June 22, 2003
The Greens—Human Rights and Social Justice

(See this post for background on this series.)

End Institutionalized Racism, Sexism, and Oppression of People with Disabilities: Strengthen civil rights, anti-discrimination, and affirmative action laws, programs, and enforcement.

By supporting affirmative action programs, we are substituting one manifestation of racism for another.

While the Americans with Disabilities Act was a noble idea, it has turned into a cash cow for opportunistic lawyers and a regulatory nightmare for everyone else. It's time to reexamine the ADA, and put an end to some of the excesses it has engendered.

African American Reparations: A national commission on reparations for African Americans.

No. Stop picking at the scab of reparations. By constantly beating the drum in support of this inexcusably stupid issue, you are harming race relations in this country. Reparations are a bad idea, and unworkable. Not all whites benefited from slavery, and not all blacks are the descendants of slaves. Then there is the issue of intermarriage (do you get a smaller payment if you are part white), immigration after the civil war (do whites have to pay? Do blacks not get checks?) and war fatalities (do the families of union soldiers who died to defeat the pro-slavery south get anything?).

Indian Treaty Rights: Honor all treaty obligations with Native Americans and Chicanos.

This is another hot-button racial issue that owes more to identity politics than to real-world discrimination.

Immigrant Rights: Support the rights of immigrants to housing, education, health care, jobs, and civil, legal, and political rights.

Insert the word "legal" prior to "immigrants", and you will strengthen the validity of the position (and support from the public) immensely. I don't advocate discrimination against immigrants, but non-citizens should not have the same privileges as citizens. I'd adjust their rights and benefits accordingly.

Reproductive Freedom: People should be free from government interference in making their reproductive choices, including abortion, which should be covered by all publicly funded medical insurance programs.

Abortion should not be a federal issue. In places where abortion is legal, the federal government should not be paying for abortions, except in cases of rape or where the mother's life is in danger.

Comparable Worth: Legislation to enable women and minorities to receive equal pay for work of equal value.

This is an issue which cannot be resolved; for every study that shows that women and minorities are paid unequally, there is a study that shows higher absenteeism, less experience, or lower productivity.

If the issue were so cut and dry, and women and minorities are paid less for the same quality and quantity of work, why haven't companies fired all of their white males and hired the cheaper females and minorities?

End Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People: Outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, benefits, and child custody.

I agree with this, to a certain extent. Some behavioral differences must be taken into account, and religious institution must be exempted from laws that would compel them to hire LBGT people, or provide benefits to their partners (unless, of course, the next plank is considered).

Same-Sex Marriage: Legal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Regular readers know that I am fully in support of civil unions. I dislike the term "marriage", due to its religious trappings, but any non-clerical union should have the same legal benefits as a marriage performed in a religious context.

posted on June 22, 2003 03:18 PM


Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?

Back to Horologium