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American Civil Liberties Union

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Does ACLU website promote feelings of resistance from “outsiders”?

Yes, the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) website promotes feelings of resistance from “outsiders”. First and foremost, such feelings are created by the organization’s slogan “Because freedom can’t protect itself”. This slogan is written in capitals at the top of the organization’s website besides its logo. Considering the fact that ACLU is a non-profit organizations that was formed to offer legal support to individuals being violated legally by the government (ruling power), having a slogan such as “because Freedom Can’t Protect” automatically creates a notion that those seeking ACLU’s services are unable to do things the right way, unless they resist.  

Secondly, ACLU’s website further promotes a feeling of resistance to the “outsiders” because of the fact that, for one to be accorded legal support by ACLU, he/she is expected to be a member of the organization. Ironically, those on the political right have always presented ACLU’s membership negatively; because of the fact that majority of ACLU’s funds are derived from the left politicians commonly known as liberal (ACLU, 2012). From such perspective, it is possible that most people especially outsiders would resist becoming ACLU members because of the fear of either being attacked as was the case of with Republican nominee George H. W. Bush during the 1988 election campaign or fear of being involved in controversial legal issues.        

Is the website a useful communication tool for fostering tolerance, understanding, Respect, Participation? Why or why not?

In my view and evaluation of ACLU’s website, it serves as a useful communication tool for fostering tolerance, understanding, respect, and participation. This is owed to the following reasons:

Participation: ACLU’s website has a specific section that encourages people to not only navigate, but also know specific areas and activities through which they can take part defend their freedom. According to ACLU (2012) the “Take Action” section of ACLU’s website highlights areas such as immigration rights, criminal law reform, and employment among others, as specific sensitive areas through which a populace can inform law makers the need for them to protect their civil liberties.

Understanding: Similarly, ACLU’s website fosters understanding through two sections; key issues and about us. Under key issue, one gets to understand what ACLU is and its mandate. This includes issues such as safe communities, fair sentences, protecting civil liberties in the technological world, and defending those targeted for discrimination among others (ACLU, 2012). About ACLU’s section, offers insight on matters the organization is concerned with and the legal framework guiding its actions.  

Tolerance and Respect: On the other hand, tolerance and respect seem to be critical virtues ACLU’s website which the organization preaches in a bid to realize its mandate effectively. This is particularly owed to the fact that every aspect of the organization’s website, whether written or pictorial, advert or informative, contains some element of tolerance or respect. For instance, adverts on single-sex, gay, and lesbian are common in ACLU’s website despite the fact that such issues have brought a lot of controversy throughout the world (ACLU, 2012). The essence of such advert is to enable both members and outsiders to not only respect, but also tolerate one another in the societies where they live. Similarly, ACLU’s website contains numerous topics and links on liberty, right and freedom issues as well as other cases where the organization successfully intervened and accorded justice to the common and senior people in the society (ACLU, 2012). Such examples automatically allow both outsiders and members to accord the organization the respect they deserve while conducting their duties.

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