I'm pretty sure my family can't be the only one with this rule, but we are not allowed to discuss politics at the dinner table. So when the Black Lives Matter movement started gaining more and more attention in the wake of George Floyd's death, my father made it a point to really enforce this rule during our dinnertime conversations.
But when you're discussing the BLM movement it's important to note that we are not talking about politics.
Sure there is a heavy political weight on the topic, but we are discussing an issue of human rights. The idea of human rights itself should not be a political argument. Human rights are a universal concept that should be adopted by all nations. These rights are basic morals and outlines of human behaviors guaranteed to all and protected by countries' respective governments.
In the United States, the human rights of people of color are being violated.
Racism and police brutality are just two of the more prevalent examples present in today's society. But there are underlying violations of other basic rights such as equality of education or equality in the workplace. The Black community has not been viewed as equal before the law.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, "All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation and against any incitement to such discrimination."
A second human right violated is the Black community's right to innocent until proven guilty. This right states, "Everyone charged with a penal offense has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense."
In the case of police brutality, the officers involved in the deaths of the victims act as judge, jury, and executioner. By not treating the victims as innocent until they are actually proven guilty by a court of law, they are ultimately not only depriving the victims of a right to innocence, but also a right to life.
So, I encourage you to discuss the Black Lives Matter Movement at the dinner table.
If you feel the call to action, but don't know where to start, start with education. Educate yourself then spread the knowledge. Because this is not an issue of politics, this is a serious human rights issue happening in our country. And when you're greeted with the ever so popular comment that "everyone is entitled to their own opinion," it's important to note that yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but when discussing racism and the violation of human rights, there should not really be different opinions.