A World at Odds: Why We Will Never Achieve Peace without Basic Human Rights

Please check out this article, now published on www.theinsidermagazine.com.

A World At Odds: The Fight For Acceptance and Basic Human Rights

World Peace – is it achievable? Despite measures to band together, we seem further from this goal than ever before.

It’s unfortunate to say that there has always been some form of ongoing strife throughout the world, but it appears that our current troubles are piling up, crippling our nation.

America – the land of the free, the home of the brave. What a beautiful statement, one that people from all over the world imagine as the ultimate ideal; our country is, after all, famously known for the fantasy of the American dream. We do not discriminate against race or religion; nowhere in the Constitution does it state that you must be white, heterosexual, or fit a certain ‘mold’ in order to qualify. America stands against discrimination, and is a melting pot that welcomes people from all backgrounds.

As of late, it’s questionable if this is actually true.

The quote on the Statue of Liberty, the iconic statue on Ellis Island that welcomed millions of immigrants in the late 1800s through early 1950s, states:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It is extremely disturbing and upsetting to see Presidential hopefuls like Donald Trump blatantly disregard what America stands for - he recently proposed to ban all non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States; current Muslim citizens would enter a national registry. Many are comparing Trump’s suggestion – eerily reminiscent of a system implemented in Germany in the 1940s under the reign of Adolf Hitler – to that which required Jews to register. Sadly, Trump’s ignorance is only the beginning of our problems, some of which include:

– Police brutality and racial profiling (that has ended the lives of many) remains on the rise, deepening the valley in the racial divide here in the US.

– In 2015 (in some states) it is actually still an argument on whether the right of marriage should be granted to gay couples; some still expect that their opinions should be allowed to dictate whether two people are allowed to love each other. The sanctity of marriage is used as an argument in a country that has a divorce rate of 50%.

– Equality for transgender and the LGBT community – preventing the bullying and violence that these individuals often encounter.

– Women continue to fight for the right to make decisions about our reproductive rights.

Women fight to be able to earn the same wage as a man doing the same exact job.

Though we have definitely made strides, the fight for equality is still an uphill battle that we must continue to fight every day.

As an American, I feel the weight of these issues on my shoulders; the so-called safety net around me is being threatened more and more. The discomfort I feel makes me realize that I have selfishly ignored many of the issues going on in the world, which include the denial of basic human rights that are commonly taken for granted here in the United States. The truth is, others are not as lucky as we are.

ISIS’ unwarranted and horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut shook up the world. Groups like theirs advocate for everything we stand against; they hate America because she stands for freedom and opportunity. ISIS fights to take away our freedom, because they do not believe in the human rights that we fight for every day.

Referencing the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights :

Article 2 states that “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

With insinuations and threats that America is ISIS' next target, fear is running rampant, and causing many to make judgments and decisions based on irrational thinking. Extremist groups and terrorists operate on and hope for your fear and your hate; this is the key to separating us (and in their perspective, conquering us). All of us must put our differences aside, and celebrate our country, and remember what is good about each other, about humanity overall.  Differences are not ugly – they are beautiful and to be celebrated.

What is needed now - more than ever - is tolerance, acceptance, and love.  After all, if we can’t even manage to agree with each other, how can we hope to conquer hate and achieve peace worldwide?


  1. Take a look at that list graphic again, and please see that it looks like it's calling for the elimination of (mostly) marginalized groups. You don't see the word "white" on the list instead it says "Caucasian" presumably as a corollary to "Black." But sticking with the classification system that birthed the word "Caucasian" would mean listing dark skinned people as "Negroid." But the list also doesn't include words like "rich" or "straight" or "young" or "housing secure" or "able bodied" because those are coded as positive things, or at least things to which people should aspire, while simultaneously assigning a negative value to the identities listed.

    Most importantly, the list also assumes that "Caucasian" people face the same kind of marginalization as every other identity on the list, when the reality is that most of the other identities wouldn't be marginalized in the first place without the systemic marginalization imposed on them by law, politics, and financial systems created and maintained by "Caucasian", or mayo saxon, people.

    While the actions of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram are deplorable, they are nothing compared to the centuries of colonialist violence by the military forces of countries like France, Great Britain, and the United States. Be warned that this will result in extremely disturbing results, but Google phrases like "French atrocities in Algeria" or and compare them to the reports of torture, genocide, and war crimes that have come out of America's occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan To paraphrase MLK, the United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.


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