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Fred Sargeant Fingers Anthony Romero For Robbing The ACLU Of Its Principles
An organization that is not fit for purpose
This post was partly composed in mobile by necessity and has been edited to update Chase Strangio’s surname. Freaking autocorrect.
Fred Sargeant is the Herodotus of homosexual liberation. He was present at Stonewall when the riot happened and he chronicled the rise of the gay rights movement as it became a political force. Sargeant used to value the American Civil Liberties Union for its role in promoting gay liberation, but he no longer recognizes the ACLU he once knew.
Now almost 75, he blames Anthony D. Romero, executive director and a gay man, for transforming the organization into an ideological crusade for “paraphilic men” during his 22-year tenure.
“The organization has stagnated and lost its way because he's just been there too long,” Sargeant says. “I don't believe that he's the ‘defender of liberty and individual freedom’ that he claims to be.”
Whereas “the ACLU used to promote litigators; now they promote personalities.” Romero has his favorites, who set the agenda. “The ACLU has become something of a monarchy under his rule, with Chase Strangio looking more like his heir if Chase were to have her way,” Sargeant says, pointedly not using Chase’s preferred pronouns.
A retired policeman, Sargeant sees “Romero as more a defender of progressive conformity and opposed to true individual freedom” than a principled defender of the Bill of Rights.
“In short, he lacks the principles of the earlier ACLU” such as free speech on contentious political topics, Sargeant argues. Romero’s leadership has instead turned the ACLU into an ideological enforcer of a very narrow political perspective. “It's why I think that he couldn't take a Skokie case today,” he says. “Those days are long gone.”
During 1978, the ACLU defended the right of neo-Nazis to march through heavily-Jewish Skokie, Illinois. As a result, the Supreme Court upheld the principle of free speech, even for speech that someone hates to hear.
Now the ACLU is in the business of deciding what is ‘hate speech.’ and who gets to speak.
“It shows in their case work,” Sargeant says, referring to the direction of the organization towards ‘gender identity’ lobbying. The only ‘free speech’ the ACLU seems to recognize anymore is pornographic books in school libraries.
The ACLU works hard to put men in women’s prisons. Under current leadership, the ACLU has put boys and men in girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms and sports. The Strangio-Romero ACLU refuses to defend women from men, and excuses this blatant sex discrimination as an equity principle, saying they would never choose a “cis girl” or “cis woman” over a male who calls himself a woman, for any reason.
Strangio, who is easily the most public figure in the ACLU, has flatly said she would like to censor Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier. “Stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas is 100% a hill I will die on,” Strangio tweeted. The ACLU has not disowned her words.
This transformation is all the more remarkable because it has happened without a robust debate (because “this is not a debate,” natch).
Whereas the ACLU of the past held rigorous debates airing out all sides of every topic at their annual meetings, the transgender lobby took over the ACLU the same way it has transformed so many other organizations, by stealth. It is one more example of their Long March through the institutions.
“It's clear that money plays a role” in this, Sargeant acknowledges. “I certainly see it as one in same as HRC, GLAAD, etc, as well as the entirety of [what] passes as LGBTQ media in this country.”
Although it claims to have 4 million members nationwide, the ACLU is no longer really a grassroots organization, either. As Jennifer Bilek has documented, the ACLU no longer relies on membership dues for its financing.
Instead, a “political infrastructure to drive gender identity ideology and transgenderism across the globe, donating millions to small and large entities” ensures organizational conformity, Bilek writes.
Sargeant sees this pernicious influence everywhere. “Virtually every Pride org in the US/UK/Canada/AUS/NZ is likewise addicted to the Pritzker/Arcus money,” he says.
Sargeant was assaulted and robbed by Pride-flag waving gender zealots last year when he criticized ‘gender identity’ as “homophobic” and “exclusive.”
His assailants likely did not even realize they were street thugs for a billionaire-financed astroturf campaign. Sargeant has the receipts.
“When I tracked the 1099s of our local Pride they got an inordinate financial bump for a Vermont nonprofit when they began to emphasize centering queer/gender ideology,” Sargeant observes.
Formerly a vital force in American civil society, “the ACLU has morphed from an organization that once strived to defend all people's civil liberties into one today that defends only some people's civil liberties,” Sargeant says.
A reckoning is overdue.
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