Rights worth fighting for

Rights and laws are not natural or granted by God or a “system”, they are fought and paid for with human courage, blood and sacrifice

This is in response to Mark Walker’s column ‘This is what democracy looks like.’

African Americans were granted equality rights as individuals under the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. For close to 90 years after, African Americans endured systematic violence, racial segregation and social discrimination until the civil rights movement manifested and allowed them to assert their rights to be recognized as human beings. So Mark Walker’s assertion that the “system” grants and guarantees rights to minorities is a fallacy. People fought and died to be recognized as human beings under a oppressive system. They had to assert themselves as human beings; they had to force the system to change.

Near the end of his life, Martin Luther King began to understand that without economic equality there can be no political or social equality within the system. America has a black President, but in America, African Americans as a minority make up about 39 per cent of the prison population, they have a better chance of going to prison than to school. African Americans also suffer from higher rates of poverty, homicide and unemployment, and these problems can be directly correlated to economic conditions and inequality.

So when Mark Walker talks about minority rights under the present system, he’s not talking about gender, race or sexual orientation. He’s talking about the rights of the economic minority, the Weyerhaeusers, Wal-Marts, MacDonalds, Boeings and Exxon Mobiles of the world to turn a profit at the expense of people, the natural world and future generations, ie. the majority, sounds kind of totalitarian to me.

But this is how the political and judicial systems were setup in U.S.; to favour those with money, to favour the powerful. This is why you have Americans from all walks of life occupying Wall Street, the very heart of global power and privilege. People have had enough. People like Scott Olson, an Iraqi war veteran, who was shot in the head with a rubber police bullet for demonstrating against economic inequality in Oakland. This battle, this thread goes all the way back to the founding of the U.S.A. and then some. Rights and laws are not natural or granted by God or a “system”, they are fought and paid for with human courage, blood and sacrifice. History is filled with these examples, the Occupy Movement being the latest manifestation.

Cody Young





Just Posted

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton

The 26th ceremony welcomed powerful figures both on and off the ice

Peach Classic Triathlon

While Penticton contemplates changes in the long-distance triathlon community with Ironman returning… Continue reading

Armchair Book Club: Delving into the threat of big tech

Heather Allen is a book reviewer for Black Press that lives in the Okanagan

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

UPDATE: Penticton resident’s dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Okanagan e-scooter company foils robberies

OGO Scooters staff helped return stolen property three times in 1st week of operations in Kelowna

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to the Okanagan

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event in Kelowna

Column: Understanding weather patterns a key to a successful garden

Columnist dives into Okanagan urban agriculture

Most Read