Sometimes the ACLU remembers what it’s about and actually defends civil rights. Most of the time, though, it’s just another hard-core Leftist organization. Take its reaction to a Marin County Fair edict, for example.
The Marin County Fair in past years has been plagued with gangs from the Canal District, which is the large Hispanic area in San Rafael. To try to crack down on violence, the Fair announced this year that it would ban gang-style clothing (which, incidentally, some of the “nice” boys in Marin wear too in an effort to look cool).
The ACLU has stepped in, and its theory basically says that cracking down on gang-wear is racist. That is, it says that, since most gang members are Hispanic, banning their gang paraphernalia isn’t anti-gang, it’s racist:
Marin’s new ordinance cracking down on gang attire at the fair means that “hundreds, and probably thousands” of fairgoers will run the risk of violations, according to a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, adding that as a practical matter Latino youth are the real targets of a code that in effect formalizes racial profiling.
“Given this county’s identified gang population, it is Latino youth who will be taking a risk … not white youth wearing the identical items,” declared Alan L. Schlosser of Mill Valley, legal director of the ACLU of Northern California.
Undersheriff Mike Ridgway begged to differ, saying the county law does not discriminate and was “carefully crafted by attorneys to pass constitutional muster” while providing a more transparent process that includes advance notice of the gang insignia at issue.
BTW, it’s not a hardship for these young men (they’re always young men) to avoid gang wear. It’s just that the ACLU is claiming that it is inherently racist to ban clothes that lead to open warfare if the majority of those wearing them are minorities — never mind that they’re also the same young men who engage in open warfare. The syllogism is sick: Gang members wear gang clothes that are triggers for violence; these gang members are a subset of the Hispanic population; therefore it’s racist to ban gang clothes that are triggers for violence.