by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[T]here have been a few recent, powerful examples, coming in quick succession, illustrating the extent to which leading liberal instutitions of civil society have been captured by far-left activist wokesters who take opportunistic advantage of their groups’ venerable reputations in an attempt to repurpose them for dubious ends.
Take, for example, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, once one of the nation’s leading lights of the civil rights movement, which in recent decades has increasingly degenerated into a cesspool of grievance politics, intersectionality, race-tinged hucksterism, and crass Democratic Party politicking.
Last week, the Florida chapter of the NAACP asked its national board to issue a travel advisory against visiting the Sunshine State due to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent moves to, among other things, extirpate “diversity, equity, and inclusion” racialist indoctrination from public universities and convince the College Board to drop asinine leftist indulgences such as “queer studies” from its model Advanced Placement curriculum in African American studies.
As DeSantis, a Republican, aptly summed it up at a press conference when asked about the NAACP tiff: “What a joke!”
Consider also the American Civil Liberties Union’s steady descent, in recent years, away from the free speech absolutism that was long a hallmark of the organization and led it, back in 1978, to legally argue on behalf of neo-Nazi provocateurs who wanted to march in the heavily Jewish suburb of Skokie, Illinois.
Not so much nowadays, as a 2021 headline in The New York Times put it: “Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the ACLU Faces an Identity Crisis: An organization that has defended the First Amendment rights of Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan is split by an internal debate over whether supporting progressive causes is more important.”