ACLU-TN Statement on White Supremacist Rallies in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro

Affiliate: ACLU of Tennessee
October 26, 2017 4:15 pm

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Tennessee
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In response to white supremacist rallies planned for this coming Saturday in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee issued the following statement:

“The ACLU of Tennessee forcefully condemns racism, bigotry and hate in all forms, especially the ideology of white supremacists that continues to plague our nation, reflecting our country’s history of slavery and racial violence.

True democracy requires that the right to free speech, peacefully expressed, extends to all people, including those with whom we vehemently disagree and who disagree with us. Particularly in the context of today’s administration, we believe it is dangerous for government officials to pick and choose the speech they favor and the speech they will permit. We applaud the cities of Shelbyville and Murfreesboro for working hard to simultaneously protect free speech and public safety.

Racism and bigotry will not be eradicated if we merely force them underground. But we will not be silent in the face of white supremacy. Equality and justice will only be achieved if we look such bigotry squarely in the eyes and reject it, as many people in Tennessee and across the country have been doing and will continue to do.

Our nation — a nation of immigrants and refugees — is strong precisely because of our diversity and our shared values of equal dignity and inclusion that unite us. The ACLU of Tennessee is unequivocally committed to fighting vigorously for racial justice, and against bigotry and prejudice in any form. We believe that in the end, equality, love and justice will outlast bigotry, hate and discrimination.”

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