I was not born an activist. I don’t seek out controversy. It seems like I was backed into a corner early in life. This is how many members of minorities came to care deeply about human rights.
When dictators like Vladimir Putin proclaim that Russia is on the road to democracy, more freedoms, and ensuring human rights, we know such rulers do not sincerely mean what they say. This is especially true today as Putin doubles down on official oppression of LGBT people in Russia and promotes human rights abuses elsewhere.
Russia is just one of the major powers that block the aspirations of people. Such nations display their contempt for human rights by oppression, torture, kidnapping, and killing people they do not like. Such corruption and moral failings of these regimes are harshly judged by caring people in their own countries, but brutishness and prejudice are difficult to overcome when they are endorsed by powerful leaders.
What is taking place these days is a massive roll-back of human rights on a global scale. There are efforts to suppress the media everywhere by forces foreign and domestic. Open and free expression is one of the nutrients of human rights and the major way for people of all walks of life to learn and tell our stories. To suppress freedom of the press and to obliterate free speech is to smother human rights.
This is not the time to be complacent and apathetic about the increasing incidences of human rights abuses and advocating elimination of civil rights legislation.
Alarm bells are going off on every continent on Earth about human rights endangerment. There is no time to waste. Once human rights are taken away, it is a long, dangerous, deadly struggle to regain them. It is no exaggeration to say that dark times are ahead for millions of people.
Thus, the problem of human rights suppression is not just the worry of minorities, because the cancer of oppression becomes malignant and soon affects everybody. This is a prime example of the old “slippery slope” argument…one nudge causes the eventual downward destruction of human rights to affect all of us.
Choose a minority to think about. The members of that group are human beings just like us. Their rights should be respected as much as our own rights. All of our rights are the keys to productive, worthwhile, happy living. To take away basic human rights is to violate the meaning of life.
This issue means so much to me, because my life has been impacted by the suppression of my own civil and human rights. It’s a personal issue whenever someone advocates the rollback of hard-won freedoms and rights of people like me. Having the door slammed on equality and liberty is not something I want to see happening in America nor anywhere else in the world.
I know I’m “preaching to the choir” with this post. There is this hope that these words will touch the hearts of apathetic people who stumble across these words via a Google search results list. Maybe someone on any continent in the world will find some small comfort in this advocacy of universal human rights.
The Blue Jay of Happiness agrees with writer/actor Sir Tom Stoppard’s viewpoint. “For me, human rights simply endorse a view of life and a set of moral values that are perfectly clear to an eight-year-old child. A child knows what is fair and isn’t fair, and justice derives from that knowledge.”