Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

>Staying Awake for Human Rights

January 7, 2011

>The Birmingham Peace Project is sponsoring an event on Saturday, January 8 (that’s tomorrow).

“Staying Awake for Human Rights” — the 8th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Event

Birmingham area students will speak:

“Staying Awake for Human Rights”
An essay competition featuring Student Activist Groups. Hear what student activists have to say about human rights.

This event will take place at Kelly Ingram Park at 3:00.

Music will be provided by the Reconciler Praise Team from Church of the Reconciler.

Come join us, bring the family!

>"Humans have Values"

January 28, 2009

>Be sure to read my column from The Western Tribune, which follows this.

Update: Mother and son released from detention , will not be deported.

Had a certain comment regarding Muslims not been posted on yesterdays blog, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. But this blog believes that, yes, humans do have value. All humans. Yet comments continue to come in that slight Muslims, blacks, gays. (Some of those comments I refuse to post, some I post reluctantly, so I can counter).

But this isn’t really about Muslims or religion at all. It’s about respect and values. So yes, I would have posted this.

Imad Mohammad and his mother are facing deportation. Imad is a Spain Park High School grad, in college, but he and his mother are being held in a “detention center” (the quotes are because we know about the detention center in Etowah county) in Louisiana.

“Why?” You ask.

His father, mother and he came to this country, it seems, in 1993, fleeing civil war in Lebanon. Imad, 18 now, must have been around 2 years old. They were ordered to leave the country in 2001. Being Palestinian, they don’t really have anywhere to go. They were picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for still being here.

Imad’s father, Mohammad Mohammad was released so he could care for his other five children, who are all U. S. citizens.

Why did they flee to the United States? “Here, humans have values. That’s why I came here,” Imad’s father said.

But isn’t it sad when a father has to speak to his son by phone and apologizes for bringing him here. I mean, this kid has had all the opportunity in the world. His high school English teacher said, ” I’m not exaggerating when I say that he is among the top, top students I’ve ever taught or expect to teach.”

He was the track captain at Spain Park. What seemed like a promising future now seems bleak.

Of course laws are laws and immigration laws are no different. But immigration laws are ignored about 12 million times, so why pick the brightest kid around to make an example out of?

Thursday is the deadline set by a federal judge for the feds to show just cause for holding the mother and son.

In a story in The Shelby County Reporter Imad had this to say, “I’m holding up the best I can. I don’t want to break down because my family will break down too. If I start complaining and crying then my dad is going to start getting more antsy. If I’m strong, they’re strong.”

After this experience Imad wants to become an immigration attorney. Well, if he gets to stay.

We will see tomorrow whether that “values” thing holds true in this country. We’re pulling for you, Imad.

Thomas Beatie

March 27, 2008

I have considered writing about this subject for days, ever since I first read a story in The Advocate about Thomas Beatie, who is transgender. I have a not too distant relative who like Thomas is female to male trangender and I thought about him when I read the article.

Today the Birmingham News had an article about Thomas, but since they could not tell the whole story, here, in The Advocate is a link to it. By commenting on this, I don’t feel I am exploiting his situation, since he writes about himself in the first person in the article.

Thomas is legally a male in Oregon and is married, with full rights and benefits to his wife, Nancy. Thomas is now carrying their child. You can see a picture of the pregnant man at the link above. Thomas was born with female reproductive organs, and at the time of sex reassignment did not have those parts removed, although he did have chest reconstruction.

He and Nancy wanted to have a child, but Nancy, due to a medical condition years ago, had a hysterectomy and could not bear children. Thomas stopped his hormone treatments and more than a year later he is pregnant with their daughter.

Thomas says they saw nine different doctors before finding one who would work with them. His own brother questioned “what kind of monster” he might produce.

They realize their situation “sparks legal, political and social unknowns.” Still, they also know that their daughter will be born around July 3, 2008, and so far the pregnancy is free of complications.

Thomas and other transgendered individuals deserve the same respect and rights that the rest of us deserve. He has put himself out there for the world to see to make a point, and he does it well.

Only by sharing stories such as this will people begin to understand and accept people of sexual minorities. The most recent issue of Out magazine was devoted to Trans issues. I commend the media (at least this part of it) for presenting this information, even when the LGBT rights organizations are sometimes struggling with it. For Thomas, for my “cuz”, for the rest of you, I am with you.

>Thomas Beatie

March 27, 2008

>I have considered writing about this subject for days, ever since I first read a story in The Advocate about Thomas Beatie, who is transgender. I have a not too distant relative who like Thomas is female to male trangender and I thought about him when I read the article.

Today the Birmingham News had an article about Thomas, but since they could not tell the whole story, here, in The Advocate is a link to it. By commenting on this, I don’t feel I am exploiting his situation, since he writes about himself in the first person in the article.

Thomas is legally a male in Oregon and is married, with full rights and benefits to his wife, Nancy. Thomas is now carrying their child. You can see a picture of the pregnant man at the link above. Thomas was born with female reproductive organs, and at the time of sex reassignment did not have those parts removed, although he did have chest reconstruction.

He and Nancy wanted to have a child, but Nancy, due to a medical condition years ago, had a hysterectomy and could not bear children. Thomas stopped his hormone treatments and more than a year later he is pregnant with their daughter.

Thomas says they saw nine different doctors before finding one who would work with them. His own brother questioned “what kind of monster” he might produce.

They realize their situation “sparks legal, political and social unknowns.” Still, they also know that their daughter will be born around July 3, 2008, and so far the pregnancy is free of complications.

Thomas and other transgendered individuals deserve the same respect and rights that the rest of us deserve. He has put himself out there for the world to see to make a point, and he does it well.

Only by sharing stories such as this will people begin to understand and accept people of sexual minorities. The most recent issue of Out magazine was devoted to Trans issues. I commend the media (at least this part of it) for presenting this information, even when the LGBT rights organizations are sometimes struggling with it. For Thomas, for my “cuz”, for the rest of you, I am with you.