Blogging for Human Rights Day Ideas

First, read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You might be surprised at how inclusive it is of all of our rights.

Then, think about some of the ways the United States is not living up to these human rights ideals. For example:

  • The dangerous and abusive conditions of our prisons, jails, and detention centers and broad use of solitary confinement (internationally seen as torture) within these facilities;
  • The fact that women still earn less, despite the Declarations claim that “Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work;”
  • Our country’s disregard for families that don’t fit a heterosexual, two-parent model even though the document states that “All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection;”
  • The high Court’s recent protection of NDAA codifying indefinite detention without the promise of a trial;

While these and many other realities in the United States constitute a human rights crisis within our own borders, we also want Blogging for Human Rights Day to celebrate victories of our movement. For example:

  • California adopted a bill to end the shackling of incarcerated pregnant women in September 2012;
  • Nationally domestic workers have been organized to demand their dignity in rights. In New York, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights passed. In California, the bill was vetoed but a movement for domestic workers rights continues;
  • Activism across the country by the DREAMers helped secure Deferred Action- a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants without documentation.

Lastly, here are some powerful quotes to inspire your piece for Blogging for Human Rights Day 2012:

In order for us as poor and oppressed people to become part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed. This means that we are going to have to learn to think in radical terms. I use the term radical in its original meaning-- getting down to and understanding the root cause. It means facing a system that does not lend itself to your needs and devising means by which you change that system.” - Ella Jo Baker

Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.” ― Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear

We've got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don't fight racism with racism. We're gonna fight racism with solidarity.” – Fred Hampton

"And then many things became very clear... we learned perfectly that the life of a single human being is worth millions of times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.” ― Ernesto "Che" Guevara

The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” – John F. Kennedy

The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied rights granted to others.” – Julian Bond

If you have any questions or need help with your writing, email ellasvoice@ellabakercenter.org