Civil Rights II

Fortunately living in the age of the internet and the laws ensuring that individuals have equal access to shop where they wish without discrimination, I was able to buy a stunning sterling silver engagement ring with dazzling gemstones that to any casual observer looked like real diamonds. My girlfriend was thrilled, not only with the proposal but also the with the stunning ring. I am so glad I live in a country that allows for free enterprise and commerce. It worked to my benefit in this situation.

Civil rights make up the first part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which were originally adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Guarantees of Rights

Civil rights were some of the first rights to be recognized and ratified. In many countries, such as the US and Canada, they are constitutional rights that are included in a bill of rights. As mentioned, the United Nations also defines civil rights.

Please do your best to keep in mind that civil rights need not be codified in order to be protected (even though most democracies do in fact have formal written guarantees of civil rights. Why? Civil rights are considered natural rights – those that every man, woman and child are born with. Thomas Jefferson said it best back in 1774 “a free people (claim) their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.”

But anyone of color knows that although our constitution states these rights, in practice certain classes of people do not always get treated fairly.

Custom can also play a role in identifying civil rights. Indeed, ‘implied” rights are those that courts find exists even if they are not expressly guaranteed in a bill of rights. A good example of an “implied” rights would be the right to privacy that exists in the US. Although with the passing by Congress of the Patriot Act and then in 2011 Congress passing a four – year extension of three expiring Patriot Act provisions without making much – needed changes to the overly broad surveillance bill, one really has to wonder. Just recently with the revelations of our government gaining access to all sorts of documents of ordinary Americans with the assistance of organizations such as the telephone companies and social networking internet companies, again one has to question who decides where the balance is between the individual’s right to privacy against the government’s right to know i=under the guise of providing security of all US citizens.

A controversial element of civil rights is attributed to the question: who exactly do they apply to? For example, the citizens of many countries actually have greater protection against civil rights infringement than non – citizens.