Cowards

ACLU PR problemI approached my fellow board members at the ACLU to add their organization’s name to the list of cosponsors of the upcoming PPJPC social event: Give Peace a Dance. They turned it down.
 
Do I bite my thumb at them?

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado Springs stands only for the civil liberties of Americans. Yes, this would exclude non-citizens, guest workers or refugees, not to mention world citizens. Where does this leave populations under American occupation, whose welfare is our responsibility according to the Geneva Conventions?

(Actually, the Bill of Rights applies to anyone on American soil, citizens and non-citizens. And laws of war dictate that such protections are also owed to people under occupation. I don’t care if you are not concerned about your fellow human beings, you’re bound by law to care for the victims of our war. Do you have any particular affinity for the principles of the ACLU in the first place?)

My colleagues’ rationale? The ACLU should not dilute their focus, nor offend their conservative base, by speaking up against war, in this casethe deprivation of rights of millions which illegal US actions have wrought.

If the Justice and Peace were to have any allies, to my mind the ACLU would be a likely candidate. Unfortunately the peace movement in Colorado Springs is not gathering momentum through the coordinate efforts of organizations. This city is still vastly overpopulated with people who may know the right thing to do, but who aren’t up to the task of doing it.

They are cowards. There will always be an excuse, won’t there? It’s hard to argue with a man who wants to run from the lion, but this isn’t about our own self-preservation is it? The only way to stop this lion is to keep marching. That is our only hope that it might someday stop attacking others. I don’t think it takes any courage to do the right thing. To do the wrong thing, for lack even of knowing what to do, is cowardice.

My efforts to persuade the ACLU were heavy handed and condescending, I wish I could have spoken otherwise. I called their excuses morally bankrupt. So why stop now? These do-gooders may be wrapped in the fog of Bush’s war, but they’re not stupid. They’re cowards.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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4 Responses to Cowards

  1. Avatar Marie Walden says:

    An alternative to going to war to obtain a stated end is to use diplomacy. And what does diplomacy require? An understanding of its target and a well-crafted and persuasive argument. An attempt to create a positive outcome for both sides. Jumping up and down and name-calling rarely gets the job done.

    I am one of the cowards on the ACLU board who voted against sponsoring the dance. Am I for peace? Absolutely! Am I a coward? No way. Could a well-thought and rational plea that encompassed the idea of peace and justice for all changed my vote? No doubt. A temper tantrum? Never.

    I am a mother first. I know how to deal with babies.

  2. Eric Eric says:

    Bummer. Then you acted cowardly, pig-headed and apparently slow-witted. Get over your condescending conclusion of me behaving like a baby and look to the bigger picture. This isn’t about my failings as a persuader, this is about advocating for peace. Did you favor the ultimate argument, but were hung up on my delivery?

  3. Avatar Marie Walden says:

    I have worked for years in the nonprofit sector, for many different organizations. I have served on numerous boards. The strongest and most effective organization is one with a clearly defined mission. One that can define specific goals and strategically design a path to accomplish them.

    For more than a decade I’ve been involved with Newborn Hope. We are concerned with prematurity prevention and neonatal health care. The unborn. Can you only imagine how diligent we had to be to avoid playing into the hands of the anti-abortion activists? We frequently grant funds to pay for ultrasound, a very important tool in the fight against premature birth. Also a very effective tool in the fight against abortion. Both noble goals. But very different. As Chairman of NBH I was militant that our funds be used to advance OUR mission. Not the mission of other well-intentioned and worthy organizations.

    I am pro-life; I am pro-peace; I am pro-civil liberties. It is hard for me to inhabit a single body. I do not wish similar internal discord on nonprofit organizations that I serve.

    To be simple is to be powerful. We need people with your passion to make us care. But we need people like me to be effective.

  4. Avatar tony logan says:

    The local chapter of the ACLU is a disgrace in more ways than just this one. How it denied the audience the right to question and comment about its invited pig,CS Police Chief Myers, at its annual forum was a total disgrace. It can play buddy buddy with the police captain and can’t endorse a dance? Give us a break, Marie.

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