- By Lt. Tim McMillan
Why I Support Minority Rights...
First and foremost, I stand up for minority rights because I am not a coward. I have no desire to live a life in which the color of my skin gives me an advantage. I refuse to take pride in a life that never affords me the ability to be the best in anything because I have not completed fairly against everyone.
I refuse to accept that my children should have to grow up under this same precedent and that no matter how good of a father I am, no matter how good of men and women I raise them to be, they will never have the chance to be the best at anything. That every gold medal they win in life will come from running a half marathon, while others have to run the entire 26.2 miles.
I accept that the amount of success one can achieve in life comes from the amount of hard work they put into something. Because of this, I refuse to accept a reality where I can never reach my ultimate potential because I do not have to work as hard as others to achieve the same results.
I stand up for minority rights because I actually believe in the lies many people tell themselves. The measure of a person should be in the quality of their character and not in the color of their skin, their religion, culture, ethnicity or sexual orientation. However, if that were actually true, it wouldn't be at all special for someone to be the first black president or openly gay judge. However, it is a big deal because for 232 years these events were unprecedented.
I stand up for minority rights because I respect where I came from and the people who came before me. Because my people were once strangers in the land of Egypt. They were enslaved, beaten, and their children murdered. They obtained freedom, literally by the intervention of God. However, even then, we were oppressed over and over again, nation after nation kicked us out, and after all of that they still tortured and murdered six million of us. Simply because we existed.
I support minority rights because there is nothing more disrespectful I could ever do to the suffering, hardships, and death of my ancestors, than to hide behind the color of my skin, while others are subjugated, persecuted, mistreated, oppressed, and treated like their value in this world is less than someone else.
You're not going to enslave me, persecute me, force me into a ghetto, kick me out of the nation I was born in, or shove me in an oven or gas chamber. Therefore, I will also never allow that to happen to anyone else... Never forget and NEVER AGAIN.
I stand up for immigrant rights because I do not desire to be selfish or ignorant. I support immigrant rights because I am well aware that there is absolutely nothing about myself, including the very language, I am typing this article in, that didn’t originate in some other land than America. Any satisfaction I have for being born in the United States of America and every single solitary attribute that I have enjoyed for my entire existence can single-handedly be appreciated because of… immigrants. Therefore, I recognize and welcome the unequivocal value and diversity that immigrants provide for society.
I support the rights of a person to find God in the religion that God speaks to them in or to have no religious belief at all. Because I love America and the principles it was founded on. I believe and trust the American ideal that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Therefore, I trust that no other culture, ethnicity, or religious faith could suddenly come in and take over an American identity that has existed with steadfast perseverance for 241 years. In fact, I believe that this American ideal screams, beyond reproach, that a person should have the freedom to find God in any way that God speaks to them or to not hear God at all.
I support LGBT rights because I am secure in the fact that I do not desire to have intimate or romantic relationships with a person that is of the same gender as me, nor do I feel that I identify with a gender that is not that of my birth. Therefore, the fact that other individuals desire to love or be intimate with those of their same sex or they choose to identify with a gender other than their birth, has no positive or negative bearing on my life. Since I am secure in my sexual orientation and gender, others sexual orientation or gender identity, are not qualities that concern me nor are they attributes in which I measure the quality of a person by.
I support LGBT rights because to not support them, would preclude me from experiencing individuals who possess actual qualities and traits that do add value in my life.
I support American rights because I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I am not a liberal or a conservative. I love life and hope for the longevity to appreciate it to the fullest. However, someday when my life comes to pass, the quality of contributions I have been able to achieve in this world will not be defined by who was president, a politician, or a political party. My role in this world will be defined by attributes that are inherently human and therefore I will never allow a political affiliation or belief supersede my moral and ethical belief in the inalienable rights of human beings. I will demand that the governing leadership of our nation represents the same moral and ethical standard of virtue in human life. The political affiliation of that governing leadership is irrelevant.
I stand up for human rights because I am not a hypocrite. If I say, “All Lives Matter,” it means all lives matter. It does not mean blue lives matter, American lives matter, Christian lives matter, Jewish lives matter or white Jews with Scottish last names, lives matter. It means all lives matter. If a person, or family desires to leave a situation or area in which they live in constant fear, desperation, and threat of death to seek refuge in America… Their life matters. If you say that they should not be afforded this opportunity because you are scared that they may potentially harm you, you do not believe that all lives matter.
The United States of America is a nation founded on immigrants. It is a land that has a colossal neoclassical sculpture in the harbor of the country’s most populous city, with an inscription that reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" If you say that refugees or immigrants should not be afforded an opportunity at life in America, you do not even believe that “American Lives Matter.” Because your fear has caused you to resist the very foundational principles that America was founded on. Instead, you believe that only your life matters.
I believe every single person on earth has the potential and ability to provide tremendous value and contribution to humanity. Therefore, I believe, All Lives Matter; and that is why I support Human rights.
I support human rights because I do not believe that my authority as a police officer should include me having the right to kill someone simply because I am scared. To believe such means that my life matters more every single other person I might encounter. I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Therefore, I support human rights because all lives are equal and all lives matter.
I support minority, immigrant, religious, LGBT, American and yes, even political rights… Because they are all human rights.
Now, Damn! Can we human beings be capable of some really shitty things? Absolutely!
However, we are the only human beings we've got. Therefore, I will always hold strong in the faith and belief that inherent goodness exists, somewhere, within us all. I will always trust that no matter how shitty we are as human beings... we can always be better.
Finally, you don’t have to believe in any of this with me. You can ridicule my beliefs or altogether ignore and dismiss them. However, I will not apologize nor feel bad for standing up for human rights, and even if you don’t like me… I will still stand up for you too.