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Slavery has always been a topic in society for centuries. What is freedom? Is it a privilege or a right? One should consider answering these questions when discussing slavery. “You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.” (Clarence Darrow). The right to be free and live free is a fundamental human right that everyone should have. One can only be free if he or she protects the right of freedom for everyone, not just themselves. To protect peoples liberties, you must be free while others may not agree with this saying an excellent example of this is “Even if he could have obtained permission to marry me while I was a slave, the marriage would give him no power to protect me from my master. It would have made him miserable to witness the insults I should have been subjected to”. (Harriet Jacobs 29.)
The quote shows that since Jacobs is not free, even marriage would not be able to help her instead it would make her spouse miserable. Here’s another example “For his sake, I felt that I ought not to link his fate with my own unhappy destiny I advised him to go to the free states, where his tongue would not be tied.” (Jacobs 29.) One way that this is an example demonstrates protecting a man’s freedom, results in freedom are that Jacobs statement of denying a marriage proposal from a free man provides insight to the fact that she is protecting his freedom by letting him go to where he will be free. One must understand what freedom is and how it is obtained to be free themselves. The ability to be free is the result of people protecting each other’s rights, property, and their entire being. If we don’t guard each other, then there can be no freedom.
Let’s review this example of democracy and protecting others rights. “Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?” (Frederick Douglass 63) This statement by Frederick Douglas is a question Douglas is asking the citizens in New York’s abolitionist at the event in July of 1852. Douglas wants to know why a free slave is requested to speak at an event regarding Independence when the slaves are not free, what does his present, speech have to do with freedom itself, what’s the purpose of his invitation? He reminds the citizens of this hometown that slaves are still slaves although he is free and his presence as a free man who has been advocating for the abolishment of slavery has provided some rights of others, does the Declaration of Independence protect the slaves or just the free? When one isn’t free, how can they protect humanity of man?
The following quote is an example of the lack of freedom resulting in no protection or ability to object to the violation of others rights. “Why are parents to lose their children, brothers their sisters, or husbands their wives? Surely this is a new refinement is cruelty, which, while it has no advantage to atone for it, thus aggravates distress, and adds fresh horrors even to the wretchedness of slavery.” (Olaudah Equiano)The opposition would argue that “Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better,” as stated by (Albert Camus).
The current immigration issue in the United States today is a good example of immigrates coming to America for the chance of a better life. These individuals travel dangerous roads in unhealthy conditions for that chance.” Mexican citizen leaves his or her home country due to high crime rates, drug trafficking, unemployment, poverty, and climate hazards that lead to water shortages. So that they can provide a better future for their children” (Daniela Grava, Immigrant Connect). The separation of families takes place at the border, with children being taken from their parents and put in camps. “America is Building Detention Camps for Immigrants families in 2018” American Immigration Council).
Is this a chance for a better life when you are detained and separated from your children? Are they free?What it boils down to is that freedom is a fundamental human right. It is the result of people protecting and advocating for others for all to be free. Opponents of liberty being the result of protecting others rights believe that it is the chance to be better. If the opportunity to be better is freedom, then Mexican immigrants crossing the border to Texas and California would be free. These same immigrants are detained at the border, separated from their children, and both put in detention centers for months. Some are even deported back to Mexico with the result being death. So, their rights are not protected which results in detainment, not being free.
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