In a recent turn of events, Stop the ACLU published the home phone number and home address of the family on their website, highlighting it as the first instance of an ongoing "project" called "Expose the ACLU Plaintiff".
Expose them to what? Why is the publication of this address and this family especially noteworthy? Because the family in question previously had to relocate due to harassment and threats against them -- including oblique threats from members of the very school board in question. Bartholomew's Notes on Religion quotes coverage from a site that highlights such attacks on Jewish Americans:
A large Delaware school district promoted Christianity so aggressively that a Jewish family felt it necessary to move to Wilmington, two hours away, because they feared retaliation for filing a lawsuit. The religion (if any) of a second family in the lawsuit is not known, because they're suing as Jane and John Doe; they also fear retaliation. Both families are asking relief from "state-sponsored religion." [...]
On the evening in August 2004 when the board was to announce its new policy, hundreds of people turned out for the meeitng. The Dobrich family and Jane Doe felt intimidated and asked a state trooper to escort them.
The complaint recounts a raucous crowd that applauded the board's opening prayer and then, when sixth-grader Alexander Dobrich stood up to read a statement, yelled at him "take your yarmulke off!" His statement, read by Samantha, confided "I feel bad when kids in my class call me Jew boy." [...]
A former board member suggested that Mona Dobrich might "disappear" like Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the atheist whose Supreme Court case resulted in ending organized school prayer. She disappeared in 1995 and her dismembered body was found six years later.
The crowd booed an ACLU speaker and told her to "go back up north."
In the days after the meeting the community poured venom on the Dobriches. Callers to the local radio station said the family they should convert or leave the area. Someone called them and said the Ku Klux Klan was nearby.
So now, as Bartholomew's Notes on Religion discovered, Stop the ACLU felt it necessary, as the first step of what they claim will be an ongoing campaign, to highlight the contact information of the family in question: "we want the community to know about it", says the introduction of the piece, which encourages individuals to contact the family. But remember, the disclaimer says: "harassment and threats serve only to harm us and could even get the police involved which we don't want." So contact, and "get others involved" -- but don't harass. [The page has been modified since it was first placed; Jesus' General has a screen capture.]
Jesus' General got an email response of Nedd Kareiva, director of Stop the ACLU, to these events. It reads in part:
I am pleased that we had an effect in this case.
Indeed, on an update to his original post as a result of the attention of Salon and other blogs, Mr. Kareiva reiterates that future installments of the series will target additional individuals.
This is the face of the hard core of the Republican base: the base represented by Front Page Magazine, NewsMax, and a host of vicious and frequently racist sites. This is the base David Horowitz and his band of venomous "reporters" attempt to reach, when "exposing" supposed traitors in academia or the press. This is what Malkin and others attempt to mainstream through VDare and similar groups. This is the face of the assault on so-called "liberalism" -- an assault against Jewish Americans, against those of all other faiths and heritages, presuming they don't keep their mouths shut, and, when necessary, against sixth graders. These are the people that David Neiwert and other reporters continue to track, in their efforts to document how these kinds of rhetoric, tactics, and sometimes even the same people move from the farthest fringes of far-right supremacist and militia movements into accepted "mainstream" Republican discourse.
This is fascism with an American face. And with each passing advocacy of further violence, with each family run out of town or "exposed" online to thousands of very, very stupid followers who idolize their own beliefs above America, their own values above those of democracy, and their own testosterone a whole hell of a lot more than common sense, they tread closer and closer to the edges of just what they will advocate, and just what they will do.
The bigger violence of inherently violent movements starts one town at a time, one school at a time. It includes mail bombings of judges, and it includes sites that publish the home information of abortion doctors, crossing out ones that have been killed and greying out the ones that have been wounded. It includes very large acts, and it includes very small ones, involving only one family, and one town.
Let Mr. Kareiva and Stop the ACLU know -- politely, please -- how we feel about violent threats against families and children, and his suggestion that a family in fear for their lives was "an effect" to be "pleased" about.
And let the rest of the right-wing blogosphere know, on an ongoing basis, that this transparent crap that supports their fellow Americans so long as they have the "right" beliefs, that endorses thuggery and the rhetoric of terrorism so long as it is aimed at the "right" targets, and who supports Jewish Americans so long as they either shut up or leave town -- no more. Let them know that there's a whole ninety percent of the country out there that finds them despicable, and has no intention of letting them continue to operate in the dark.
This is the face of fascism -- supposedly Christian, violent and aggressive, and painted in the colors of the flag. This is the America they are trying for.
The biggest irony of the Stop the ACLU action against this family? That ACLU involvement in this case has been minimal: aside from putting the family in touch with a local attorney willing to take the case pro bono, and an ACLU speaker in support of the family at the hostile 2004 school board meeting, the organization is not otherwise involved in the case. So it's not about the ACLU, and it's certainly not about principles or "facts": it's just about thuggery.
(Hat tip also to Troutfishing, who covered this in the diaries earlier today.)
Update [2006-7-5 21:43:34 by Hunter]: The first link in this story used to point to wingnut site stoptheaclu.com; the site that did the outing is stoptheaclu.org. StoptheACLU.com claims they are unaffiliated with StopTheACLU.org. They have posted an update stating that -- and supporting StopTheACLU.org.
This would be compelling, but in fact the two sites are tightly linked, according to the principals themselves (http://www.museumofleftwinglunacy.com/archives/2005/08/help_put_the_fe.html: NO LINK because of obnoxious embedded sound upon loading the page):
Here is a way you can get involved in fighting leftwing lunacy. My blog, stoptheaclu.com is the official blog of stoptheaclu.org. [...] Nedd has put together a form letter and is looking for volunteers to mail them across the nation. The letter simply asks them to visit Stop The ACLU.Org and Stoptheaclu.com and educate themselves about the ACLU. They don't ask for money, or anything like that.The About page of the site -- and a variety of other links -- establish the joint "official" role of the two sites.
Update [2006-7-5 22:5:1 by Hunter]: I've removed three comments with the addresses of some of the principals of StopTheACLU from this site. Please note that posting the addresses or phone numbers of individuals is not done here, and is grounds for banning.