We kinda expect them at this point to be missing-in-action with regard to gun rights, but they’ve not been much better at free speech lately. When it’s their fellow travelers who are misbehaving, they fall strangely silent:
The Radio Television Digital News Association recently presented its new First Amendment Defenders Award to Tim Tai, a student journalist who was hired by ESPN to cover the anti-racism protests at the University of Missouri.
“Tai was confronted by University students, faculty and staff, threatening him with violence if he did not abandon his efforts,” the award citation reads. “Instead, he stood his ground and patiently asserted his First Amendment Rights to stand in a public place and report on the events around him.”
One would hope that the ACLU of Missouri issued a statement of support for Tim Tai at the time the video of this highly publicized event went viral on the Internet. But the ACLU of Missouri didn’t even acknowledge that the incident occurred. Instead, they issued a statement that “the ACLU of Missouri honors the University of Missouri students and faculty who displayed courageous and creative leadership …”
The next day, when MU’s student body vice president suggested on national television that the exercise of First Amendment rights creates a hostile and unsafe learning environment, the ACLU of Missouri remained silent. Two days later, when a Christian street preacher was physically assaulted by anti-racism protesters while speaking inside MU’s designated “Free Speech Circle,” the ACLU of Missouri remained silent.