The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was attacked on Twitter after it defended MILO’s right to speak at universities on the basis of the First Amendment.
In an interview with NPR, Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU, said that although “the things that Mr. Yiannopoulos says are unbelievably hateful in nature… hate speech is a form of free speech.”
“Again, in defending the rights of others to speak, whether or not we agree with them, we must all reach out and protect the speech that we most disagree with or else the First Amendment is just reduced to a popularity contest and has no meaning,” she continued.
The ACLU also tweeted a quote from Rowland’s interview, stating: “It’s easy to protect speech we agree with, but more important to protect speech we abhor.”
However, the organization’s defense of MILO was heavily criticized on Twitter by leftists.
One complainant argued that MILO is “not entitled to platforms,” while another user claimed that the ACLU was “defending the rights of Nazis.”
I STRONGLY disagree with your interpretation free speech here. Milo can say whatever he wants, but he is not entitled to platforms.
— Eric Baker 🍕 (@mouse_clicker) February 10, 2017
As people from NY to LA are watching their families get torn apart by racist raids, why is the ACLU defending Milo? How is that equivalent?
— Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) February 11, 2017
Another falsely claimed that MILO was “entitled to a paid speaking fee at colleges,” despite never charging students to hear him speak.
Typically, the ACLU supports hard-left causes and has strong ties to the Democratic Party. Last year, the organization represented terrorist suspects, criticized a small town nativity scene for promoting Christian values, and called for the complete legalization of drugs.
Following Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily halting immigration from seven terror prone countries, the ACLU has received tens of millions of dollars in donations to file lawsuits against the order.
One of those donors was Twitter, who donated a total of $1.6 million to fight the ban, half of which was provided by the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey.