Human Rights Day never more important
While many Americans are aware of the spike in hate crimes that began a little over a month ago, they may be unfamiliar with the celebration of Human Rights Day.
Human Rights Day observes when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 1948. Since then, the U.N. declared Dec. 10 Human Rights Day, and this year it fell just about a month after our recent election.
We must encourage more recognition of the holiday. I became concerned after viewing news headlines in the days following the election reading, “Hate crimes spread post-election” and “Calls to crisis and suicide prevention hotline surge.”
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I am lucky enough to have grown up surrounded by loving and accepting people; however, as I have gotten older, I have become more aware of those around me who do not share my advantages. It has been difficult realizing that the election has contributed to the justification many feel towards antagonizing others, resulting in a surge.
The increase in hate crimes has become not only a national concern, but a local one as well. When a student feels validated in harassing his or her classmates based on race, religion, orientation etc., we can no longer disregard it as simply bad behavior. We, as a community, must act as role models and encourage love and acceptance in order to preserve the future of the youth in our community.
When a human being is persecuted for the color of his or her skin, sexual orientation, religion or gender it is a violation of his or her rights not only as a citizen, but as a person.
We all have rights, and whether you show it by wearing a safety pin to express solidarity or organize a rally, Human Rights Day should be a day that we celebrate everyone’s human rights.