It’s All Civil Rights

Anytime anyone is being denied equal treatment under the law they are experiencing discrimination and their civil rights are being violated.

According to “discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class.” Setting aside my personal distaste for the context in which the word class is being used here,  the key component of the quote is “all people”. Not just people who live with disabilities, or people who are gay or lesbian or black or Latino – all people.

The fact some do not see gay and lesbian civil rights, or disability civil rights, as civil rights issues does not make them evil. It’s simply testimony to the learning curve or, perhaps better put, awareness curve they need to travel. Many years ago I saw a documentary in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was attacked by a white man in his fifties. Dr. King was unhurt, the man was quickly subdued and, I would presume, arrested. The audience was angry. Dr. King asked them what they would believe if they had been told every day for fifty years of life that blacks were bad.

Many of our brothers and sisters have been raised to experience people who live with disabilities as being less than others. Many have been led to believe that  people who are gay and lesbian are somehow out-of-kilter on the moral front. The fact that these beliefs are welded into the minds of too many does not give them credence or accuracy. Instead, those that live out and spread these beliefs further poison our culture’s ability to experience each other as equals, which is what we are.

The denial of equality is the denial of civil rights. It’s all civil rights


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