By Nathan A Barton
Please think about this. Here is a list of thirteen groups, thirteen “kinds” of people who do NOT have rights.
1. Women do not have rights. Nor do men.
2. Christians and Muslims do not have rights.
3. Students do not have rights.
4. Labor union members, and workers/employees, do not have rights.
5. Soldiers do not have rights.
6. Immigrants do not have rights.
7. Welfare recipients do not have rights.
8. Voters do not have rights.
9. Homosexuals (male or female) do not have rights.
10.Consumers do not have rights.
11.Transgender and cross-dressers do not have rights.
12.Workers/Employees do not have rights.
13.Business owners do not have rights.
I am sure that there are many more, and I am sure I am puzzling people. But the point is obvious by now: PEOPLE have rights, not because they are some “kind” or “category” of people or because they belong to some “group” of people, but because they are PEOPLE. Someone who is different, who is in the majority or the minority, does not have rights BECAUSE they are different, but only because they are PEOPLE. HUMANS.
I could add “Americans do not have rights” nor do Englishmen. ALL people have rights: those rights stated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are the rights of ALL men, whatever their citizenship or nationality or place of residence.
This is NOT, of course, what the conservatives or liberals teach. It is not found in civics classes or biology classes, or history courses. Nor is it something that people will talk about on the radio, as a rule. And certainly you will hear this from few if any lawyers or judges: indeed, you won’t hear many preachers talking about it. But it is true, and until we start treating people as individuals: as free individuals with liberty and justice as individual persons and NOT as a part of a group, we will not be free ourselves.
Now that you’ve thought about it, go out and DO something about it. Tell people that THEY have rights, not because they are students or immigrants or homosexual or seniors or children or Americans or whatever: they don’t HAVE to be part of a group to have and exercise their rights as human beings.