Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Inalienable Rights

Since "social studies" not "history" is taught in most public schools in the USA most students never learn that in Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration of Independence the original phrase he wrote regarding our inalienable rights was -- "life, liberty, and property." As the story goes Benjamin Franklin counseled Jefferson to change it to what we know today as - -"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" -- clearly understandable since Mr. Franklin thoroughly enjoyed daily life.

So let's focus on the word that was replaced -- PROPERTY -- which today can be real like land or intangible like a computer software program but in my opinion the ultimate property right if your personal freedom and the avoidance of slavery. As I have stated here before the USA's Founding Fathers made VERY few mistakes as they crafted our Constitution but one major mistake they made was to allow slavery to continue to exist in the USA once it was free of the British Empire.

I was reminded of this historic debate over slavery recently after reading Nicolas Kristof's syndicated New York Times column, "'Human trafficking' is a euphemism; the real issue is slavery." Kristof's column focused on an organization known as Apne Aap which was founded by a former Indian (from India not a "Native American") journalist named Ruchira Gupta. Apne Aap ( is focused on liberating women/young girls who have been forced into prostitution in Indian brothels.

Personally I am glad the world has activists like Mr. Gupta since evil like sexual slavery MUST be eliminated in our lifetimes. Granted I have NO love for the United Nations but perhaps they could serve ONE purpose in the world -- working to guarantee that our most valuable property (our personal freedom) is protected from slavery. The U.N. should start such a campaign by expelling any member-states who allow sexual slavery to exist within their boundaries. This would help make this violation of human rights more transparent and would assist law enforcement agencies focus their efforts to stop human trafficking.

No doubt I offer an over simplistic solution but at least I am adding to this global debate with the hope readers will add to the momentum.

Live free or die,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well it is possible that this plan would solve your issue with the US involvment in the UN. Assuming that your plan would include protectorates as well.

Sadly... we are still not immune. We just aren't paying attention and it allows us cheaper clothes with a Made in the USA label.

Holstein Girl