Opinion

Some things are basic human rights, not debate topics

I find it alarming how easily people will debate things that, at their core, are human rights violations.

While there’s nothing wrong with a debate, it’s disgusting to see people play “devil’s advocate” on things like if a certain group of people deserves equality or not.

Last week, I saw a screenshot of a tweet regarding a debate on BBC titled “Should people with learning disabilities be allowed to work for less than minimum wage?”

I was half-angry and half-heartbroken that anyone would even think that’s a reasonable topic to debate.

Nobody should be allowed to work for less than minimum wage. It was created to be the minimum amount of money someone can get by on. (Aside from that, for most places in America, the minimum wage doesn’t even meet that standard, though that’s another topic.)

What makes the “should mentally disabled people be allowed to work for under minimum wage” question worse is that it takes advantage of already vulnerable people.

People who have learning disabilities have fewer job or career options already. They may rely more on family for support, and they may also have expensive bills for things like medications or therapy that most other people don’t have to worry about.

It’s alarming that anyone would think it’s OK to pay less than minimum wage, and it’s even worse to think that disabled people deserve to be paid less. It’s dehumanizing.

So-called debates like this aren’t uncommon.

For example, the U.S. has a history of forced sterilization. Clearly, this is bad because it’s eugenics, and it’s taking away someone’s right to reproduce. However, forced sterilization is still a problem, just in different ways.

Even today, many prisoners are given incentives to undergo sterilization. This is wrong because they are a vulnerable population.

I am doing undergrad research in one of my classes, and prisoners are a protected group who need extra precautions to work with. Since they are not free, they can’t consent to a scientific study in the same way anyone else can.

It seems wrong they can be rewarded for a decision they might not otherwise make, given the circumstances.

Transgender people face the same issues. In a number of countries and U.S. states, they must undergo sterilization as part of the gender reassignment surgery in order to have their gender recognized on their birth certificate, driver’s license, etc.

For many people, surgery is too expensive, and others may not want it because they want to have children. It’s wrong that they should be held to this standard. The only person whose business your genitals are, besides yourself, is your doctor, not the government.

There are even people trying to justify children being separated from their families and thrown in jail at the border just because their families came here illegally.

It’s honestly heartless that anyone can justify that. Children need their families, children shouldn’t be in jail and children can’t be held accountable for the actions of their parents.

Aside from that, people who just want to improve their lives should be helped, not treated like criminals.

It’s wrong how we treat undocumented immigrants here. Anyone without a history of violent crime should be granted amnesty.

Everyone deserves the right to food, water, shelter, healthcare, bodily autonomy, safety and justice.

However, so many people still think these things are up for debate when they’re framed in a different way.

It seems like so many people have an almost sociopathic attitude where they don’t care about how others can be hurt by certain policies, and it’s disheartening.

There are certain things that just simply shouldn’t be up for debate, that shouldn’t be a political issue, because people’s lives and wellbeing are at stake.

Everyone should have compassion for other people, and everyone should be doing their job to make sure that vulnerable or oppressed groups are not being taken advantage of or otherwise treated as inferior.

Categories: Opinion

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