Our Voice:Progress doesn’t apply to being nice

It’s hard to think that in this day in age, the 21st century, there are still issues that have plagued humanity since even before organized civilizations. Many of the most successful kingdoms and empires saw their demise due to these issues. Unfortunately human rights and discrimination still plague our society today.

The only way to ever progress as a race and overcome such cancerous issues is to break down the symptoms which cause them, and understand why it is they occur. This is already being done today as tests and studies are constantly being carried out to learn just such things.

When one examines the characteristics of those who suppress others, some clear trends arise. First, an inherent human fear exists of being outcast and ostracized. Because of this, preemptive moves are often taken as a form of protection. If everyone else is oppressed, then you can’t be.

Another important facet is the phenomena where humans fear the unknown. So when a group of people don’t directly identify with one’s own characteristics or beliefs, and have practices unfamiliar to them, then they become quite defensive as a response.

Finally, the simple, yet disturbing truth that humans constantly want more has much to do with the poor treatment of others. After all, in order for one person to obtain great power and wealth, it must come from somewhere/someone.

While these points may be rather unremarkable and obvious to most, only by pointing them out can actual progress be made and changes necessary to become a healthy society. As of this moment, as a society we have much to do before we can be considered healthy.

Looking far back will reveal many dark times in our history, from the Salem Witch trials, to the harsh laws against certain acts that went against the church, to the almost legalization of murder for certain reasons.

Even within the last century the horrors of the Holocaust reflect our lack of progression. But even here in the U.S. slavery and racial cruelty heightened political and social activity. Many misunderstand racism and segregation as an issue of skin color or denomination. Instead it is again the fear of the unknown, along with the fallacy of humans to project assumed differences upon others they meet.

While it can be argued that progress has indeed been made in regards to racism, many ethnic groups still have their rights and lives hindered to this day. More than that though, the greatest civil threat we face as a society today is that of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Not only are marriage and living rights withheld, but just to be able to serve in our military and defend against those who would have our freedoms taken away…is a problem for those of the LGBT community. But don’t fear, the more we grow, the smarter we get, and the more understanding we show, the fewer people will be oppressed.

Although, it’s almost guaranteed that after one step forward in progress, two more groups of people will have their lives ruined due to civil injustice. Until then, we do what we can, to secure the freedom for every person.