(Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay)
“Human rights are something you were born with. Human rights are your God-given rights. Human rights are the rights recognized by all nations on earth. And any time anyone violates your human rights, you can take them to court”.
Dictionary.com defines human rights as a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person.
Interesting to hear politicians, everyday Americans and TV news programs talk about the Constitution but most only cite the Amendments that fit a small segment of society. A lot of folks will scream for their Second Amendment rights even though it was written when the country did not have an Army and militias were needed to defend the country. These same folks do not make a peep when the Fourteenth Amendment is brought up.
14th Amendment cliff notes version: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person in its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The Fourteenth amendment seems clearer to me in today’s climate than arming a militia we do not need because we have professional armed services (Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Guard and Reserves). Imagine if all Americans were treated equally as described in the Fourteenth amendment. The world would be a better place right now.
Had a fantastic conversation with an older gentleman last week about all the things (protests, marches, etc.) going on after the death of George Floyd. The gentleman is a retiree and he drives the customer shuttle part time for a local car dealership. He was giving me a ride home after I dropped my vehicle off for repairs and wanted to discuss current events. He let me know he wanted to talk with someone but did not know how to start. He asked if I would be willing to talk with him so he would have a better understanding of current events. Guess I made him feel comfortable because I had only been around him 10 minutes before he decided I was the chosen one to enlighten him.
He asked me two questions:
- Why are people saying Black Lives Matter (BLM), shouldn’t all live matter?
- Why are the confederate statues coming down so important today?
Explained to him the BLM movement is needed to highlight the injustices black people continue to face with no end in sight. No one ever said all lives do not matter but BLM is a way to focus on people who have been marginalized, forgotten, abused, and brutalized since being brought to America. The BLM movement keeps the continued injustices against black people in America at the forefront and signals we will not be quiet anymore. Anyone who says All Lives Matter, White Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter have not been subjected to the same level of systemic racism, policing, sentencing, violence, government oversight and oppression as the people who need you to understand Black Live Matter!
I let my new friend know the confederate statues were routinely placed as racial dog whistles to a past that honored men who fought to continue slavery. Most people do not know but a lot of these statues were put in place throughout the 1900’s. The state of Arizona built a confederate monument in 2010. Let me repeat that—the state of Arizona commissioned and placed a confederate monument in 2010!!!
Placing these monuments in public places is a slap in the face of all Americans but is reprehensible for anyone who was subjected to slavery, cruelty and death at the hands of the men others are trying to honor with a heritage claim. Does Germany or Japan have statues of American Generals who fought against their countries? What would they think having to walk by statues of these people daily?
The confederates who are depicted by the statues fought against America! They would be considered enemies if they were from a different country or race. They were traitors against the American government and fought to keep black people as slaves, but some people want to hide behind a heritage claim for why these statues should remain. They are a part of history but should not be given a higher regard than true American heroes who did not become traitors against their country. Confederate generals, soldiers, sympathizers, and apologists are traitors to the American way of life. Who would claim being a traitor as a heritage to be proud of?
My new friend and I departed after having a great conversation. I am happy he felt comfortable enough to want to talk with me. He let me know he would talk with his grand kids later that day to help them understand everything happening around them and become a better BLM ally. Smalls steps on this journey!
Who can you help understand the BLM movement? What support do you need to keep the conversation moving forward?
“It’s a privilege to educate yourself about racism instead of experiencing it”.