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Friday, September 24, 2021

The ACLU morphs into the Ministry of Truth


The word ‘Orwellian’ gets bandied about a little too much in the 2020s. But really, no other word will do to describe the ACLU’s latest antics. The American Civil Liberties Union, once the firmest of freedom’s defenders, has put out a quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but not before erasing a certain word from it. What foul language did RBG use that forced even the liberal behemoth that is the ACLU to take the scissors of censorship to what she said? She said ‘woman’. That’s it. For that, one of America’s most celebrated justices has been given the Ministry of Truth treatment by one of America’s most celebrated defenders of constitutional rights. What is going on here?

The ACLU did its bizarre impersonation of Nineteen Eighty-Four’s Ministry of Truth on Twitter. Just as that dystopian ministry exists to rewrite history to ensure that it corresponds with the Party’s current view of the world, so the ACLU now seems to think its job is to mangle old quotations so that they don’t offend 21st-century woke sensibilities. This is what the ACLU has Ginsburg saying in its tweet: ‘The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] wellbeing and dignity… When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.’

Person? People? They? Ginsburg didn’t use those words. She said woman, women, she. In two short sentences, the ACLU has carried out five acts of censure. It has corrected what it clearly believes was wrongthink on the part of Ginsburg. Ginsburg, who was a justice of the Supreme Court from 1993 until her death in 2020, may have been a much-honoured warrior for women’s rights, but she is guilty of having used incorrect speech in the eyes of the woke scolds who appear to have taken over the ACLU. She said ‘woman’, when as every good and obedient PC person now knows, we don’t use that word. It is potentially offensive to trans women or men who identify as women or non-binary people or whatever other group we are currently elevating above women and their right to talk about themselves and their lives.

Out have gone the genuine libertines of the Sixties and Seventies who defended free-speech rights even for those they loathed – the KKK, Nation of Islam, actual Nazis – and in their place are younger, woker, more intolerant campaigners who won’t even defend the right of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to say ‘woman’. 

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