Tuesday, 20 March 2012

human rights meditations: week 9

Welcome to Week 9 of Human Rights Meditations. Each week we’re looking at an Article in the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Learn more about the series here. This series all about the time that you spend reflecting, and engaging in the discussion via comments below & twitter (hash tag #hrmlak).

This week we’re looking at Article 9 of the UDHR.

Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Read over the article above a few times and let it sink in. As you reflect, consider the following:
·          What's the first picture that came to your mind?
·          How did you respond to what you read?
·          Reflect how you feel about yourself in comparison to others.
·          Reflect on how you perceive others in your world. 
·          Reflect on your understanding of global issues.

Write the article down and stick it somewhere where you know you'll see it throughout the week. This will prompt you to keep the thinking going! Alternatively, write down something that has stood out to you throughout this meditation.  

Now, get talking! Let's talk openly about our thoughts on each article, what we're learning about ourselves and some of the actions we're taking to live more in line with the Declaration. Don't forget that as well as chatting via the comments below, you can get talking via twitter by including this tag: #hrmlak

I'll go first!

  • The issue that primarily comes to my mind in this case is that of race: you know when news reports talk about an "African youth" or "middle aged Asian man with a shaved head and tattoos"? Sometime's I'm listening and I think "Do I really need to know his race?" I feel like sometimes the information shared is unnecessary and reinforces existing racist judgments in the community. 
  • I'm also thinking about the death penalty. I'm so glad we don't have this in Australia- I hate to think about such choices being made in choice.  How well supported should evidence be for one to make such a call? 

Kate xx

PS... no pic today... my bad!


  1. Interesting first point… It’s a hard one… I think there really is a fine line between "trying" not to be racist and actually not being racist. The problem is that you have to think about race and in stereotypes to "try" and not be racist, which in the end is sort of self-defeating.

    I think it applies as much about how we read into such situations/stories as it does about how we express them. If someone happens to mention a person’s race in a news story (regardless if it was necessary or not) it should be of no consequence if the viewer sees past that race. In most cases I would say that these are more statements of fact rather than racist remarks, but I guess that’s up for the viewer to discern themselves. However, seeming people generally don't see past the race of a person or group, is it better to have not mentioned in the first place?

    So I guess who's responsibility is it to make sure people don't comprehend this information in a racist way? The presenter, the viewer, or both? Also, who decides if race in each particular story is not of factual benefit and how should that be decided? Etc etc…

    As you can see I don't believe that this is a particularly easy topic to discuss :)

    1. You make some really good points about responsibility, and I guess the easiest answer is we all have a responsibility for how we see things, how we communicate and what we agree to take on/leave behind... Your point about trying and the link it has with stereotypes is also really interesting- if we're having to think about it, in some ways that could be seen as racist in itself...


thanks for your comments, I love to hear from you!


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