People Are People

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The Canadian government has introduced a bill to protect transgender people against discrimination and violence.

Sad.

It’s sad really, not because it happened, but sad because it had to happen.

I feel blessed to live in a land respected for democracy, human rights, peacekeeping, and charity on a worldwide scale. We are recognized as a multi-cultural nation that, under our constitution, guarantees our rights to freedom of religion, to move around the country freely with equal and legal rights to life, liberty and security. Entrenched in our Human Rights code is protection for all citizens, regardless of skin color, gender, sexual orientation, race, or faith.

Still there is a need to further define who needs to be protected against discrimination and from hate crimes.

It has been a while since I’ve taken a look into our constitution. I did, when it was introduced in 1982, leaf through the document with more than a pedestrian interest, and distinctly recall the use of the word peoples.

Peoples, to me anyway, mean human beings. Humans, to me, indicate those of flesh and bone, and mind, muscle, ego, and id. Apparently it is not enough.

I know it’s more than a black and white issue; in fact, it is not any shade of grey, or even about the wide spectrum of color. It is about how people are treated on the basis of anatomy and psychology. It is confusing for some.

Why can’t we all just live together?

Instead of going into detail, wouldn’t it just be easier to be more general and treat people as people, following a golden rule that — despite its religious shadows — asks you to do unto others as you would have them do unto you?

Shouldn’t the Ethic of Reciprocity be enough? Am I just being naïve?

I honestly thought we had moved further away from the genocide and persecution that has stained global history. I seriously believed that stories about pink triangles would now only be lore to educate and inform future generations about what once existed, and how we — the big WE, the global WE — had changed.

WE, obviously, cannot think in big terms and, quite obviously, have to craft our laws around small minds that cannot view people unlike themselves as humans with the same rights and freedoms they have the freedom to enjoy.

WE should be allowed to live and work without judgment, and to make friends and take lovers of ethnicity, faith, or skin tone unlike our own. That, I believe, is the freedom our constitutional document provides. That is the kind of freedom I believed I was raising my daughter under, and that is the type of freedom I respect.

I know I am not alone, yet there is still the need to further define. Any time you have to define, you are actually becoming more exclusionary than inclusive.

Every timeWE add another definition to our laws, or further clarify what or whom can do what where, or with whom, it does not strengthen the document, but rather weakens our society.
© 2016 j.g. lewis

No matter, no matter what color.
You are still my brother.
I said no matter, no matter what color.
You are still my brother.

Everybody wants to live together
Why can’t we be together?
                       -Timmy Thomas @1972

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