“Those Guys Hate Me”

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I enjoy hearing someone say “Fuck you” to Milo as much as the next person so I watched the recent clip from the Bill Mahler show with a certain amount of glee because, seriously, fuck that guy. And before you come all up in my comments, yes I still think the ACLU is correct in their stance. Just because I don’t want to hear what someone has to say doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to say it. That, however, is besides the point because Milo said something that I think everyone by and large missed.

When the discussion turned to his ties with far Nazi right which is different and separate from the “not Nazi” Alt-Right (it isn’t) he said that those guys hate him. And this gave me pause, not because it’s not true (it probably is) but because this is the SAME thing Richard Spencer said before he got sucker punched on camera a few weeks ago.

“Those guys hate me.”

This is an important thing that both of these people have said and we need to pay attention because this is how they’re sliding their views to the masses and gaining legitimacy and followers.

“Those guys hate me,” which translates handily into “I am not those guys.”

Those guys are clearly reprehensible. Everyone understands being a skin head, Nazi, white supremacist is a problem unless you are straight up those things. People like Milo and Spencer give would be racists a third option. A way to excuse them from being the racist villian. An alternative to the right. An alt-right if you will.

It’s a way for them to say, “Whoa, I’m not like those guys! Those guys are BAD GUYS! I’m this other thing that those people hate!”

The people who identify with these movements are doing so because they think the rebranding of their hatred and ignorance makes it into something else. That just because the original brand hates the new packaging somehow it makes the contents of it different.

It doesn’t. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend, as much as they would like you believe. They are exactly the same bullshit as the far right. They’re just more ok with gay people and have better taste in clothing.

“Those guys hate me.”

Yeah ok, that’s nice. You’re still awful.

Milo Sucks But He Still Has Rights

Court House

The ACLU was having the best week ever after their efforts to help immigrants caught up in the President’s hasty and poorly thought out executive order were detained at airports across the country. People rushed to support them but this week isn’t so good as they’re tied to Milo Yiannopoulos and many of their new supporters are speaking of ending their support. Here’s the thing, don’t.

The ACLU is an organization with the goal of defending everyone’s civil liberties even those liberties that we disagree with or that they disagree with on a personal level. But their personal feelings don’t matter because they’re there to defend the Constitution and that’s exactly what we want and need in a free society.

Did the ACLU defend Nazis one time? They sure did when their civil rights were violated. But they were also the guys sitting on the floor in airports fighting against unjust orders that were keeping people from their homes. They are ALSO the guys taking on Facebook and the rest of social media for their bias against people of color.

The Blue Team is far from perfect but one of our biggest issues is our moral absolution. There are matters where this is the way to go because there are some issues that have no middle ground. This isn’t one of them. The ACLU is an organization that defends peoples’ Constitutional rights. It does not defend only the rights of people they agree with nor does it defend or support anything outside of those rights.

So, the ACLU isn’t defending Milo’s right to be an asshole and spew hate speech. What they are defending is his protected right not to be censured by the government for his bullshit beliefs. They are defending his legal right to say them.

They are defending his rights the same way they defended the rights of the people trapped by the travel EO. And the thing is, sometimes they’re going to side with things we disagree with but a lot of the time, they’re going support people who are being unfairly targeted and having their rights violated, and all of the time this will be based on the Constitution and what the law says.

We need that. Don’t play into the Red Team’s hand. They are COUNTING on us to jump ship the SAME exact way they counted on us to do so during the election with “crooked/warmonger/defended a rapist that one time Hillary”. This thing with Milo is a way to weaken the left’s resistance.

We know that the judicial branch is one of the best weapons we have. By pulling our support over this, we’ll be cutting off our own noses to spite our face. There’s going to be a lot of bullshit that’s coming down the line over the next few years and in order to keep groups like the ACLU primed and ready to put loafers and heels on the ground when we need them, we’re going to have to support them even if we don’t always agree with them.

So, if they need to show up for Milo to prove their unwavering support of the founding principles of this country, let them! As long of they keep showing up to protect our civil rights, rights to privacy, advocate for marginalized groups, and block every unconstitutional piece of nonsense that comes from this administration, then there’s no reason to stop supporting them.