As one of our nation’s most destructive and deadly hurricanes barreled through the Gulf Coast, millions lost everything they owned, leaving them with nothing but an overwhelming mess. The government quickly became entangled in a tremendously expensive restructuring program for all the cities destroyed by this unexpected event. Consequently, the U.S. became reliant on guest-workers to rebuild the area. This developed into an embarrassing and unlawful situation as the workers began to face major human rights violations. In times of turmoil, perspective can be lost, leading to unjust practices. Are there ever times when this is acceptable?
Human rights activists, including myself, agree that the government has no authority to decide what is censored on the internet because this is a constitutionally protected right of an individual. The government cannot decide what another person should be able to see and do on the internet, as this is a personal decision. The internet serves as a vehicle for expression and therefore, limitations other than for criminal activity should not exist. As stated by the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Steven Shapiro, “the government has no right to censor protected speech on the Internet, and it cannot reduce adults to hearing and seeing only speech that the government considers suitable for children”.
According to the most recent employment data, estimates find that Caucasian women earn approximately 73% of what Caucasian men earn and the gap is even greater for African American women (link). Furthermore, educated women with upper level jobs have the most significant wage gap when compared to men. In analyzing data such as this, it becomes evident that no logical explanation exists for explaining the pay inequality of our country, other than the fact that discrimination lives on in America. However, President Obama took action in the Lilly Ledbetter pay discrimination case, which represents a step in the right direction for diminishing the tradition of pay inequity.
Following one of our nation’s most memorable moments in history, newly elected President Obama swiftly enacted several executive orders. One of the orders called for the closure of America’s intensely debated terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay. While many fear this and feel that a prison such as Gitmo is necessary for fighting terrorism, the practices used there are in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and the rights guaranteed to the accused. When defending our nation it becomes easy to neglect the rights of those involved in terrorist activity, but is this fair for a country which was founded on principles of liberty, justice, and equality?