Friday, March 12, 2004

Anthony Romero Is The Shiznit

I just watched some CSPAN coverage of Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU, talking at the National Press Club about the Guantánamo Bay detainees and other terrorism-related threats to civil liberties. Apparently, the ACLU has brought some of the family members of the detained men from their home countries (the USA, and other countries) to help publicize the plight of the detainees and to help 'paint a human face' on the detainees. Of course, it's in the Bush Administration's best interests to continue to paint the detainees as a bunch of smelly, dark-skinned, gobbly-gook-speaking, unshaven, children-eating monsters - and thus far they've been fairly successful.

Romero seems smart (Princeton undergrad, Stanford Law), is a good speaker, very polite, potentially charming, and maybe most importantly - he looks good - at least I think so. Turns out that he born in New York City to immigrant parents from Puerto Rico - so maybe that accounts for the Latino good looks. I think the 'good looks' thing is hugely important - not that it should be - but that it is, period. The Executive Director of the ACLU, as the top dog of the ACLU, is going to be their spokesperson. The ACLU is commonly labeled a Communist organization, or at least Communist sympathizer. It's an organization that constantly struggles with its image. It's easy to see why ignorant people would hate on the ACLU, and that's why it's important they at least see a pretty face when they hear ideas that are not what they believe - it can really temper their anger and make them more open to listening. Put an ugly or not-so-attractive person up there, and their message is that much tougher to get across.

Romero also does time on CSPAN's Washington Journal. He handles some tough callers here.