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Op-Ed: Trump is President, but ACLU of NY is Stronger than Ever (Huffington Post)

Trump Muslim ban executive orders

By Donna Lieberman

Many Americans are shocked and angry. Our country has just elected a president on a platform of proposals shaped by hate and fear and bigotry.

This is not our America.

In the past weeks you have seen self-interested politicians who are sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of our land show tremendous weakness, kowtowing and supporting a candidate who brazenly vows to oppose freedom, equality and justice. You have seen voting rights stripped away while the government failed to act.

But the New York Civil Liberties Union stands stronger than ever. The day after the election, the ACLU received the single greatest number of individual donations it had ever received in a single day. Our network has grown by thousands. Why? The NYCLU is a non-partisan organization. We will not fold to party politics and influences. We have one role: to defend the civil rights and civil liberties of the American people. I assure you, the threat to our country is real. Reports have consistently underestimated how far Donald Trump’s presidential platform would go. Even in the day since his election, there is talk that Donald Trump could not possibly go forward with the most extreme policies he has proposed. Wishfully hoping that Donald Trump does not follow through with his plans is not a mistake the NYCLU will make.

I am prepared to take Donald Trump at his word. I was born at the height of the McCarthy period, and I grew up with parents who were afraid to buy newspapers they wanted to read and express their political views. In the past 24 hours, as reports of hate crimes are spreading like wildfire, I’ve been under no delusions about what is at stake. The NYCLU is prepared to stand stronger than ever for the people. We have the law on our side and it has stood far longer than any one presidency. New Yorkers know there has been too much misinformation in this post-factual era, and are afraid that their rights and liberties will be swept away before they realize it. Trust me, I understand.

For the next several weeks, I will be sending a series of emails that make clear what are the threats, how they affect New Yorkers and what you can do. Sign up to receive, and become a part of our network. We need to stay connected. And ask your friends and family to join the list. We are not for Republicans or Democrats, but for all New Yorkers. Join our movement by becoming a member.

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
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