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Category: Human Rights

Last Night’s U.S. Strike on Syria

Last Night’s U.S. Strike on Syria

I posted the following statement on Facebook yesterday, as it seemed highly likely to me that a U.S. airstrike would be forthcoming quickly. When the question of whether or not to bomb the Syrian regime came before the Obama administration in 2013, I believed that such a strike would be a mistake. He had already made the error of placing the credibility of the United States on the line in hopes of deterring Assad’s use of chemical weapons. American credibility…

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Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence’ Speech

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence’ Speech

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, and some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of…

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Human Rights and the Liberal Order

Human Rights and the Liberal Order

December 10 is Human Rights Day. On this day, in 1948, the new United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Like the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide the day before, the adoption of the Universal Declaration marked a seminal moment in the historical development of the idea as well as the actual attainment of human rights. The creation of the Universal Declaration in many ways emphasized the centrality of liberalism…

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Thinking of Raphael Lemkin

Thinking of Raphael Lemkin

Raphael Lemkin is on my mind today. He is a personal hero of mine. If you have not heard of him, he is someone who is worthy of your consideration. He has already shaped the way that you understand the world that you live in and the evil that can be unleashed in it when not prevented through absolute and unwavering commitment. It was Raphael Lemkin who created the term ‘genocide’, and eventually got it codified into international law with…

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Kevin Bales and ‘Breaking the Wall of Slavery’

Kevin Bales and ‘Breaking the Wall of Slavery’

Kevin Bales – Breaking the Wall of Slavery @ Falling Walls Conference 2016 from Falling Walls on Vimeo. Kevin Bales is a scholar and activist who has been doing important work for years to end the scourge of slavery in the world today. He was a founder of the organization Free the Slaves, and he is an important source of information of the scale of the slavery problem today. There are currently an estimated 46 million slaves in the world,…

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Rise and Shine!

Rise and Shine!

I know I am not alone in having spent the past three days in a rapid-fire trip back and forth through states of disbelief, anger, despair, fear, and a whole bunch of other things that I am not sure I have a name for. There is no doubt that this is a swift kick in the gut for many of us. The veil has been ripped off of whatever illusions we collectively held about how far we had come as…

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