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High School Honors Cops, Military, First Responders. ACLU Loses Its Mind.

The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union revealed just how far down the radical leftist rabbit hole the organization has dragged itself. Over the weekend the ACLU chapter found what it deemed to be an event worthy of its full-throated condemnation: a high school’s celebration of law enforcement, military and first responders—an event the ACLU blasted as sending a “frightening message.”

The “frightening” celebration took place Friday before a big game between Middletown High School South and Toms River High School North. The event was designed to honor those who put their lives on the line for our communities and country and, according to, featured “State Police Pipes and Drums of the Blue and Gold, state and local mounted units, personnel from all of the branches of the military and officers from several local offices.” Among those honored was a Linden police officer wounded in the shootout with suspected terrorist bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi.

In addition to all the overt displays of patriotism, what appears to have really gotten the ACLU’s leftist hackles up was a statement by event organizer Deputy Chief Stephen Dollinger, who told the press that the event was in part a response to the national anthem protest movement started by Black Panther Party-celebrating Colin Kaepernick.

“It’s OK to stand up for social justice, inequality and reform,” Dollinger told the Asbury Park Press. “It’s another thing to not stand up for the national anthem.”

The New Jersey ACLU quickly sprang to action, issuing a memo to Middletown High School South officials decrying the event as supposedly designed to silence those who criticized the “systemic racism” of the criminal justice system. The letter was also signed by the the NAACP Greater Long Branch and the Central Jersey Chapter of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

“As initially described, the event appeared to honor police officers, veterans, service members, and first responders,” the ACLU letter read. “It is a disservice to the students and players that an event that should focus on them, their families, and their communities is being used to send a message that people who express concerns about disparities in the criminal justice system are unwelcome, disloyal or unpatriotic.”

One ACLU leader described the celebration as sending a “frightening message.” The event, said the ACLU’s Jasmine Crenshaw, suggested that police won’t let people express views about America’s “history of unequal treatment and systematic oppression.” Another ACLU leader, Dianna Houenou, insisted that all the group really cared about was protecting students’ ability to “exercise their free speech at sporting events.”

In response, Dollinger defended the event and said that his words were misinterpreted; the intention was simply to honor those who risk their lives to protect us.

H/T Jazz Shaw