...begins in wonder

code, poetry, philosophy, folly (Andrew Kuklewicz)

A quick rant - lots of folks are lately writing ab...

01 Oct 2001

A quick rant - lots of folks are lately writing about how human rights and such are being stomped in the quest for terrorists (perhaps crusade is a better term).

Fair enough. This is definitely happening, and shame on anyone who is invoking the current crisis in their acts of probably pre-existing prejudice.

And its also true to say that the levels of security that are being increased could be considered losses of personal freedom. Guys with machine guns may be a common place sight in other parts of the world, but not here, and arguably this is a hallmark of a move towards draconian enforcement of governmental wonts.

But does it still strike anyone else that this is also a great example of progress?

Sure, we are seeing more hate/fear towards anyone that looks like they could be arab/muslim, but when was the last time that was such outspoken response or protective media coverage? I don't see any camps being set-up, so maybe the current generation has learned from history.

Human rights are getting stomped, particularly privacy, but I see this as part of the dialogue between citizen and government that is part of a health state. Since the civil rights movement there has been popular support for more rights and protections, be it for African Americans, in what language we should use, in how all people should act in the workplace. In a crisis, we now see the popular dialogue swaying back to empowering the government - this is temporary, I really believe, as is our general shock and fear - but it is these back and forth motions of opinion that home in on a better future state, perhaps several generations from now.

So yes, please, everyone keep attuned to the disgraceful treatment of innocent people who resemble the terrorists we all fear, and fight it and speak out against it.

And likewise, make sure we don't allow our privacy to be lost to the immenent domain of new staging grounds for the war on terrorism.

But also take a step back and think what would have happened if this disaster had been perpetrated a generation ago, or two, and how we would want the next generation to react.