Archives for posts with tag: human rights
Who Is Liable in a Traffic Merging Accident? | Mezrano Law Firm

Recently while driving on a limited access road, another motorist entered the highway to my right. The entrance lane was short and the other vehicle needed to merge into my lane. I immediately flashed my lights to let the driver know that I would slow to allow access.

The other driver was unknown to me. I did not know their race, gender, age, or lifestyle. I had no idea about their religious or political leanings. I was faced with the simple matter of courtesy to allow this motorist to merge so traffic could flow smoothly.

Home Depot Delivers on Sales Promises | The Motley Fool

Later that day I was at Home Depot purchasing some paint when another customer approached the salesclerk with a question. The store employee responded multiple times but the customer obviously did not understand what was being said. I realized that English was not this person’s first language and they were having difficulty understanding what was being asked. I intervened and assisted with the verbal exchange.

I did not know the country of origin of the customer making the inquiry. Didn’t know his educational level or vocation. It made no difference if he was an immigrant, legal or illegal, of if he was a U.S. citizen, naturalized or by birth. It was just clear to me that he was having trouble with the English language and needed help.

7 Best Shopping Cart Covers (2020 Reviews) - Mom Loves Best

Before returning home that day I stopped by the grocery store. As I approached the entrance, there were a couple of customers exiting the store and I stepped aside to allow them passage. When I went to get a shopping cart I waited while a woman secured her small child in a cart. The other shoppers were strangers who asked nothing of me and I had nothing to gain from them.

Anthony Ray Hinton

A couple of days later I watched a video where Anthony Ray Hinton* told how he spent 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. After a long time in incarceration a new prisoner, Henry Francis Hays, was placed in the cell next to him. Hays, a member of the KKK, and James Knowles were convicted of killing 19 year-old Michael Donald in Mobile, Alabama on March 21, 1981.

Lynching of Michael Donald - Wikipedia
Michael Donald

Hays and Knowles were unhappy about a verdict in a court case of an African American charged with the murder of a white policeman in Birmingham, Alabama. While cruising through one of Mobile’s mostly black neighborhoods, they spotted Michael Donald walking home. Donald  had no link to the court case or even a past criminal record. He was chosen at random for being black and was brutally murdered.

Mr. Hinton, a Black man, befriended this new prisoner. Their friendship grew to be so strong that Hays asked for Hinton to be present for his execution in the electric chair. Hays’ execution was the first in Alabama since 1913 for a white-on-black crime. It was the only execution of a KKK member during the 20th century for the murder of an African American .

When asked about his relationship with the KKK, Hinton remembered what his mother had taught him and said, “It didn’t matter who he was. He deserved compassion.”

Editorial: Flushing the Golden Rule – THE GOLDEN HAMMER

Compassion. What Jesus was talking about when He said, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” Compassion: a word that begins with simple courtesy and has no “qualifiers.” Do unto (all) others. Treat everyone like you want to be treated. Speak and act like you want everyone else to conduct themselves.

That doesn’t seem too complicated, does it?

Jamie Jenkins

*Anthony Ray Hinton was exonerated with the help of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, author of “Just Mercy” which was recently adapted into a feature film. Anthony Ray Hinton’s own book The Sun Does Shine is a New York Times bestseller and commended by human rights leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu as well as countless publications. 

This time last week millions of people were remembering the death of one man and yesterday they remembered another. Their deaths were separated by over 2000 years of history.

Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Catholic, Church, Cross

Seven days ago on Holy Thursday Christians around the world recalled the last hours Jesus would have with his closest followers before he was betrayed and put to death. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968.

Although Jesus and King believed in many of the same principles and practiced them at great risk, I am not trying to make them equals. Jesus was the Son of God and Son of Man. Dr. King was a human being and disciple of Jesus. Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected. King’s body rests in a tomb in Atlanta.

When they arrived they found the large stone rolled away from the tomb. (There had been a violent earthquake and an angel of the Lord had descended and rolled it back. The guards were so frightened and shaken they had run off). – Slide 2

Both men championed the cause of the poor and oppressed. They spoke out against injustice and acted on their beliefs. The Bible record shows many encounters between Jesus and the marginalized people of his day. He was accused of associating with the riff-raff of society. And he was intentionally guilty. The life of Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly illustrates his commitment to justice and equality for all. His beatings and arrests are proof that his words were not just pious platitudes but principles by which he lived.

Love and hate were both equally shown to Jesus and King. The biblical account and the news reports describe the intensity of support and rejection for both of them. Each of them died a violent death. One was executed by the Roman government at the insistence of the crowd in Jerusalem. The other was the victim of an assassin’s bullet on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

There are similarities to their life and death, but the immediate reaction to the death of these two men was very different. Jesus’ death left his followers frightened and confused. Their leader on whom they had placed their trust was gone and they did not know what to do. They hid for fear of their lives. In contrast, King’s death sparked violent protests around the country. Those who had followed him were angry and aggressive.

Although the short term result of the death of these two charismatic leaders is different, the long term effect is similar. Over twenty centuries of history has validated the positive effect of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Those who followed his teaching and example carried his message to every part of the world and countless others have believed and their lives have been transformed.

Kevin Cokley, writing in the Dallas News, said, “The assassination of King was arguably the most consequential for the course of American history and permanently changed the psychology of black people and challenged America’s ideals.” The death of this “drum major for justice” gave impetus to a movement that changed the face of America and the world.

Justice, Right, Legal, Lawyer, Word

The world is very different 50 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and 2000 years after the crucifixion of Jesus. Their willingness to die for a cause led to much positive change but one does not have to look far to see that there is still much more to be done. We must continue the struggle to insure civil and human rights for all people.

In the beginning God created a perfect world. No reasonable person would suggest that it has remained in that state of perfection but it is the task of all people to work together to make the world a better place for everyone. God help us!

Jamie Jenkins

In light of the horror of this past week in Paris, there are many calls to fight fire with fire. An eye for an eye. It is easy to understand this attitude in its context. Certainly someone needs to be held accountable and there must be consequences for this senseless slaughter. A reasoned but firm response is necessary but knee jerk reactions often result in undesirable unintended consequences rather than  a solution to the problem.

The growing threat of ISIS must be confronted. We cannot ignore it but we must be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” in our response.

In a recent Republican Presidential Candidate debate Sen. Marco Rubio was accused of being a “closet moderate.” This designation was not delivered as a compliment but a criticism. Perhaps the criticism was not about Rubio’s position but the fact that he has disguised or hidden his real feelings. If he has not been open and transparent, I suppose that is valid criticism.

We live in a time where militant, fanatical individuals and groups seem to get all the spotlight. Radicalism and extremism are on the rise and are dangerous. The voice of reason often gives in to those who would “bomb the ____ out of them.”

“The strength of democratic societies

relies on their capacity to know how

to stand firm against extremism while

respecting justice in the means used to fight terrorism.”

(Tariq Ramadan)

Religious and political radicals represent only a fringe element but they cause much harm. I am not speaking only of Islamic radicals although there is reason to be alarmed about them. Extremists pose real danger whether they are white supremacists or fundamentalist Muslims. Devotees to any religion or political faction who advocate for destruction of those who are different from them are cause for alarm.

When I refer to “radicals” and extremists” I am not suggesting that strong commitment to a cause or belief system is a bad thing. However, when that commitment marginalizes, endangers, or destroys anyone, it is wrong.

Dwight Eisenhower

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

People who represent extreme perspectives can be helpful. The presence of strongly divergent opinions can cause us to begin to see and understand things that would otherwise be beyond our comprehension. Mutual respect and civil discourse among people who disagree can lead to heighted awareness and constructive change. But hateful and derogatory language and actions cause pain and foster further division.

 “If we destroy human rights and rule of law

in the response to terrorism, they have won.”

-Joichi Ito

A “moderate” is one who stands between two extremes. Is that a bad thing? Dictionaries define “moderate” with the following terms: reasonable, sensible, restrained, fair, temperate, judicious. These seem to be attributes that would be viewed favorably by most decent people.

Clint Eastwood

“Extremism is so easy. You’ve got your position and that’s it.

It doesn’t take much thought.

And when you go far enough to the right

you meet the idiots coming around from the left.”

-Clint Eastwood

Things often appear to be “right or wrong” but many times the truth is somewhere between the two extremes. The person who is a centrist (moderate) sees the value of seemingly opposite opinions and attempts to effect a synthesis of perspectives that is more balanced. Perhaps everything is not “either/or.” Maybe a better position often is “both/and.”

Let us pray and work for peace as we strive to protect the freedoms that we enjoy and believe is the right of every human being.

Jamie Jenkins