Revolutionary struggle, racial differences and colonialism are common topics that arise when analyzing different historic events. These topics have best been understood and discussed using works of some of the greatest philosophers, namely: Fanon, Goldman, Martin Luther Jr, Malcolm X and John Stuart Mill. Fanon through his writing “The Wretched of the Earth” we are able to understand the psychology behind colonization and the events surrounding the historical period. In his works he focused on the relationship between colonization and liberation and deduced that people’s social movements and culture played a big role in determining their political implications during the 19th century. To emphasize on his argument Fanon brings to light the rage and frustrations that existed among the colonized groups and relates it to their culture and social movements. From the Wretched of the Earth story, it is clear that the most colonial violence cases began as a result of historical changes brought about by colonization. Multiple examples are highlighted in the story which proves that colonization increased the negative issues that existed in the colonized regions such as Africa. The author corruption and violence as the key examples to show that colonization interfered with the stability of the colonized regions for a very long time and it is actually the source of social reorganization in this areas. Fanon concludes by saying that though colonization brought social instability it also assisted in encouraging nations to embrace civil right, conscious movements and independence.
Martin Luther Jr. is another philosopher who has contributed greatly on the campaign against racism and colonialism. Luther believes that people have a right to break unjust laws. (567). He supports nonviolent resistance and strongly states it should not be considered a racial act. According to his letter from Birmingham Jail, he feels that all persons have a moral responsibility to assist in maintaining civil rights in all nations and this can only be done by breaking unjust laws. The letter act as a call of unity since it condemns social injustices but urges the public to avoid using the streets to solve racial segregation battles, instead trust in the courts and in the legal system. He does not support street riots since the justice system is capable of solving any existing public dissatisfaction. To clearly show his disproval of public violence and trust in courts he calls Martin Luther King an outsider who disturbs the peace of Birmingham streets (569). In his letter King talks about all nations being interrelated, therefore injustice in one are is injustice everywhere. The world is a mutual network and all should embrace peace. He also demonstrates this using the white power structure which oppressed the black leavening them with no choice rather than violence and demonstrations.
Malcolm X is another great philosopher who has continuously expressed the need for human rights. He expressed the need for human rights though advocating for equality among Africa Americans, among muslim and economic classess. In his greatest speech “The ballot or the Bullet he encourages the government to embrace human rights by ensuring all citizens have the right to vote. On the other hand he urges the public to express their will and power through the ballot or through voting. He states that, in all cases the problem of a nation results to be a problem of an individual. For instance, he states that a problem of insecurity, illiteracy is a common problem to the nation because it will affect all persons on social, economic and political levels. Therefore, Malcolm states that though we may ignore the “white political crooks” the effects of their leadership will be felt and noted by all. In his statements, he intends to encourage all the citizens to embrace their rights and participate in the democratic process. From his speech he democracy is a responsibility for all, while those in leadership have a duty to embrace peace and equality, the citizens should as well reciprocate by being politically mature which is shown by expressing grievances and opinions through voting.
Emma Goldman is another great philosopher who uses religion and morality to depict the duties of the government and the public. In her speech “Victims of Morality, she brings to light the beauty and importance of morality in a society. The states that good morals beginning with the citizens and the government as a whole is the first step to achieving good health, freedom and harmony in any nation. Therefore, just like morals are essential in a family so should the state advocate for good discipline in the country. However, the state officials should assist in attaining good morals in a nation by embracing equality and condemning all injustices. Her speech “Victims of Morality” tends to criticize most political actions by embracing social injustice.
Affirmative Action and Racial Equality
Racial inequality no doubt exists and is mainly due to the injustices and atrocities that have been committed by both the system and the dominant group. The notion that all men were created equal simply remains a pipe dream for the United States of America, partly because it started on the wrong foot. Right from acts such as slavery and the consideration of American Indians as 3/5 of a human being. History is no doubt littered with these injustices that have served to fuel the racial inequalities and created the monster that is now racial inequality as we see it today. Affirmative action does in my opinion help rectify racial inequality. For instance, within the educational sector, racial inequalities put students from minority groups at a disadvantage, more so in terms of access to resources and quality education. As such, recognizes the extraordinary effort it would take for students from such disadvantaged backgrounds to make it into Ivy league colleges and universities. Affirmative action therefore empowers the minority groups such as African Americans, who educational results indicate do not perform quite well, a finding that is in most cases related to their less than impressive socioeconomic status.
Opponents of affirmative action, however disagree with the notion that it helps establish racial equality. Instead, they argue that it serves to perpetuate inequality and undermine gains that have already been made so far, by depicting the minorities as weak and inferior. Further, they argue that it keeps the wounds of segregation, slavery and discrimination fresh in the minds of those affected and undermines their ability. Glenn C. Loury disagrees with these assertions, as he refers to them as myths that are not necessarily true. Loury is therefore a supporter of affirmative action as he believes that it does help rectify inequalities. Loury also challenges the notion that all races are equal, instead arguing that Whites have an undue advantage that can only be corrected through affirmative action. A majority of the opponents are either individuals who are too oblivious to the obvious advantage certain groups enjoy, or misguided members of the minority who are too idealistic to recognize the importance of affirmative action.
The debate over whether abortion should be legalized or restricted continues to elicit numerous arguments and counterarguments, between opponents who are pro life and proponents who are mainly prochoice. I am however, of a similar opinion to Robert P. George that morally, abortion is wrong and should not be allowed. If anything, abortion should indeed be restricted. Central to the argument regarding abortion is usually the question of when exactly life begins. George argues that life begins at conception and I am inclined to agree, which makes abortion, regardless of whether the fetus was viable or not, murder. One of the core principles of ethics is that one must always be motivated to do good (the principle of beneficence) and as such, it is not possible to justify murder by arguing that it was the best course of action for those involved, more so when one considers that the embryo or fetus had no say in what can literally be categorized as a matter of “life and death.” By deciding whether an individual entity lives or dies, it is assumed that the individual need not have a say in their own life and can be equated to a few individuals playing God.
Other than the morality question, one may also argue that not restricting abortion unless in unique circumstances actually encourages reckless behavior and in a way endangers the lives of the would be mothers. The argument that an individual is not ready to assume parenting responsibilities usually trivializes the issue at stake, which is the life of the unborn fetus. Surely one must not be allowed the luxury of ending a life simply because they feel they are not prepared to care for the child, more so when one considers that giving the child up for adoption is increasingly becoming a viable option. Abortion is therefore, morally wrong and needs to be restricted.
Separation between Church and State
The establishment of a wall of separation between the church and the state is in my opinion, a necessity that must not only be upheld, but also encouraged. This is more so when one considers the potential harm bringing down the wall could lead to. The wall ensures freedom of religion, a situation that is very important in a country with diverse religions, such as the United States of America. I do agree with the views of Justice John Paul Stevens that without the wall, a number of members from other religions may become disenfranchised as would other non believers. This would probably be the case if government interfered with the citizens’ rights to worship, probably because the dominant religion would end up being forced on the minorities. As such, a wall between the two ensures that the government does not at any time display preferential or partisan treatment towards a given religion disenfranchising other citizens it is also supposed to protect.
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