ACLU Insider Says Organization Is “Intellectually Dishonest”


( – The former executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union, in an interview with Spiked Magazine, has come clean about the intellectual dishonesty of the organization.

Ira Glasser, the director of the ACLU between 1978 and 2001, slammed the organization for being dishonest and abandoning its core principles while talking to the UK-based outlet.

Glasser, now 82, told Spiked deputy editor Tom Slater that the ACLU’s decision to intervene in the healthcare debate was “tragic.”

“Not because an organization doesn’t have the right to change and say we don’t want to be a civil-liberties organization anymore, we want to be a progressive, social-justice organization. It can do that,” he said.

“But there’s two problems with that. One is, while it’s doing it, it’s denying that it’s doing it. It’s being intellectually dishonest. And the second thing is, that there is nothing to replace it.”

Glasser’s comments are significant as criticism of the ACLU is often brushed off by Democrats and progressive activists as racism or bigotry. Glasser is a long-time advocate for racial justice and become a part of the civil liberties movement after watching Brooklyn Dodgers player Jackie Robinson struggle to break through because of his race.

Glasser also described his early days in the ACLU, saying, “When I came into the ACLU there was a distinction that you often heard people make on the national board between what they called civil liberties and civil rights…I’m very proud of the fact that we restored racial justice to its proper place, high up on our agenda and second to none.”

He even defended the cause of free speech, something that the ACLU today appears very willing to neglect.

“What revived the First Amendment, in the Sixties, legally, was the civil rights movement,” he said. Glasser even recalled a time when the ACLU defended the First Amendment rights of members of the racist Ku Klux Klan.

Many young people today, particularly those in liberal universities, would fight tooth and nail to ensure a racist didn’t have the opportunity to speak. Glasser noted this, explaining that young people see the First Amendment “as an antagonist to social justice.”

When one of the legends of the civil liberties and civil rights movements says that the ACLU is being dishonest, then you know it has to be true.