human rights

All posts tagged human rights

Hand in hand

Published May 29, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

“My father always used to say; don’t raise your voice, improve your argument” ~ Desmond Tutu

Why Gay Rights and the Greater Progressive Agenda Go Hand in Hand

Posted May 25th, 2011 by Evan Hurst @truthwinsout

No matter the brand, mainstream or main street politics does not deliver a truly progressive politics and any advances are limited. My argument if you are to advance Gay rights then it is by looking to Green politics in its embrace of universal diversity in moving forward. The article that inspired me provides a relatively interesting argument but is confusing in comparing and contrasting two conservative political philosophies. While I may or may not agree with the key points, it is nonsense to pretend that there is a difference between the two. Liberalism and Conservativism by their very nature are both cheeks of the same arsehole; in Australia, this is more evident.

 The Rainbow Nation is socially and politically progressive because traditional or conservative institutions question our very existence in taking every step possible to marginalise us. The idea of gay conservatives seems to be counterintuitive, when our culture stands in stark opposition to the worldview of conservatives.

This is where I become confused what is the point of argument here, as any political theory is a broad church of thought. Conservatives have a well-proven economic theory and often Liberals might be socially progressive while holding a conservative economic position. If you are talking economics, all mainstream politics worship capitalism on both sides of the aisle. If you are talking social then mainstream politics tends to sit somewhere around the centre of the political spectrum this is where you find legislation like DOMA, and  DADT  the right to be treated as an equal citizen is traded for maintaining the lie of the status quo. Please note both these pieces of legislation where signed off on during the Clinton Presidency. A social centralist and economic conservative from a supposedly Liberal-progressive party.

Amanda Marcotte  in tying together all the different arms of liberalism

Economic justice This is labour movements, anti-poverty initiatives, fair taxation, health care reform, social services, government that is functional, etc. Anything that helps secure the middle class, bolsters the economy, and lifts people out of poverty.

  • Strange proposition the example is a real ice cream sundae, socialist foundations with a liberal topping of no tax reform and a middle class cherry on top. Our lot is not with the middle class but the working/poor, to achieve true economic justice we need to seek tax reform. So those who can pay their share rather than gorging themselves on the tax returns of the worker.

Social justice. Feminism, anti-racism, gay rights, anti-colonialism, things like that—anything that divides people against each other on the basis of identity hierarchies.

  • The underpinning principle is fair however, poorly articulated the example, social justice is about social equity or fairness.

Environmentalism and rationalism. Preserving the planet, promoting science, using the now to work towards a better tomorrow

  • It is about sustainability, risk management and the application of the sciences to keep our home Earth viable in the face of rabid capitalism, which seeks profit for its own sake. Many philosophical perspectives and discourses go some way to explaining the interconnectedness of life including green politics, socialism and Black Feminism but neither Liberalism nor Conservatism.

Insightful

This seems like a good time to point out that gay conservatives tend to be upper-middle class white men, or those who dream of one day being so, and are willing to overlook where they actually are in service of who they might be, maybe one day, if things go well for them.

  • Here the author is talking about class and class conflict, where gay conservatives as members of an elite sell their cultural identity for perceived personal gain. This situation may lead to the individual being conflicted between their individualism and cultural root.

The Rainbow Nations rights might go hand in hand with a progressive politic however, can mainstream parties really deliver anything but a centralist agenda because of them trading off justice for maintaining their privilege.

Australia

Australia has an atheist unmarried woman PM who comes from a left- faction of her supposedly socially progressive party the contradiction lies in

Her defence of the Marriage Act 1961 as amended by  Marriage Amendment Act 2004 in which marriage not previously defined is stated as being between a man and woman. Hence, she is denying marriage equality in any form to same-sex couples for an institution she does not believe in herself.

Her support of rebranding and extension of  Northern Territory National Emergency Response or Intervention a package of changes to welfare provision, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures including exemption of NTI under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)

Vote Radical not Progressive

The Rainbow Nation has no friends in mainstream political parties they are more interested in maintaining their privileged position or attaining a privileged position. .It is not our rights they campaign their aim to appeal to the majority with pie in the sky fairytales. Until we stand up and demand our rights by holding these politicians to account they will sit on their laurels and fat bank accounts believing they do not have to answer for their words and deeds.

Stop being nice become politically active

Reject the rhetoric of politicians filled with good intentions, hot air and bullshit

It is the 21st century it is now or now

Reconciliation Week

Published May 27, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Land.  I would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past, and present, and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians.

From 27th May – 3 Jun we celebrate National Reconciliation Week , this year’s theme “Let’s Talk Recognition”, it is about proper recognition of  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In the history of modern Australia our first peoples of occupied a position on the margins of society aliens in their own lands. This is the story of a resilient people whose custom and lore disrupted over generations through waves of violence, persecution and subjugation whose living culture survives.

In 1991, the Commonwealth Parliament voted unanimously to establish the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and a formal reconciliation process. Parliament had noted that there had been no formal process of reconciliation and that it was “most desirable that there be such a reconciliation” by the year 2001, marking the centenary of Federation.  This process took place its success seems a matter for history, what it did do was give oxygen to a conversation around the injustice experienced by our first peoples at the hands of successive governments. Sadly, with the election of Howard this process lost all but token political support being bastardised by the re-authoring of history many conservatives engage in.

Then on February 13, 2008, Kevin Rudd, as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia rose in his place and moved the National Apology to the Stolen Generations motion. A moment many had waited a whole lifetime to hear their pain publicly acknowledged and validate. However, subsequently, little has progressed the issue of recognition has seemingly lost political impetus once more overshadowed by an extension of Howard era paternalism and protectionism. This journey towards reconciliation along a corrugated red track stained with the tears, fears and blood of generations continues towards home.

We are many but We must act as one

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

The reality of the Rainbow Nation

The B of LGBT

The B in LGBT is a blog entry by @tcwaters reflecting on a story about perceived biases against people who identify as bisexual titled Lady Gaga Is Not an Ally to Our Community on The Bilerico Project. @tcwaters does not deny that people who identify as bisexual are not members of our community it just he has never thought about it previously until he read the Bilerico Project article. The author makes two interesting observations that Lesbian and Gay men may or may not really consider the bisexual experience and that we are not really one big homogenous “community.

The Personal

I use many different labels to define my identity including Queer, Gay & Bisexual but never heterosexual discounting it as a nonsense. In my early teens, I often thought of myself as bisexual, however, I could not say that I really was but it gave me comfort. Therefore, I can comfortably say that bisexuality is no alien concept to me it is a reality that your love is not limited by arbitrary gender divisions.

The Rainbow Nation

The dream, that one day the diverse communities of the Rainbow Nation will sit down together in an open and frank conversation to address strategically the discrimination we all experience. In a hostile heteronormative world, even with all the advances over time we still fight everyday to defend our right to be who we are. Our greatest barrier it seems is the lack of leadership to breach our internal biases, which see us discriminate against our own. This situation sees us construct, maintain, and reinforce politically convenient divisions, which in turn perpetuate the sameness that imprisons us. We like other marginalised people sit on the back stoop of the Master’s mansion fighting over scraps from his trashcan while trying not to be shot.

The greatest threat to our rights is ourselves

Only United shall we overcome

Welcome to the back of the bus

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Mental Health –  experience of discrimination & stigma

In my cyber wanderings, I discovered Diagnosed Bipolar? Welcome to the Back of the Bus! this piece seeks to highlight the discrimination and  stigma people with a mental condition may experience in contemporary America.  The title reflects on the discriminatory practices of the past the forced African Americans to sit in the back of public bus services a form of apartheid or race segregation. It provides the reader with some insight on the perceived experiences of stigma by a person with a mental illness. The only disappointing point here is an attempt to argue about degrees of discrimination and the inference that other marginal groups may not experience the level of stigma that people with mental illness may.

My view is that to discriminate against one person is an injustice perpetrated against us all, there is no degree of discrimination that is why marginalised people need to meet the challenge and stand as one. People may experience discrimination based on number of arbitrary demographic divisions, what about the M-F transgender butch lesbian Black Muslim diagnosed with schizophrenia. I realise some may see this as an extreme example but I am hoping people get the message that issues of identity like discrimination are complex. Therefore, the focus here is on educating people to embrace social diversity with an open mind and in a respectful way to gain an understanding of each other in striving for a more just society.

Do people living with bipolar disorder experience stigma and discrimination

The Debate: sustainability verse development

Published August 14, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle

Dick in his own uniquely Australian way produced this documentary while a little heavy on nationalism raised a number of questions around the population debate. The debate seemingly avoided by politicians of all shades was already happening in a strange and abstract way for example around infrastructure, immigration, climate change, aging population and economic development. Then just to confuse us further a number of furphies   pop up around racism, if you speak about population then there is some correlation to racism. This debate like all complex questions attracts a large number of knuckleheads with a litany of simplistic analyses and commentary note finger pointing at Hanson & One Nation if they are still around.

The debate BIG Australia (36 Million -2020) verse a sustainable Australia (?), obviously the truth is located somewhere between the two. What attracts me to the sustainable Australia position is simply that it needs to be a strategic approach to address the needs of our country (environmentally, socially and economically). The only problem I see is capitalist greed that equates economic development +even increasing population + broader tax base + increased profit margins + infinite = positive social outcomes. How realistic is this equation do the numbers add up, nothing grows for ever there is a finite value attributable to everything, do keep on consuming until Western civilisation crashes and the whole biosphere implodes. One point that does stand out is Smith a self-titled capitalist naming capitalism as the major reason for this issue in naming the sacred cow as an unsustainable burdensome beast.

Other issues

Homophobia – a number of tweets made disparaging comments around same-sex attraction – disappointing – heterosexuals still  do not understand same-sex people live in a family, some parent children and live very ordinary lives – they may get us mixed up with Str8 tea room princesses

The Agenda: It is time Australia has a serious policy debate about issues that affect its future.

  • Environmental stewardship – strategic management of a  finite resource
  • Sustainability
  • Comprehensive primary healthcare – beyond hospitals
  • Infrastructure
  • Civil society – social justice – poverty – housing – employment – training – education – relationships ,
  • Economic development  beyond capitalism towards sustainability – focus on developing  Human capital – social capital

It is time for capitalism to start paying its due

Labor announces Mental Health Policy

Published July 27, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

Upon reflection, the measurers announced sounds great, in acknowledging suicide as a significant mental health issue. The policy outlines a number of suicide prevention measurers underpinned by a primary health care policy framework. However, Labor’s focus on funding for key stakeholders including Lifeline Australia & Beyond Blue seems limited.  The nature of mental illness is complex and demanding, people who suffer chronic conditions readily use up their goodwill with others. Often becoming socially isolated, with family, friends and even professionals rejecting the person because they are so high maintenance in some cases experiencing ongoing suicidal ideation , self harming and suicide attempts. The real issue started with deinstitutionalisation, with a shift in care focus to an undervalued and under resourced community sector. This policy goes somewhat to addressing this issue however it comes down to the quality of front-line services and related resource levels.

How does this policy seek to address these issues?

Links

Lifeline Australia crisis line 13114 (24/7)

Beyond Blue

Mental Illness is not a dirty word

Why are Australian Churches Losing their Religious?

Published August 20, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Bishop blames ‘weak’ churches for losing their religious – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The article reports on the views of Professor Tom Frame, concerning why he sees ‘The Church’ failing Christianity in Australia. Professor Frame is the Director of St Mark’s National Theological Centre and head of the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University. He identifies three rather clear reasons for a ‘weak’ church losing their followers.

  • “To some degree some churches are caught in a time warp, they’ve got the social and cultural forms of the 1950s and 1960s and have been unable to embrace the 1990s and the new millennium, so they do seem to be locked in time and their message with it,” he told ABC Online.
  • “Many of the churches are totally overcome by internal bickering about minor points of doctrine about which the world could not care less, because they don’t bear upon everyday life.
  • ” the churches themselves have conducted some of the internal debates in public and given the impression that not even the churches are sure about what they believe.

Professor Frame reflects on the

  • Significant changes in religious observation during the last 100 years.
  • Consequences for social welfare services
  • moral and ethical void

He makes one key observation

“And if they can’t articulate a clear message then why should anyone bother listening?”

What can be made of these reflections?

Strangely, I believe the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are even more relevant today than ever in history. Much has changed over the last 100 years in that change it seems the Church has lost sight of Christ’s simple message of unconditional love, respect and acceptance.

However, those who identify themselves as his representative are as barren and corrupt as the priests in the temple that Christ himself condemned. The Church overwhelmed by the bigotry and ignorance of hate, preaches a doctrine irrelevant to the masses that seeks to hold on to the last vestiges of heteronormative privilege. Christ walked the people of the margin, He did not walk with Kings dressed in the silk robes and gold ornaments of social respectability. In one example He stood before the crowd ready to stone a woman accused of adultery and challenged the man without sin to cast the first stone.

What is the message of the Christian church today, how consistent is it with the teachings of Christ?