As a State Senator from Southern California , I have the unique opportunity of representing one of the most ethnically. Culturally, and economically diverse areas in the world, where the progression of human rights has always been a coveted ideal, recognized not as a given obligation but a sacred right.
Americans have regarded the progression of human rights as a long held establishment in our constitution and way of life. With civil liberties as the hallmark of the American dream, our fathers have sacrificed much to guarantee us life, liberty and the right to pursue our happiness. It would be criminal if those who possess the freedom to understand the injustices of the world, watch, and not act to pave the way for natural rights to the global community.
This responsibility to extend human rights to the world not only exists in a humanitarian sense, but out of responsibility to our collective posterity and environment. As seen in the suffragist movement, the internment of Japanese citizens in World War ll, and the racial segregation in the south during the l 950' s, there have been unfortunate human rights lapses in United States history. Yet the adoption of the l9th amendment, the Civil Liberties Act of l988, and the slow racial integration into the late 20th century, facilitated the recognition of the failure to protect civilian rights in the past, while at the same time looking forward in seeking out a future of liberty and justice for all.
In America , although human rights are legally protected by the Constitution of the United States , it is this unified belief in the concept of freedom that ushers this lasting legacy. The freedom of thought that puts forth innovative ideas continues to fuel our advancement toward ensuring the promises of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all Americans. There is no right valued more than the ability to express one‘s sentiment in the organized forums of public debate and the press. It is the basis of our country's democracy, its social fabric, its communal foundation.
Individuals who are fortunate enough to adopt these freedoms as a way of life are protected by them and thus can truly understand the magnitude of their own power and potential to do well in the world, bringing change with them. With different parts of the world industrializing quickly and shedding away the traditions of yesterday, the facades of buildings may change but not the people. Leadership is necessary to bring, as Ghandi stated, “the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of people.” With the recent disasters in Haiti , Chile , Mexico , and China , we were reminded once more of how vast a capacity the human heart holds. Altruism and wisdom can lead us collectively to a liberated world of equality and tolerance.
With humanity's attempt to pass over the threshold of injustice and ignorance, the role of a country's leaders to promote ideals that reflect the best interests of their constituents is a vital role in proliferating human rights around the globe. It is this selflessness, this act of humanity, this forward momentum, to commit ourselves to the issue that will allow the progress of human rights.