Civil rights are a hot topic these days. And they very well should be, as it seems that there is a pretty large percentage of the human population that still has quite a bit to learn about basic human rights. Civil rights movements are not new. The struggle to bring awareness and shine a light on the oppressed, underprivileged, and too often forgotten will continue until we as a species come to the total and complete understanding and agreement that everyone deserves equal rights, and gets them. However we still have quite a journey ahead of us until this ideal is realized.
The evolution of understanding
All you have to do is turn on the news or tune in to any social media platform to find a person or organization being accused of some sort of discriminatory or inappropriate speech or action. There are those who claim that the loudest voices of today’s generations are too easily offended, or that free speech is being constrained by political correctness. These are the same people who have most likely not been on the receiving end of prejudice or discrimination themselves. The fact of the matter is that we live in a time that the rights of every human being should be upheld and respected, without exception. People are not too sensitive now, people know better now.
Not very far in our past we saw a time that many individuals were not allowed to have their voices heard, based on things as inconsequential as the way that they were born, be it because of the color of their skin or their gender. Those who rise to the best that we can be through education, intellect and common sense understand that these factors do not determine someone’s worth. Human beings are capable of so much, and by attempting to squash certain voices or entire groups of people, those oppressors are limiting the true potential of our species as a whole.
Negligence, deliberate indifference and the laws that protect basic rights
The complex legal system of this country is intricate, as there are vast and varied ways that the rights of the public need to be protected. Some breaches of the law are obvious. Violent crimes, theft, fraud. But these blatant examples of disregard for the law are not the only ways that a victim’s rights could be violated. Negligence refers to a person’s failure to take the proper care or steps to protect another person or to prevent harm. Similarly, deliberate indifference has to do with failure to act, but in often more blatant situations. Deliberate indifference occurs where there are excessively risky or potentially harmful conditions that are obvious but ignored, resulting in a person being negatively affected, whether it causes physical harm or mental distress.
Common cases of deliberate indifference
There are people who claim to be on board with equal rights for everyone, and apply those views to the groups that are often in the spotlight, but do not apply it to others. This is most often exemplified between police officers and alleged criminals on the streets, or inmates and prison guards. Some may argue that breaking the law is grounds for the person’s rights to be disregarded. While it is true that the consequence for breaking the law results in the loss of some rights, such as being a productive member of society, it most certainly does not constitute the stripping away of any basic human rights. And unfortunately this is the reason that there has not been a decrease in demand for police misconduct attorneys, excessive force attorneys, and other civil rights lawyers.
It is difficult to understand why, in this day and age, there is still such a significant discrepancy in the acknowledgement and understanding of what it means to grant basic human rights to every human on this planet. We have progressed so far in fairly short amounts of time when it comes to extending rights to different oppressed groups, but we are far from finished. The fight to ensure that every single person’s basic rights are protected will wage on until that ideal becomes a reality. Get more here.