with you about the ACLU's watchdog affect regarding civil rights, but I also think that some of their "defenses" fly in the face of common sense. Prima facia, defending the KKK seems ridiculous... but freedom of speech should and must be defended- for ALL Americans.

However, that right does NOT extend to "expressions" that usurp the rights of others... in my OPINION, if not by law. Blacks have a right to be protected from blatant public displays of, and encouragement of discrimination. Actually, I think this case will be adjudicated in favor of the state, ultimately, for public safety considerations.

Anyone know how the ACLU is funded? I assume they don't receive government funding.
Good points, well stated.

Reasonable folks can disagree reasonably - or so an old judge told me.

I believe that if the KKK, The Black Liberation Army, the NRA, Pat Robertson, and Jeremiah "What's his Name", all don't have free speech - then no one has free speech.

Once you allow the government to decide which non-violent speech is protected, then the government get to regulate speech to the extent it likes.

That's one thing about the UnPatriot Act that's scary - people can be imprisoned for criticizing our leaders and actions by claiming it aided "Terrorism".
So, if you disagree with unmanned, unmarked, drones, piloted by non-uniformed, nonmilitary, private company employees,
operating from a basement in Virginia,
bombing and killing civilian families in far away, sovereign nations, you could face imprisonment.

And remember, today's terrorist is tomorrow's USA's favorite guy, think China and Libya.

Both Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum love the UnPatriot act. Of course both also claim the right to secretly murder Americans if they decide it's necessary.

The ACLU is funded by members and by contributions. Our police union used to fund it and it drove the City Counsel crazy that we understood the Constitution was our protection, not our enemy.
Oh my

Young Harris, GA

#9 Sep 27, 2012
Strel wrote:
<quoted text>
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/blairsville-g...
But what is the public safety issue here?

Clearly, the KKK is doing this for publicity and so they can have their name on an intimidating sign on US 19. That much is obvious.
The highway in question is Hwy-515, a 4-lane divided highway, not US Hwy-19. The stretch of highway the KKK applied for is in a 65mph zone which is the basis for the public safety issue, the maximum speed limit for adopt-a-highway work is 55mph. The state DOT opened the door for the ACLU when they expressed a political opinion in the denial of the KKK application, they should've just based it on the safety issue and been done with it.
Strel

Tallahassee, FL

#10 Sep 27, 2012
Oh my wrote:
<quoted text>
The highway in question is Hwy-515, a 4-lane divided highway, not US Hwy-19. The stretch of highway the KKK applied for is in a 65mph zone which is the basis for the public safety issue, the maximum speed limit for adopt-a-highway work is 55mph. The state DOT opened the door for the ACLU when they expressed a political opinion in the denial of the KKK application, they should've just based it on the safety issue and been done with it.
Good.

Anyway, I hope the public safety argument works, for the sake of the local economy. The Klan isn't doing anyone any favors with this, and I would hope the locals understand that.

I don't live in Blairsville but my parents live nearby and I practically grew up in the area between there and Dahlonega. It's bad publicity for the whole region thanks to these racist fucknuts.
Just Mike

Dahlonega, GA

#11 Sep 27, 2012
Strel wrote:
<quoted text>I have to disagree with you that the KKK's public expression of opinion violates anyone's rights. None of us have the right to be protected from blatant public displays of speech we simply don't agree with or even find deeply offensive.
Hi Strel- very good points you make. However, isn't the expression of opinion/violation of other's rights issue you indicate mitigated by the myriad of anti-discrimination LAWS passed during the past 3 decades? In other words, our laws (ie, "hate" crimes, hiring/firing, etc) all specifically provide harsh penalties for discrimination... therefore, isn't the KKK encouraging their members to essentially break the law? If so, it's hard to believe that would be "protected" free speech, no?

I remember that whack job religious group attending funerals of fallen soldiers and voicing their "opinions" that the soldiers "deserved it" and that they were evil- utterly disgusting to 99.9% of us. However, there are no laws that protect our soldiers from such disparagement... or our flag from intentional desecration. The difference in the KKK case is that the law DOES protect against race discrimination.

I think we both agree that Freedom of Speech can be a "slippery slope" when it comes to exclusions from the rule. I suppose that the Klan's verbiage of "White Separatist" gives them an out, even if the implication IS discrimination. Slo makes a good point in that they don't actively string people up anymore, so why should anyone care what they say.

I appreciate Oh My's citation of the 65mph law exclusion... kind of makes the ACLU lawsuit a moot point, right? I'll head to courthouse just to check out the "show"... might be entertaining!
jOHN

Demorest, GA

#12 Sep 27, 2012
Just Looking wrote:
Why is Lamar named in the lawsuit? The permitting and the right of way belongs to the GA Department of Transportation. You would not think he has a dog in this fight or is there more we, the puiblic don't know.
This is Liemore Kanty . THE BUCK STARTS AND STOPS WITH LIEMORE . SO DOES ALL LAWSUITS .
Strel

Tallahassee, FL

#13 Sep 28, 2012
Just Mike wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Strel- very good points you make. However, isn't the expression of opinion/violation of other's rights issue you indicate mitigated by the myriad of anti-discrimination LAWS passed during the past 3 decades? In other words, our laws (ie, "hate" crimes, hiring/firing, etc) all specifically provide harsh penalties for discrimination... therefore, isn't the KKK encouraging their members to essentially break the law? If so, it's hard to believe that would be "protected" free speech, no?
I remember that whack job religious group attending funerals of fallen soldiers and voicing their "opinions" that the soldiers "deserved it" and that they were evil- utterly disgusting to 99.9% of us. However, there are no laws that protect our soldiers from such disparagement... or our flag from intentional desecration. The difference in the KKK case is that the law DOES protect against race discrimination.
I think we both agree that Freedom of Speech can be a "slippery slope" when it comes to exclusions from the rule. I suppose that the Klan's verbiage of "White Separatist" gives them an out, even if the implication IS discrimination. Slo makes a good point in that they don't actively string people up anymore, so why should anyone care what they say.
I appreciate Oh My's citation of the 65mph law exclusion... kind of makes the ACLU lawsuit a moot point, right? I'll head to courthouse just to check out the "show"... might be entertaining!
Not necessarily. Remember that the standards are different for a business dealing with the general public engaged in "commercial speech."

Anyway, I'm not too keen on "hate crime" legislation. Increasing the punishment because of the opinions of the defendant seems inconsistent with the First Amendment. I don't agree with the ACLU on everything -- hell, they don't even agree with each other half the time. As it should be.
Informed Opinion

Hollywood, FL

#14 Sep 28, 2012
Strel wrote:
<quoted text>Not necessarily. Remember that the standards are different for a business dealing with the general public engaged in "commercial speech."

Anyway, I'm not too keen on "hate crime" legislation. Increasing the punishment because of the opinions of the defendant seems inconsistent with the First Amendment. I don't agree with the ACLU on everything -- hell, they don't even agree with each other half the time. As it should be.
I agree with you on the "Hate Crime" thing.

People should be punished for what they do, not what they think.
Max59

Blue Ridge, GA

#15 May 25, 2014
Mario wrote:
http://www.topix.com/forum/cou nty/fannin-ga/T2V5KL0A370K7U0E 6
Union county has a march, big deal, 3 white me showed.
Strel

Tallahassee, FL

#16 Jun 3, 2014
Max59 wrote:
<quoted text>
Union county has a march, big deal, 3 white me showed.
Seems like Union County has changed a lot since my great grandfather was Grand Wizard of the KKK up in those parts.

I'm in my upper 40's and heard THAT story from dad for the first time last month. Sheesh. Although it does explain the prevalence of the Confederate Battle Flag in family photos from the 1930's....

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