Nov 17, 2008

Come out and support the ACLU on Saturday before ‘Daylight come and we gotta go home’

He may be known worldwide as "King of Calypso” and for the calypso lyric “Day-O” in his monster hit “The Banana Boat Song,” but Harry Belafonte is also know worldwide for his support of civil rights and humanitarian causes.

Belafonte will be the special guest at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan’s Annual Dinner set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Dearborn Hyatt Regency Hotel. Cocktails and silent auction is set for at 6:00 p.m. with dinner at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 for members; $200 for non-members. If you are currently not an ACLU member, you can receive the member price if you become a member when purchasing your ticket. Tickets are available online.

Belafonte is a star of night clubs, recording, films and stage. But he has become just as well known for his support of humanitarian causes. The World War II Navy veteran was an early supporter of civil rights, and he was a confidante of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. He often put his career and livelihood at risk to support his beliefs. President John F. Kennedy named Belafonte as cultural advisor to the Peace Corps in 1960.

Belafonte has continued to lead the struggle for human rights as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He has received countless accolades for his work in Africa, and recently convened the groundbreaking "Gathering for Justice" to address the plight of children in the U.S. criminal justice system. Detroit held its first "Gathering" in 2007. Over his life, Belafonte has stood up for what he believed in, no matter how controversial or harmful to his career. Over the years, he has been part of the anti-apartheid movement, he has been a longtime critic of U.S. foreign policy, opposed the U.S. embargo on Cuba, met with President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez and continues to be a vocal critic of the crimes committed by the Bush Administration.

Come out and support the good work of the ACLU. The mission of the ACLU is to enforce the Bill of Rights and advance its principles. The ACLU not only stands for our basic American freedoms, it actually goes out and fights for them everyday, yet it has been branded unfairly as liberal by rightwing zealots.

They defend anyone who is being discriminated against; no matter what your political affiliation or how unpopular it is. The ACLU has supported rightwing hatemonger Rush Limbaugh in his doctor shopping case by protecting his privacy.

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