The American Civil Liberties Union, or the ACLU, is an important driving force in American Violet, giving Dee the resources and confidence necessary to fight the district attorney in her small Texas town. The ACLU has been a part of several important cases in the United States since its formation in 1920.* The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
• Your First Amendment rights – freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.
• Your right to equal protection under the law – protection against unlawful discrimination.
• Your right to due process – fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
• Your right to privacy – freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
• The ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities. *
Your assignment is to view the American Violet on you tube and answer the following questions in complete sentences. The paper has to have a heading, name, class, and date; double spaced, 12 inch front, and typed. Please revise and edit your paper for mechanical and grammatical errors.
1. Please describe Dee, the main character (protagonist) and her lifestyle or living situation in Arlington Heights. Discuss the focus of the raid at Arlington Heights in the movie and explain if Dee’s rights and others were violated as a result of the raid.
2. Discuss some of the individuals portrayed in American Violet and examine the different ways in which each individual was impacted as a consequence of the raid and subsequent results of being tried and jailed.
3. Because of the stereotypes that surround her, Dee faces many struggles throughout her trial. However, how does Dee demonstrate courage when standing up to those individuals who attack her character based on stereotypes and associations? Think about the impact that stereotypes have on individuals throughout the movie as well as the courage that these individuals exhibit.
4. Dee’s mother realizes, although Dee hasn’t always made decisions that have helped her in life, that doesn’t make her a drug dealer. Several individuals in the movie see Dee only in a negative light because of the decisions she has made. What are your thoughts?
5. Dee demonstrates tremendous courage throughout the movie. Her options are not easy ones to consider. If Dee accepts the plea bargain, she will become a convicted felon and what else could happen to her? What happens if Dee fights her conviction?
6. If faced with Dee’s situation, what choice do you believe you would make? Have you ever been faced with a decision of a similar magnitude? What was it and how did you deal with it?
7. Dee experiences several hardships and setbacks in the movie and she is up against a very powerful force, the District Attorney. With so many things conspiring against her, how did Dee stay strong? Discuss all the people in Dee’s life and how each of those individuals or groups of individuals gave her the strength she needed to continue? Besides courageous, what kind of qualities would you use to describe Dee?
8. How does the War on Drugs affect families of today? What challenges do families have in terms of employment, voting, education and relationships with children. Do you think we should support policies that treat drug use as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue?