Today is Blog Action Day, an event that I’ve participated in a few times over the years and one that I’m having a say on once again this year. The only thing I won’t be doing this year is helping to promote the event on Twitter because by the time this posts I’ll be in a board meeting at a convention in New Orleans, hoping there will be something for me to eat.
In previous years, the topics I participated on were poverty, food and the power of “we” on this blog, and also addressing poverty and food on my business blog. This year I’m only writing on this blog, and the subject is human rights.
This is a much different topic to address than in previous years because anything that personally touches me is more through anecdotal items than personal history. Even though I was born in the south in 1959, when Jim Crow laws were still in effect and outside of the military base my parents had to look for “colored” whenever they wanted water or a bathroom or places to eat but being young I don’t remember that. I don’t remember when my parents had to drive through some states or pull over to the side of the road to catch some sleep because there were hotels where black people weren’t allowed to stay. Sure, I had some incidences when I was a little younger of being pulled over without knowing why, but could I prove that my human rights had been violated? Nope, and I was never arrested and always allowed to move on.
Is there still racism? Absolutely, to the extent that even now in the 2010’s there have to be resolutions in Congress to extend the Voting Rights Act; are you kidding me? Also, there’s never been any movement in passing a rights bill for women and, oh, the commotion in passing one for gender rights. At least the government finally saw fit to pay for past discrimination against Asian Americans, black and Latino farmers, and some native American communities, but there’s still so far to go.
And yet, this isn’t an issue that only involves America. This past week we had the story of Malala, a Pakistani girl who only wanted to get an education and was shot by the Taliban for it because she’s female. We’ve heard stories of rapes and acid being thrown in the faces of young women for trying to learn; can you imagine?
We hear of stories of rape in countries like India and South Africa, and legal punishments against women in places like Saudi Arabia and many other countries too numerous too mention because men decide that women aren’t really people, per se, less than human, thus they get raped and then go to jail for enticing men; wow…
We hear of countries like Syria unleashing poisonous gas on its own citizens and are reminded that Slobodan Milošević did the same thing against his own people back in the 90’s and that Saddam Hussein also engaged in the practice. These days we know all the bad things the Taliban and Al Qaeda do against anyone who’s not them and doesn’t believe as they do, all in the name of “religion”; phooey! For that matter we might as well group the people in this country who hide behind religion to abuse and disavow rights to those who aren’t like them; just because they’re not carrying bombs around doesn’t give them a free pass.
Where I linked above when I mentioned human rights is what’s called the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, which has 30 points of view that they’re calling articles that they believe should be incorporated by the United Nations to protect the human rights of people around the world. All of them are equally good, but for me #3 stands out, and it’s the one I’m closing this article on, and hope all of you believe as I do:
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.