bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

...Am Not, But Maybe Once Was, A Member...

Groucho Marx once quipped that he would not want to join any group that would accept him as a member.  I am almost as groupless as his quip suggests.
A long, long time ago (i may have still been in my teens) i joined the ACLU.  I was a member "at large", paying my dues, sending money when asked, but otherwize not very involved nor attentive.  A year or so after i moved to Boise (for good in 1967) a bunch of local at large ACLU members came togeher to form a local chapter,  First order of business was ro elect a local president.  After about ten people had refused their nomination for, more or less, good reasons, somebody nominalted me, and having no excuse except my general incompetence in such matters, i accepted and was unanimously elected.
One of my jobs was, when asked, to interpret ACLU actions to the general public.  About  a year into my first (only) term, the ACLU made a decion to protect in court, the right of  the American Nazi Party to stage a march in Skokie, Illinois.  Constitutionaly that was a correct decision.  Marches have been declared by law to be symbolic speech (grammically and actually "significant" speech")  American Nazis have a right to free expression of ideas.  In its recent history the ACLU had made a couple of cowardly and "wrong" decisions and were reluctant to make another.  It was my job to explain and defend this decision locally.  But i could not do it.  Skokie was the home of many Holocaust survivers, some quite elderly and sole survivers of their family members murders.  I could only imagine their reactions when uniformed men wearing swastikas paraded past their homes.  This is probably why the city of Skokie refused to issue a permit.  This is probably why the Nazis chose Skokie in the first place.  I resigned from my position and from the ACLU.  I continue to admire the group, i send them money once in a while, but i am no longer "part of the body,"

Allowing the march was constitutionally correct, but it was inhumane; and i was human before i was a liberal.  I believe that truth usually has a somewhat liberal slant.  Often, but not alwaya.

Since that time i have not easily become a member of any group.  I consider myself a member of three groups: my family, my twelve step fellowship, and the totality of creation.  The last is inescapable. i am a part of everything and everything is a part of me.  The other two cause me to ask constant questions which i have, so far, been able to handle without leaving.
Love, peace. and happiness to all.
Tags: personal life
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