It's been a bad week for organizations with four-letter acronyms.
On Wednesday afternoon, the American Civil Liberties Union posted an innocuous picture of a baby in a "Free Speech" onesie on Twitter, writing, "This is the future that ACLU members want."
I shouldn't have to mention this, but the baby in question happened to be white. That was enough for progressive keyboard warriors to accuse the ACLU of promoting white supremacy. "A White kid with a flag?!" replied Temple University professor Nyasha Junior.
And the ACLU agreed with its critics.
Less than an hour after the original tweet went up, the organization responded with another post, writing, "When your Twitter followers keep you in check and remind you that white supremacy is everywhere."
Because wanting a future that includes white babies constitutes white supremacy?
On Wednesday, I argued that ESPN's decision to pull broadcaster Robert Lee from the first University of Virginia football game after Charlottesville, Va., was reasonable because, believe it or not, people actually would have accused the network of being racist over the coincidence of their host's name.
It seems bizarre and inconceivable to some of us, but society's varying standards for what constitutes racism is complicating our ability to have a collective conversation on race relations. Apparently the same now goes for our definition of white supremacy.
On its website, the ACLU describes itself as "our nation's guardian of liberty." This act of self-censorship doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the group's ability to uphold a reputation as a reliable arbiter of acceptable speech. Combined with this report from the Washington Post on Wednesday that claims ACLU members are starting to believe "[m]aybe some speech isn't worth defending," the nonprofit is having a bad twenty-four hours.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.