By Eduardo Stanley
In Defense of Civil Rights
On Oct. 20, Republican senators blocked a bill in Washington, D.C, that would secure voting rights in this country. It would have required states to automatically register voters when they interact with motor vehicle agencies, offer two weeks of early voting, allow anyone to request a mail-in ballot, and outlaw the severe manipulation of electoral districts, a practice called gerrymandering.
This is not the first time Republicans have shown their disdain for basic democratic rights. In Texas, they passed a strict abortion bill, limited the voting rights of minority voters, and approved controversial redistricting lines oriented to control the political map.
Other states ruled by conservatives are passing similar bills. All this sounds like an 18th century plot but is happening in the 21st century and in open daylight. This is a simple and blatant assault on our democracy—on any democracy.
Also, on Oct. 20, but in Clovis, a student was booed and jeered by adults while expressing his support of the use of masks and the vaccine as measures to control the pandemic.
“Think about how you would feel if they were suddenly taken from you without warning, without mercy. I’m sick of hearing abled individuals complain about masking and vaccines. Your ignorance and privilege speak volumes,” said the young student, according to the Fresno Bee.
Some of the parents present at the meeting didn’t hesitate to insult the student, who later left the meeting. It is sad to learn about adults bullying a minor in any circumstance, but it is more dramatic when it comes from ignorant adults trying to stop the spread of a virus that could affect them and their families.
Anti-mask, anti-vaccine activism is becoming more violent. The attack on the public well-being—on our health—is similar to the attack on our democracy by reducing or eliminating civil rights—such as voting rights and abortion.
We can’t give up defending our rights, our health.
Till next month.