Land of the free

>

This misleading statement greatly overestimates the generosity and scope of our Constitution and our government. Compared to most developed Western nations, U.S. citizens enjoy an anemic range of constitutional and human rights.

For instance, citizens of the European Union will be guaranteed protection against any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, color, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.

The European Union’s charter on fundamental rights will guarantee equality between the sexes at a constitutional level. European citizens will enjoy environmental protection, respect for cultural and lingual diversity, the right of access to European Parliament, council and commission documents, respect for private and family life, right of access to data which has been collected concerning him or her, freedom of thought, conscience, religion and expression, academic freedom and the right to education. The European Union will guarantee the right of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life.

The United States does not grant its citizens any of these things. We were ousted from the U.N. Human Rights Commission for a reason. Our failure to fight for human rights on our own soil and to protect the dignity of our fellow citizens is a faint shadow of our inhumane treatment of foreign nationals and our long history of enslavement, brutality and ruthless massacre. Hypocrisy is America’s wine.

Americans need to take a good, long look at their so-called “land of the free.”

Norman Rupp, senior, College of Liberal Arts