Minorities Should Have the Same Civil Rights as Everyone Else
Most of us are used to being part of the larger portion of the society. We are so used with the manner of which democracy makes decisions, that is through the decision of the majority. This is our viewpoint of decision making, but an alarming issue is that we fail to see and hear what smaller groups in the society would want to say. If this is the case, then our society will remain unjust and unequal to the majority and the minorities. Therefore, we all live in an imperfect society. Therefore if we want to achieve a society that could even come close to being perfect, we have to give equal civil rights to minorities.
There exist variations of types of minorities or smaller groups within the society. They could be racial or ethnic, religious, gender and sexual, age, disabled, and other small groups within the society. As we can see here, there is a wide range of minority types. That just means that they are distributed within the society. If we also give it more thought, if these minorities were to count as one, the sum of them all could be greater than the majority. That could just meant that they should be treated equally as the society treats the majority. But why does the society do not treat the minorities as it should?
There are many factors that prevent the society to grant equality to the minorities. One of the major problems of this issue is ethics. Universalism, Utilitarianism, natural law ethics, Kantian ethics, and other ethics that are in favor to the majority are much more popular than ethics that favors a particular group in the society. For me, the society seems to be configured in such a way that it only works for the many and is willing to sacrifice the small groups. Actually, the way society treats minorities contradicts the functions that the society was originally designed for. (Morigiwa 102)
Inequality of rights between the majority and the minorities certainly contradicts the United States Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence explicitly communicates to us that we should always bear in mind that all men are should treat each other as equals. It also tells us that each and every one us are given rights by God himself. (Boyd & Gawalt)
It seems that the whole of society itself is the main source of the problem why minorities are treated unequally. The designers of the Declaration of Independence had foreseen that inequalities (like what minorities are experiencing right now) are the whole country’s problem. So that is why they have formulated laws to tell us to treat each other equally. It seems that inequality or marginalization is inevitable in a society. We always fail to treat others fair as we treat ourselves.
Even though our society claims to be a religious and ethical one, again it seems to contradict itself. Even the holy books of word religions want to communicate to us something about this topic. For Christians, the Bible has told its readers to treat others as they would have wanted others to treat them. The Koran also teaches us to be fair with our fellow men. The message of every world religion seems to be equality. The Buddhist’s golden rule is almost synonymous what the Bible has to say about treating others.
Marginalization of minorities is prevalent in the society. Little do most of us know that this marginalization has certain effects to the society. We may have been suffering unknowingly suffering from consequences of marginalization of minorities. It seems that depriving civil rights to minorities will cause everyone within the society certain problems. Inequality in civil rights causes the whole system not to function smoothly.
Mullaly has explored through this problem to give us some sort of much needed clarity regarding the issue of minorities. He had shown us how the personal becomes political. He pointed out that there is a need to recognize that social problems are certainly related to the larger structures of the society, this causes varying forms of oppression of members of the society. This will lead them to reject the ideas of those who aren’t familiar to them, thus resulting to marginalization of minorities. (Mullaly)
He also pointed out that it is very important for us to recognize that oppression exists in the society. There is a great need for a non-judgmental and unbiased attitude by every members of the society. (Mullaly) Marginalization of minorities clearly hampers the productivity of the workforce. We should always bear in mind that these minorities make up more than half of our workforce, the workforce that all of us are deeply dependent on.
As a conclusion, it seems that everyone doesn’t want marginalization of minorities. The society has laws that are carefully constructed to avoid such inequality in civil rights. But unfortunately, inequality of rights seems to be more prevalent in the society. Something must be done about the problem. It should be something that the whole of society should be thinking over. We see everyday the implications of inequality in civil rights in the forms of poverty, political chaos, never-ending disputes. I’m sure that all of us want a better place to live in. We all want to improve our living conditions. We should start by eliminating the flaw that makes our society imperfect. Maybe if we all learn to treat others as our equals, then we maybe not really far from the perfect society that we all aspire for.
Mullaly, B. Oppression: The Focus of Social Work. Don Mills: Oxford University
Boyd, Julian. The United States Declaration of Independence: The Evolution of Text. US: LIB
OF CONGRESS. 1999
Morigawa, Yatsumoto. Universal Minority Rights?: A Transnational Approach. Franz Steiner