Everyone’s Rights!

Posted on 07 January 2019

Don’t even read this article until you have watched the video link below.

We are animals. I do not mean that in the pejorative sense. I mean that in the sense that our behaviour, whether for good or ill, is not that different from those beings with whom we share this planet.

What happens to an animal, who has once enjoyed the benefits of human civilisation, but subsequently is neglected, mistreated, and left on the streets? They become frightened and mean in order to protect themselves. Wild animals rarely descend to the kind of viciousness feral animals rely upon.

The world is changing very fast right now. We are all facing the same existential threats. Whether people are willing to acknowledge the reality of climate change or not, they are still feeling deep terror in the midst of their denial.

Some of us grew up in a world where we were taught that we could expect security and status because of who we were: whether that was because we were white, or male, or wealthy. As the world turns, any sense of security from these markers of privilege has been evaporating.

I was shocked when a young male environmentalist angrily told me that he would have a job, if it weren’t for the fact that women were now allowed to have jobs. So was this person left-wing or right-wing?

Desperate animals bite.

Recently, a friend texted that she was in a moral dilemma. An officially fascist gather was happening on a beach where she was having a picnic. She felt the police were behaving in a brutal manner. However, surely the fascists deserved it?

My answer: We protect people’s rights consistently to ensure those rights are always available, whether or not we like the people who are being defended. If we do not like police brutality, we ensure that it is never acceptable. Otherwise, we live in a cycle of tit for tat without any sort of legal protections.

She then replied that she felt that treating these protestors fairly would be a way of supporting their political agenda.

My subsequent answer: You would not be supporting them, you would be supporting human rights. Other human rights considerations and laws are in place to stop hate crimes and hate groups. Police are allowed to use force in order to stop violent behaviour. However, excessive and inhumane force is always unacceptable. Otherwise, we are no better than those from whom we are defending ourselves. The situation becomes “my tribe vs your tribe” rather than good vs bad.

One fellow responded to my comment by saying, “They’re literally fucking Nazis. They deserve the Nuremberg treatment.” Many people talk about the horrible violent things these people deserve.

Were the Nazis subsequently considered evil because of whom they were torturing and gassing? Or were they considered evil because they were torturning and gassing? Would you think their behaviours: such as enforcing harsh labour, raping prisoners, doing profoundly cruel experimentation on the vulnerable, were acceptable if you didn’t happen to like the people who they had imprisoned? If we rounded up all the Alt-Right and threw them into concentration camps, would we really have rid the world of monsters or simply created new monsters?

Don’t you for one moment think I am on the side of these warped souls, when I demand that we do all we can to be better than they are…and that starts by respecting their rights even when we don’t respect them.

So many people are born into these hate cults. Are you going to tell me that it is somehow genetic?

Some people can be turned, but they have to see that life could be better on another side. If they just see more hatred when looking our direction, what’s the point? They are safer sticking with their tribe. This is the polarisation we are facing in much of the world. It has nothing to do with left or right. It has to do with brands of hatred, and those in power who find a marketing niche with one side or the other.

Being “moderate”, a wishy-washy non-controversial point somewhere between “left” and “right”, doesn’t solve this problem. Standing firmly on the side of compassion and human rights does. If we are consistent in ensuring everyone’s security and access to human rights, we will find within a generation the children of those rednecks will want to escape to greener pastures.

Next time you see something about “poor white trash”, think about what it takes to create a vicious stray dog and what it takes to redomesticate them. We can’t accept the biting, but we can deal with it in a way where perhaps we can rescue a few and if nothing else show what it is to be compassionate and how to build a compassionate society. Don’t become a “blueneck”. Ensure everyone…absolutely EVERYONE…is treated fairly and well.

In peace,

Katherine


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