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The Importance of Equality
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me” (Holocaust Encyclopedia). Discrimination has been a tremendous issue in the world for as long as anyone can remember. Discrimination is a continuous dysfunction of our society that ultimately needs eliminated for the better of everyone.
The famous “Then They Came For” quote from Martin Niemöller depicts what it was like for him to endure the beginning of the Holocaust, then eventually the end. He was a protestant pastor during this time and eventually spoke out against Hitler and spent seven years in a concentration camp.
The Holocaust is a prime example of discrimination against many different groups of people. Hitler hated anyone who was unlike him. He murdered eleven million people in concentration camps during the Holocaust, six million being Jews. It was a sad and horrific turn of events, yet it was only a speck on the map of the many terrible actions carried out because of discrimination. Just like the Holocaust, there have been many more destructive cases of discrimination, like racism in America.
For four years, six weeks and three days a treacherous war was fought in America because of discriminations. The Civil War was fought to end the slavery of the African Americans. North fought with South to end this terrible trade. The North fought hard to conquer and end this discrimination the South felt was fair. The war resulted in a victory by the North, and slavery being outlawed in all of the U.S. Although slavery was outlawed, discrimination of African Americans continued on.
In the years after the Civil War was over, African Americans were still looked at as inferior. The Negroes were treated like animals and no one would give them any respect. There were many things that Caucasian Americans put in place to make sure that the blacks had barely any rights, like segregated schools. The blacks were forced to attend different schools than the white kids and the black schools were poorly funded. Not only were they not allowed to attend school with whites, but they also had to use separate bathrooms and water fountains in any public place.
Blacks couldn’t vote until 1965 because of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution. They were unable to get many of the jobs that whites had and were limited when it came to college and degrees. Not only were blacks limited politically, educationally, and publically, even the smallest issues like competing in sports was a hardship. Jackie Robinson broke the barrier when he became the first black male to compete and play as a Major League Baseball player. It wasn’t a smooth ride for him, and he did have to endure many hardships because of it, but he ultimately changed the sports world forever. In the year 2012, Barrack Obama was elected into his first term of office of the President of the United States. Barrack made history by being the first African American President, and he will be remembered forever because of it.
Just like racism being an extreme example of discrimination in the past, there are many more. Discrimination by gender was another huge issue and fight for years. Women were not looked at as successful or as someone who had any goals, but a baby-maker and cook. Females were not allowed to vote and were rarely seen with a job. Many women did not attend college because they felt their only job was to find a husband and please him by cooking, cleaning and having his babies. After the nineteenth amendment, women were guaranteed the right to vote, which changed several things. In the year 2012, Sarah Palin ran for Vice- President of the United States and although she did not win, she made history by being the first woman to run for Vice-President.
Discrimination even dates all the way back to 1279-1213 B.C. Thousands of years ago, the Pharaoh Rameses made all Israelites in Egypt slaves under his power. They were the less fortunate group of people, so he created his own work force through them. The Egyptians were afraid of the Israelites because they multiplied and spread quickly, which is another reason why Pharaoh chose them to be slaves.
Another approach the Pharaoh Rameses used to try to get rid of as many Israelites as possible was infanticide. He declared that if an Israelite family had a baby girl, they were allowed to keep her, but if the family had a baby boy, the baby was to be killed by the midwife. After Infanticide did not work, Pharaoh declared that if a baby boy was born into an Israelite family, the infant was to be thrown into the Nile River. Discrimination has been going on for an extremely long time and has not yet stopped.
The government has made many improvements on the Constitution to better the issue of discrimination. Just like the fifteenth and nineteenth amendment, there have been many other laws put in place to try to distinguish discrimination all in all. An example of a group that has been reaching out and trying to stop the epidemic of discrimination called the American Civil Liberties Union. The goal of this group is to be “… our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country” (About The ACLU). Many groups other than the ACLU exist, and their focus is to continue to decrease the amount of discrimination in America little by little each day.
Discrimination dates back into Bible times, but it also is growing strong today. Hot topics of discrimination in today’s society include gay rights, religious beliefs and many more. These are all being fought for continuously and each has their own story behind them.
Gay Rights is one of the biggest topics of discussion in the U.S today. Only a few states have legalized gay marriage, resulting in people believing that there is heavy discrimination. Gays are not only fighting to have their marriages legalized, but they are also fighting to fit into society. There are many hate groups and organizations that do not believe in gay marriage and make sure to let everyone knows that. Even some religious groups have become huge igniters of anti-gay protests and laws. Westboro Baptist Church is one of the many anti-gay protestors. WBC crosses the line with the many cruel and horrible protests they throw at homosexuals.
WBC claims to be a “church”, but in all truthfulness do not follow the Bible whatsoever. They claim God hates people who partake in same-sex marriage and people who help encourage it, which is the farthest thing from true. God does not hate anyone, but He loves all. Just like WBC, many other anti-gay foundations can be found in America, therefore proving that discrimination is still a hot issue.
Another group in America that is discriminated would be the Christians. Most Christians are discriminated because of the stereotype that other “Christian” organizations create for them, like Westboro Baptist Church. WBC makes it seem like all Christians believe that God hates gays, which is entirely false. Christians are made to look like the bad guys when it comes to gay rights, and politics. Just because one Christian group says something, does not mean all others feel and believe the same way. This paper’s author is a Christian, but that does not mean that the author hates gays.
A more recent example of anti-gay stereotyping done by Christians would be the Arizona law trying to be passed about not having to serve homosexuals because of your belief. A lot of information comes into play when this issue arises. Even if Christians do not believe in homosexuality, they should not discriminate the people who partake in being gay. Just because they are gay does not mean that Christians can condemn them. In the bible it says to love your neighbor as yourself, and by discriminating the gays, it does no good.
The governor of Arizona eventually vetoed the bill because too many people were finding it preposterous. The NFL Superbowl was to be held in Arizona in 2015, but threatened to change its place if the bill was kept. Many U.S. Republican Senators, including John McCain, encouraged Arizona’s governor to veto the bill. Many people saw this bill as unruly and unkind, yet others felt it was necessary.
The author of this paper believes that even though she is a Christian, that just because as a Christian homosexuality is wrong in the Bible, it does not mean that she cannot serve, be kind to, or like homosexuals. The author of this paper described how if she went along with this law, there would be a big downfall. If she did not choose to serve homosexuals because of her religion, gays could in turn choose not to serve her also. This goes back to the love your neighbor as yourself scripture in the Bible. Everyone should be treated equally, and the government is doing all they can to fix it, but they are not doing enough. All of these instances prove how dangerous discrimination is. It should be solved and taken care of effectively.
Discrimination is an issue that everyone around the world faces. Discrimination has caused countries to go to war and countries to fail. America has struggled with discrimination since the country was founded and still struggles today. The government has created many groups and protests to help slow down this dangerous epidemic. Not only is it tearing countries apart, but also the country’s citizens. The government needs to continue to decelerate the issue of discrimination until the day the problem is put to an end. Equality is a must in America, and it is the answer to all the problems. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (The Charters of Freedom).