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Are government laws increasing or decreasing the presence or absence of discrimination Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by tinashe, Canada Jun 19, 2002
Human Rights   Opinions
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It is almost impossible for someone living in the world to confidently come out and say that they do not know what discrimination is. Unfavorable treatment based on prejudice is a something that at one time or another everyone has either been a victim of or perhaps perpetrated. Many times as human beings we often are quick to state that we have been discriminated against or look for certain scapegoats yet in many cases we too discriminate others. This disgusting offence does not necessarily require specific qualifications but can in fact be committed by anyone at all, knowingly or unknowingly. Do government laws increase or decrease the presence or absence of discrimination? Different governments conform and at times violate human rights to certain extents, one government may be better at handling one type of discrimination as compared to another government which might be better at handling a different area of discrimination.

Depending on which part of the world you are in, the definition varies from opinion to opinion that which in many cases has been muted out by society and sometimes governments . According to the Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia 2002, discrimination is any situation in which a group or individual is treated differently based on something other than individual reason, usually their membership in a socially distinct group or category. Such categories would include ethnicity, sex, religion, age, or disability. Many governments especially in the western world, if not all, claim to be the “best” at eliminating discrimination as compared to the third world who are said to have the most human rights violations. “The Western world and its culture have a far superior record of human-rights protections than anywhere else.” [Walter Williams, Capitalism Magazine]. What is discrimination anyway and who decides when it should be called discrimination?

Discrimination is a result of human rights violations which obviously differ from continent to continent. To a Westerner, the African woman carrying a pot of water on her head seven days a week maybe considered a victim of gender discrimination although the woman may see it the other way. Basically, it can be argued that discrimination lies in the eyes of the beholder. Nonetheless, based on the definition stated earlier, there is a lot of it taking place in our world today. Taking a look at nations all around the world, one can see the great amount of discrimination or violations of human rights happening today.

Respect for human rights is something that should be cherished, and nowhere on earth are they fully respected, however some countries and cultures have a far better record than others. The Western world and its culture have a far superior record of human-rights protections than anywhere else.

Think about it. If you are a feminist, where would you prefer to live: Iran, Saudi Arabia, China or a country in Africa? If you are a criminal, where would you prefer to be tried and imprisoned: Turkey, Mexico, China or Russia? If you are a minority: where would you prefer to live Burundi, Albania, Malaysia or Liberia? If you were an unborn spirit condemned to live a life of poverty, but permitted to choose a country for that life, what country would you choose Chad, Romania, North Korea or Kenya?

A moment's reflection to any of these questions would yield an answer you would probably prefer the United States or a European country. That's not to say that the United States and European countries are utopias, but by observing who's trying to flee to where suggests they are superior alternatives to other places.

The United States of America like most of the western world, is well known for her great protection of the human rights. The US government has set out laws which are to be followed accordingly by the citizens of the states so as to avoid violations from taking place. Along with their bill of rights, charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the US government has to work together with the law enforcing bodies (such as the police force, judges etc) so as to work at eradicating the discrimination that takes place in their nation. She has laws against many if not all kinds of discriminations taking place, whether or not they are being implemented effectively is another question all together.

The United States recognizes that the gay and lesbian community exists and does in fact contribute to the nation in every field just like any other citizens group. The government has also noted that these people often face prejudice or are discriminated against as a result of their sexual orientation. Many times they have to deny their orientation so that they can keep their jobs or simply to live safely and comfortably in society. Since the Stonewall uprising in New York over 30 years ago, the gay and lesbian movements have united together and all those committed to justice and equality in a crusade to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices and so as to protect gays and lesbians from the prejudice and persecution they face (Cable News Network, 22 June 1999). Each passing year the American people become more receptive to the diversity of sexual orientation through the parades such as the Gay Pride Parade in the held on the 22 of June in San Jose, gay lesbian movements, the nationally recognized gay and lesbian rights month of June amongst many other various activities supported by the government. Their nation is at last realizing that gays and lesbians must no longer be "strangers among friends" as the civil rights pioneer David Mixner once noted. To build onto the progress of the fight against discrimination, in 1998 former US president William. J. Clinton, issued an Executive Order to prohibit discrimination in the Federal civilian workforce based on sexual orientation. This step that was taken up until today continues to fight for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would outlaw discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation.

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Communism and Fascism?
dr. detroit | Mar 30th, 2004
"Section 2 of the Canadian Charter states "freedom of conscience," "freedom of thought, belief, opinion" and "freedom of association" are "fundamental freedoms" for every individual. Furthermore, section 7, under "legal rights," stipulates that "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person...." This means, and can only mean, that there is no right to a job (or guaranteed income), even if someone needs it, for that would violate the legal rights of those forced to provide it

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