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Throughout history the human species has been divided.

In Hunter/Gatherer societies (which were fairly egalitarian), wars began not because of economic gain, but due to personal disputes and quarrels.  Over time the human species spread from Africa and moved into new territories becoming new ethnic groups, developing new languages, and new customs. We then began to move into a pastoralist society, domesticating animals while at the same time, still having nomadic propensities and fighting with neighboring tribes. When humanity embarked on agriculture we moved away from the nomadic lifestyle and created city-states.  Warfare ensued for economic reasons, taking resources from one group to another.

During the 19th and 20th century nationalism began to emerge, also creating more distinctions and divisions amongst people. Another prevailing and dominant force to crack into the spine of humanity is religion.  So many have died and fought in the name of religion, just look at the Crusades, Inquisition, Arab-Israeli conflicts; the list is seemingly boundless.

In the United States the trend has continued. Before we declared our independence, there were many uprisings and rebellions.  The colonies were worried about the numerous threats against the status quo.  In order to keep the Indians, the slaves, and poor whites from coalescing and working together, they enacted laws to divide these groups.  They, “prohibited free blacks from traveling in Indian country.” In 1743, children born from white and black sexual relations were considered illegitimate and would be taken care of by the black families so the whites would stay “untainted.” 

Concessions by the ruling elite were made to the middle class at the expense of slaves, Indians, and poor whites; and in return they got the mobilization needed to fight off English rule.

In modern times we think we have improved that record. We have had movements for African American rights, Chicano Rights, Native American Rights, Women’s Rights, etc. While these movements have been constructive for society to redress ancient wrongs, on a certain level they have also been injurious. They pit us against one another, Whites vs. Blacks, Men vs. Women, and so on.  Have we forgotten that we are all human? We don’t need all these group-specific rights, we only need HUMAN RIGHTS. 

What better way to distract us by having us fight amongst one another?   We need to stop identifying ourselves in separate interest groups and realize we truly are one. We all live, love, laugh, suffer, and die.  Purge your narcissism and subdue your ego. We can keep our identity, language, and our culture but at the same time never forget that we are all connected.  Politics, religion, and other institutions are keeping people in conflict with each other. We must slit, tear, and thrash these mental boxes they’ve put us in and liberate ourselves.  When and only when we unite, will the world become a healthy and vibrant organism.

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One thought on “Human Rights > Group Rights

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