The American Civil Liberties Union is apologizing for featuring the picture of this child at part of is promotional campaign after outraged supporters said that the image rekindled fears of Charlottesville and represented “white privilege.” Rather than stand by a beautiful picture of a child in an ACLU shirt with and American flag, the ACLU effectively confessed to being guilty of white privilege in allowing such an image on its site. I have been lifetime supporter of the work of the ACLU but the organization has been losing its once tight grip on core principles. Members have been demanding that the organization drop its color-blind approach to free speech and refuse to represent some unpopular groups. The ACLU conceded that it would decline to help groups like those in Charlottesville because they were seen with guns — despite the fact that those guns were entirely legal.
The campaign was meant to feature pictures of toddlers in onesies saying “Free Speech” along with the caption: ‘This is the future that ACLU members want.”
Given the open deeply disturbing responses to the simple picture of a white child, one would have hoped that the ACLU would have responded unbowed and unequivably by saying that it was the responses and not the picture that were racist. Instead, it actually issued a cringing thank you for a lesson on its white privilege issues: