TAKING RIGHTS: HOW WE INFRINGE ON EACH OTHER’S RIGHTS WHILE FIGHTING FOR RIGHTS

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“You take my speech and I’ll take your protest.”


The Bill of Rights are the first ten Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. And slowly but surely we are in a race to lose those rights. But not by way of the United States government. But by way of each other as citizens. We, for some reason in the U.S. today, love to catch each other saying or doing something that we disapprove so the person can get into trouble. Now you might ask, how can your rights get you into trouble? Well, all we need is for you to do something that people don’t approve of first. It doesn’t matter if you broke the law or not, just as long as you got caught.

And this nation of children that tell on each other has taken hold. But more than than that, we have become police in each other’s lives. You say something that is you expressing your freedom of speech, and I’ll expose it. Then you turn around and catch me protesting something you strongly disagree with and then I lose my job for what I believe. That is a dangerous precedent we’re setting is going after people not because they broke the law, but because they say things we disagree with. And the populace just remains quiet, not saying anything or getting involved until it’s too late. Now what do I mean by the title I use, infringing on each other’s rights.

This is what I mean. The NFL have been a topic of discussion since quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to sit out the national anthem. People have gotten made and decided to threaten boycotting if he was accepted back into sports. But now the Neo-Nazi/White Nationalists groups have been standing up for the right to have Confederate statues in the Southern states. Though I’m not a fan of the men and women who are Neo-Nazis, you have no other choice but to allow them access to march. Unless laws are broken you are now infringing upon the rights of others. Now, we may not agree, hell I don’t, but in order to keep everyone in alignment with rights in the this country, you have no choice but to allow access.

Because unpopular and/or hate speech is protected by our United States Constitution. Is this a sick misuse of the rights that we have in this country, yes. But as long as people go through the proper channels, there is nothing that can be done, and maybe should not be done. Because if we don’t, how long before another group says this I disagree with, or this is hate.  And it’s obvious that a Neo-Nazis hate, but in a country where freedoms are open so long as you don’t incite violence. Once that happens you are now susceptible to being stop. In the end, the problem is not just why people protest. It’s the fact that rights are such a grey area in America. Because using logic, sentiment aside, you have to allow for protest, speech, and open press. Even as unpopular as you might see it, you have to protect even hate speech to protect speech as an entirety.


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I OWE IT TO YOU: WHY NEVER FORGETTING THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS IS IMPORTANT

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“For those who died, I thank you.”


As a young man born in the year 1987, I did not experience those turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement. Now my parents on the other hand saw the tail end, and there’s of course the generations prior. So as a child, I grew up going to school, eating where I wanted, and using public restrooms. Not once did I understand how I got to that point. All I knew is that when someone needed to go to the bathroom, you went. But what I didn’t know until my mother sat down and talked with me, is that it was not always like that in America. And that I should never forget why I am able to do what I do.

And she reminded of this because for the longest there were not only demographics of citizens, but an entire systematic push to keep me from having the basics of necessities. So as I went to school, I always performed well academically because she reminded me at one time how illegal it was for me to go Image result for white onlyto the schools I went to in America. Whenever I used a restroom, she not only told me, but we watched the video footage of Black men and women being attacked just for trying to consume a meal or urinate at public rest stops. So my reason for not getting into trouble is not mainly because of the enforcement of the judicial system, but more so by way of these men and women who died. There are unmarked graves of countless Black people who gave their lives, a lot of which you will never know their names.

So now as an adult, I do so much because they really didn’t have to pave that way. Still today, some of those individuals from that time period are here with us. People who were either teenagers or adults in the fight. And even at times when I see things differently than they do, I can never hate. I can never hate those who Image result for civil rights movementsacrificed so much for me. And no, these men were not the reason I got into my college of choice or landed a job I wanted. But it was because the pressure they placed that made companies even look in my direction. America didn’t want me to have those rights, and had it not been for these men and women, how long would Jim Crow have really lasted. 90 years,  100 years, 200 years; when was the appropriate time to end segregation.

We all would like to think that those types of events had to end, but why? If not for fighting for rights, whose to say? You have of course the critics, yet their voices are to a great degree irrelevant to me. A country tells you to go fight and defend your country, but when you return don’t sit at this table counter. Then you can’t Image result for al and jessesay my country, because in my country you eat where you choose. Otherwise it’s your country, and if I am the lesser, then why are you depending on a lesser to fight for what is yours. So thanks to the men and women who challenged the ideologies of what I am and what was expected of me. For it was you who reminded me before you’re Black, you’re a man, and before that you’re human. You weren’t fighting for my freedom of speech, but my freedom to exist. You did in the past, and still in the present. So despite what the critics think and feel you have my love and respect.

In the end, I dedicate this life of mine to you. Those who fought who are still alive and to those who died in the struggle: Al Sharpton, Alex Haley, Andrew Young, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Barack H. Obama, Bobby Seale, Booker T. Washington, Cornel West, Denmark Vesey, Dick Gregory, Dred Scott, Eldridge Cleaver, Elijah Muhammad, Fred Hampton, Frederick Douglass, Gabriel Prosser, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Harry Belafonte, Huey P.Image result for black historyNewton, Ida B. Wells, Jackie Robinson, James Baldwin, James Meredith, James Weldon Johnson, Jesse Jackson, Jim Brown, John Lewis, Kathleen Cleaver, Louis Farrakhan, Madam C. J. Walker, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, Maya Angelou, Maxine Waters, Medgar Evers, Muhammad Ali, Nat Turner, Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Stokely Carmichael, Thurgood Marshall, W. E. B. Du Bois, and many others who were lesser known or even unknown, yet gave their lives for me. I love you, “WE” love you.


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BEING THE OPPOSITION: HOW YOU BECOME THE VERY PEOPLE YOU FIGHT AGAINST

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“Becoming what you fight against most often tends to be the outcome.”


I am only 29 years old, yet in my lifetime I have seen so many agendas pushed in our society regarding human rights. Yet when these groups get what it is they want, what do they become? They at times become the very people they fight against. Meaning if you are fighting for women’s rights in this country, now there is power behind the movement. And with the power comes individuals staging a protest over every comment made about women. Now you’re dipping into your popularity. And once this happens, you become the same as the people you once fought against. But why do we do it? Why is it so easy to become the people you fight against?

Well, for starters, it’s easy to become the people you fight against because you are fighting to be equal  initially. Yet, what human really want to be equal to the next person. This isn’t a Communist country, we fight against that, so what do we really want? We want to actually receive equal treatment under the law. So if I get Image result for rebelcharged with a crime and I am a man, women don’t want to expect to receive a more harsh punishment. But is that even remotely real as it pertains to us as human beings. See, I like observing us in our natural state. And in our natural state, the moments when we are unaware of our behavior, we act a way not conducive with our conscious selves.

Meaning, when we don’t feel like anyone is watching us, we act as if we are better than those not on our level. Then when we are asked a series of questions pertaining to our sentiment, we become aware. And then it does not align itself with who we really are in society. So in all, the fight against the people who we once felt were in our way of whatever it is we want is real, yet the fight takes on different forms. When we don’t think anyone is watching, we start to, as I say before, dip into our popularity. We hold success over the heads of the people we once fought, and now they are under our control. Do we treat them fair and equal? No, we become what they once were, and now the cycle starts over. Only this time the oppressors are a new generation of oppressed, by the very people their parents or grandparents oppressed.

Why do we operate this way? Is it something about us as a human species where we can’t help ourselves. In my opinion, humanity did not evolve to reign over each other. We built societies where there needed to be control over the populace. Because humans in our most natural state is on par with other creatures of the planet. So we have to design social norms to live by. Yet the norms we create have always been challenged by way of movements from people the construct hurt the most. And in the end, with each movement starting up, and attaining rights; this new power structure will be fought against by future generations. For the simple fact that once the group has their rights, now what? Do the people who once fought vanish; no. They just take on a new form, and a new movement arises from which these previous fighters once came.


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AGENDA CONNECTION: AIMING TO FIGURE OUT WHY WE TAKE CERTAIN STANCE

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“I wish I felt what they felt.”


In society today, we all have these stance we take in regards to feeling a certain sentiment. And they are stance that people are so passionate about. But are all stance taken justifiable in the our spread of it? Are there times where a stance is taken and we should disregard the stance? When I hear about a message being spread; the awareness for an issue in society, I have a series of questions. First is why are people taking the stance, who is truly benefiting, and what is the solution? But a question that no ne seems to ask is of themselves. What if I were that person fighting for a particular cause. Sounds simple, yet so many don’t even bother.

Now, what I gain from hearing this all is, some days I wish I were a member of a certain fight, or even go as far as morphing into the bodies of the people. Then I could see their real sentiment. Because we have these editing systems as it pertains to how we converse. Yet the sentiment is something totally different than how we talk. Being able to place myself in the life of the person, I could see why they follow a movement. See, I pride myself on being a more transparent person, but it’s hard to get people to be just as honest. It’s hard to get people to move past the violin playing in a conversation.

And what do I mean by violin playing? I mean asking someone a question and then, you hear them playing a fine tune around the language. But why do we do it? We do it because we have formed these coalitions to take on anyone that says anything honest. So we teach other to be dishonest. And we remain silent as these groups take power. And by the time we have had enough, it’s too late, we have lost our voices. So I want to know, what is the end game of a lot of these causes? They say they are hoping to accomplish something, but are they really looking for a solution? Because a solution would mean dismantling the organization. And I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

See, in the end, I think that there are real causes. But with these causes is a certain segment of the population that go overboard. Why, well power corrupt that’s why. When a person takes your money in school, the bully won’t say thanks for Monday lunch. They take lunch the rest of the week. So even with an agenda that may be in the best interest of a group, we have to also make sure they are not dipping into their popularity in the process.


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GOVERNING SENTIMENT: WHY LEGISLATING FEELINGS IS DANGEROUS FOR AMERICA

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“I feel therefore it should mean something.”


In the United States today, we are constantly in these debates on what you can and cannot say. No matter if it’s in a public space or in private; we tend to disagree with the language. But are we just attacking the language, or is it something more? I have come to the conclusion that it’s not the language per se, it’s more so the sentiment. And then we get into the debate in how one should feel in regards to dealing with other people in society. But you can’t have a country where there is a governing of sentiment. Because whose to say how you feel is the right way when feelings can be so ambiguous.

I posted a recent article pertaining to the differences and similarities between former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and political commentator/author Anne Coulter. How sentiment forced both of them to be locked out of career opportunities because of their stance. Only difference is that Colin was employed on a team and Anne is self-employed. But neither one of them broke any laws. And both were compliant with how they expressed themselves; staying in alliance with their first amendment rights. But the actions of people and how they felt is what effected Colin and Anne. Although people might argue against my point on why Anne said what she said, Colin did what he did, it doesn’t matter. The right to take an action that is within the law was infringed upon.

But what about people in our society. We are so dishonest on how we really feel, and we also are quite selective in what makes us upset. Someone on the left and the right will say their rights are under attack. Yet they are willing to stand in the way of each other’s rights because of how it makes the person/people feel. My real reasons why people are so willing to go against what they feel is wrong is because of how they look at their own lives. The less satisfied you are with your own life, the more willing you are to infringe upon someone else’s life. Anything so someone knows what it’s like to be you. Also, the changes in people’s lives creates a moment to moment sentiment. Which is a main reason why legislating feelings can cause so many problems. Laws are supposed to be resolute, and changed only under drastic measures. The following examples is why you can’t govern sentiment.

I am a Conservative Christian, who believes Gay marriage is wrong. Allowing Gays to marry goes against my Christian beliefs. So therefore we should legislate against Gays ability to get married. Gays state that this is wrong to legislate for this person/people because of the sentiment under a belief that is based around faith, not fact. But here is a flip side example. I am a Liberal Gay man, and the fact that you would say Gay marriage is wrong, you should lose your job. Now anti-gay sentiment is not illegal, but you should lose your job from the sentiment alone. Both examples at the top is why government can’t legislate feelings. Because in the end, whose to say how you feel is always right. As a matter of fact, it might be just as dangerous. Another main reason the government shouldn’t legislate feelings is because feelings shift so much. Law should be more resolute, and not constantly changing. So for now, as it pertains to discussion, everything is on the table.


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UNPOPULAR SPEECH: WHY WE MUST PROTECT IT

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“As much as we hate it, we have to protect it.”


Hate speech is free speech, what some have stated. But whether we realize it or not, hate speech is protected under the United States constitution. But a large reason why we have to protect even hate speech, is because once we administration, america, artstart giving up the ability to talk freely, then what next. Another reason we
must protect all speech is because who makes the decision on what’s hate. I have things I define as hate speech, but not everybody sees it that way. I may think one of my political views is right, while someone else sees it as a hateful thing to stand behind. And conversely speaking, what I dislike and see as hate speech is fine by someone else.

But lets go back to why we must protect even hate speech. For starters, it’s Related imagehard to protect a verbal means of communication that is probably geared toward not liking you. Only problem is, once I form a coalition to stop these individuals from speaking, then how long will it be before my rights are trampled on. Meaning, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was seen Related imageas hateful for not standing for the national anthem at a football game. But political commentator Ann Coulter was seen as pushing hate speech and was banned from Berkley College’s campus. Both expressing a freedom of speech, and both protested.

 

Now, Ann is in a different position considering she is an independent worker and Colin played for a team, but nonetheless expressed their free speech. They both not only expressed their right, but also did so in alignment with the laws of the land. And yet, a conservative right and liberal left silenced them both. While at the same time screamed my own rights are Image result for bill of rightsbeing infringed upon. Which brings me to another reason you must protect all speech because we are losing our rights in America. But we’re willing to take them from each other. It’s not even the government intervention. We’re taking each other’s rights, spying on each other in hopes of finding anything to take someone else’s job.

Now, another issue is brought into light with why you can’t censor someone’s speech. And that is, what is hate speech really? I have my interpretation for what is hate speech. But that is just the key word, “interpretation.” What I like may be seen as hate speech, and what you Related imagefollow might be seen as hate speech. This is why all speech must be protected no matter how incendiary. Because what we define as hate speech is so broad and wide, we we must allow all speech. As a matter of fact a way to deal with hate speech is more speech around hate speech. And if it’s hateful, let the people show their faces. We don’t want them hiding in the background, we want them up front where we can see them.

And in the end that’s the biggest problem. The fact that we are actively trying to censor people just because we disagree is so arrogant. Because it assumes we, as the person censoring them, have all the right answers. And Low Section of Man Against Skywe don’t because my truth and fact might be different as time progress. And
that next generation’s truth changes as well. So with so much changing in our society, we have no choice but to open up the forum for conversation. And if you disagree, how about the right to be offended. Yet it still never sinks in, until it’s too late. And by the time it’s too late, we’ve all would have already relinquished control; and it’ll be our own fault.


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INTERNALIZED SHAME: WHY IT HURTS TO LIVE YOU IN SOCIETY

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“We all have it, but can’t admit it.”


In our society there is so many taboos that we live with in and around us. But there is one thing we hate to admit. And that is the things we like that make us who we are, yet there is shame connected. Connected because if people found out about the real us, it would make us uncomfortable. What’s interesting is that we all have something, yet we can’t openly talk about it. People who can, we admire them facing the society we live in head-on. We say these people are the ones that are living their truth. But why is it so hard for us to live our own truths?

It goes back to the taboos in our world. But what are some of these taboos that make us have this internal shame. An obvious one is the sexual things we like in our private lives. These things such as being attracted to the same sex. Or not just attracted to the same sex, but engaging in certain activities with the opposite that still may be defined as taboo. It makes us uncomfortable to talk about it. And anyone who brings up certain conversation around our thing we like, we veer away from them. But it still doesn’t change what you are and who you are. When the lights go out and you’re behind closed doors, you do what you do. Still, sex is one, but not the only action where shame is involved.

In society, we also converse a certain way because we don’t want to be shamed. So you adjust the way you talk just to fit into the dominant society. Then, when you are away from the people who you are forced to fake around, you show the real you. And if the people you fake around ever saw you in your element, then it might make you uncomfortable. You’re only being what they want you to be to fit in with them. When in reality, you earn respect from people by being what you are, not what you portray yourself to be. Fitting into a stratus that you don’t belong in, will only last so long before it consumes you.

Well, why do we do it. If so many of us have something, why are we quick to attack others for theirs. One idea I came up with is that we like to hear other people’s dirt and make them try to feel shame because it makes us feel better about ourselves. Someone else’s misery can be of a good thing to you if you’re in a dark place as well. But that also ties into people wanting to know you have dirt so they can feel connected to you as a person. They need something about you to feed off of so they can say, “Wow, they’re just as imbalanced as I am at times.” But a big reason is the hypocrisy of we don’t think people are watching us. We live in our own dirt and get so deep into it, we lose sight of how wrong it is and start to believe in our own bull.

In the end, the feeling of shame will always be there in an accepting society. Our country is more open than previous decades, yet the shame is still present. It will never go away, just because shame so ambiguous. You can feel shame about not only sex and behavior in society, but also other habits that are deemed less offensive, bu they carry some form of negative connotation. And with that, there will always be a demographic of people set aside waiting to judge.


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