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The value of civil rights cannot be underestimated, and everyone should be made aware of their rights so that they can practice them.
Gloria Gipson Suggs, author of Piece-A-Way Crossroads, is an advocate of people knowing and exercising their civil rights. Her book is based on the Great Depression and Segregation throughout the 1930s to 1960s. Readers can have a glimpse of what life was like back then, especially as a Black American experiencing lots of discrimination and racism.
By picking her characters carefully, Gloria is able to showcase just how important civil rights truly are. Today, we’ll be discussing more about civil rights, their value, and why someone should intimately know them.
Let’s Define What Civil Rights Are
According to the laws of the land, every person is entitled to some fundamental rights known as civil rights. Civil rights are there to shield individuals from discrimination based on some protected qualities, such as:
- Race or skin color
- Disability (this includes being in recovery or temporary ones)
- Genetic identification
- Sexual orientation, sex, and gender identity
- National origin and language (this includes ethnicity and ancestry)
- Citizenship status or immigration
- Military member status
- Parental, family, or marital status (this includes pregnancy)
What Are the Origins of Civil Rights and Where Do They Come From?
Although our innate human rights are the source of civil rights, they aren’t identical. Whenever you’ve got a claim to make, you should understand the distinction between a human rights attorney and a civil rights attorney.
Civil rights are bestowed and protected by the state. On the other hand, human rights are those that people simply receive by virtue of their humanity. Due to this, they fluctuate over time, adapt to cultural shifts, or can be changed by governments in response to discriminatory trends.
Take, for example, the struggles for the civil rights of the LGBTQIA+. People from this community have only recently gotten the attention they deserve. The value of civil rights lies in the power that they have to protect or make someone’s life better. Piece-A-Way Crossroads shows this by introducing a story that depicts how civil rights change lives.
What Makes Civil Rights so Important?
The reason civil rights are vital is that they safeguard everyone. They guarantee that no one is subjected to prejudice or unfair treatment. Another goal of civil liberties is to ensure “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It aims to make the promise in the Declaration of Independence something attainable.
Therefore, governments must uphold and defend civil rights for everyone.
How Can Someone Tell if Their Civil Rights Are Being Violated?
When a person’s rights are restricted because of any of the protected traits, this is known as a civil rights violation. These typically include misbehavior by public servants, such as law enforcement.
Instances of Violations of Civil Rights
Violations of civil rights can take many different forms. Here are a few of the most typical instances:
- Police brutality
- False pretense searches and arrests by the police
- Being refused a loan, housing, or a permit because of your gender, race, or handicap
- Human trafficking
- Being turned away from a school because of a linguistic barrier
- Hate crimes
- Being divided according to gender in a learning program or activity
- Being relegated, demoted, paid less, or given more work because of one’s race or gender
- Experiencing reprisals for disclosing discrimination at work
What Can Someone Do if Their Civil Rights Are Violated?
To address a civil rights violation, one must first ascertain if the right in question was violated or suppressed in the first place. After you’re certain of this, you can choose between three things:
• Civil Court Lawsuit
Additionally, you might be able to bring an individual lawsuit in civil court. However, in certain circumstances, you have to first make a complaint with a government agency.
• Settlement Agreement
Not all civil rights violations call for a drawn-out legal procedure. Without going to court, you can resolve the matter amicably with the assistance of a civil rights attorney. This usually occurs when there is discrimination at work.
• Government Agency Claim
A state or federal government entity may receive a claim for most civil rights breaches. When you do this, the agency will take action on your behalf to remedy the matter. An investigation will guarantee that your claim is supported.
Protect, Exercise, and Care for the Value of Civil Rights
Now that you know the importance of civil rights, it’s time for you to practice them. Piece-A-Way Crossroads is a great book to read to have a bit of understanding about what happens when civil rights are abused.
Grab a copy of the book today. Check out our other blogs, too, and learn about the struggles people faced during the Great Depression!