California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

America’s war to fight for human rights

To ask a human to remain peaceful while another human discriminates against them, beats them, dehumanizes them and strips them of every opportunity possible is unfathomable. To ask another person that has never felt this kind pain and torture, if violence is ever justified in civil disobedience, is irrelevant.

All revolutions were fought with violence, because although peaceful protests can work to mitigate injustice, violence can bring national attention to issues and end injustices as well.

During the Civil Rights Movement Malcolm X said in an interview, โ€œThe black people in this country have been victims of violence in the hands of the white man for 400 years,โ€ He continued, โ€œWe have the right to defend ourselves against violent people.โ€

When people are going out of their way to gas you, beat you, whip you, burn you and shoot you, one cannot simply sit there and take it. The question should not be if violence is ever justified in civil disobedience. The question should be, why are people so concerned over the way victims react but arenโ€™t concerned with the initial violence inflicted?

Sometimes violence is the only way to be heard and make society care about the minority groups that are being discriminated against. It forces the government and the people to take action.

Counteracting Malcom Xโ€™s statement, Martin Luther King Jr. said, โ€œViolence is self-defeating, he who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.โ€

Though I praise the efforts of King and the people that followed to strongly fight the injustices happening, sometimes solely standing peacefully in solidarity does not solve the issue at hand.

In an article written for The New Inquiry the author said, โ€œIf protesters hadnโ€™t looted and burnt down the QuikTrip on the second day of protests, would Ferguson be a point of worldwide attention? Itโ€™s impossible to know, but all the non-violent protests against police killings across the country that go unreported seem to indicate the answer is no.โ€

Violence sells, and when the government fails to take action for those who are hurting, violence is the only way to go. Violence attracts media attention and forces people to care.

Canela Lopez is a junior editor and next school yearโ€™s editor in chief at Tulane University. Lopez has organized and participated in marches and protests in efforts to end racial inequalities following the 2017 presidential election.

โ€œI think it is all about framing. I think the problem is, the narrative is often times constructed as these are a group of rioters, this is a group of people being irrational but you would never call the acts of, letโ€™s say, an army irrational or violent or unjustified,โ€ Canela said.

It is hypocritical for America to send troops into other countries to fight for her, but then tell people inside the country it is wrong to fight for their own human rights.

According to the Migration Policy website, America recruits about 65,000 immigrants to fight in the military. Though, the government doesnโ€™t even feel they are worthy of citizenship. So, these people can fight for America across seas but can not fight for their rights within the country because then they are portrayed as being violent or looters.

โ€œI think, honestly, the racial climate in this country historically has always been at civil war at times. This is a war, a war for peopleโ€™s lives, and when people are desperate and when people are fighting strategically, you canโ€™t just remain peaceful,โ€ Canela said.

In no way do I think that violence should be the first step in fighting for racial equity. But sometimes peacefully standing in solidarity doesnโ€™t receive the attention it deserves. Minority rights are human rights and for someoneโ€™s country to not accept them for who they are is wrong.

โ€œFor every Martin Luther King Jr. you need a Malcolm X. I think it is all about balance,โ€ Lopez said. โ€œThey both do necessary things, so I think in terms of organizing, neither is more effective but both are necessary.โ€

Racial injustice is happening in America every day and we need a call to action. We cannot remain silent on these issues, as every human is deserving of basic rights. It is time to be heard and acknowledged. Find a march or a protest and join one another to fight these issues.ย Go toย the followingย link and call your representatives. Register to vote, and actually go vote. It is time our voices are heard.

ย Maryssa Rilloย 
Opinion Editor

More to Discover