If the human rights struggle is universal then it stands to reason that one advances the cause by fighting for the protection of their own rights first and foremost. We must be our own advocates, and stand on the solid foundation of our own liberties if we are to be advocates for others. As the saying goes, “Think globally, act locally.”
Just as the American revolution inspired the people of France to rise up against an oppressive aristocracy, Americans must once again stand up against the oligarchical autocrats that have assumed control of our federal government. We should not be subjected to tax muggings without our consent. Our right to habeas corpus should not be suspended without our consent. The tapping of our phones without warrants is a direct violation of our Constitutional Rights. The sovereignty of our states should not be encroached upon by the federal government, particularly by extortion and blackmail, which the stimulus and omnibus bills do.
Your rights to privacy, your rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are under assault by the White House and the Congress. We must defend and protect those rights if we are to continue to do the work of fighting for the upholding of human rights for all. If we do not, who then will hear our voice? As Rabbi Hillel asked more than 2000 years ago, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
So what does this entail? It is insufficient to simply stand up to the President and Congress. We must advance the equality of all our citizens, be they women, gay, of color, or minority culture, or religion. It must also be remembered that your liberty ends where mine begins. The advancing of the rights of some cannot impinge the free exercise of the rights of others.
It is a simple formula. No one is free while others are not. If you are only for yourself what are you?
Our liberties, our human rights are on the line. The tavern is open, what do you bring to the table?