Liberal Column: Your position of power is not an excuse for your behavior


Harvey Weinstein has been the focus of a huge investigation for multiple counts of sexual harassment and rape. With the Harvey Weinstein revelation, there has been a domino effect with many people opening up and accusing different celebrities of sexual assault. Anthony Weiner also went to prison this week, and Paul Manafort is probably heading there soon as well. There are other big names and events, but these three names have made headlines this week.

Many different individuals are coming forward and saying they knew about the crimes of these people long before, and I can’t help but think, “Why didn’t anyone speak out against this? Why did you wait so long?” Yes, Harvey Weinstein was ostracized, as anyone who violates an individual’s right to self-ownership of their body should be, but this idea of the abuse of power is not uncommon in positions of power.

As with Hollywood and D.C., there’s a similar issue with silence in America’s police force. Civil forfeiture is theft, and we’ve seen in the news where a concerning amount of police officers have shot unarmed citizens and been punished with administrative leave, instead of second degree murder. There is not an official group or union of police officers who stand against civil forfeiture. There are a couple of small police groups against police brutality, but they aren’t being loud enough. This begs the question of “Why aren’t people fighting against this?” You can hate Black Lives Matter, but at least it is speaking out against police brutality, which is a lot better than the people who ignore it and say, “Well, if you just do what the police say, you won’t get hurt.”

Governments also kill civilians in war and go unpunished. You can easily find articles on the internet, from credible sources, where a drone strike killed civilians or a country is supporting terrorism indirectly or directly.

All of these acts, from Harvey Weinstein to war, are a result of not valuing life. When people steal from, abuse or murder another person, it is because they do not see any value in the victim’s life compared to their own. Every Middle Eastern citizen Trump drone strikes, every unarmed person shot by police and every human being who is abused or trafficked on Earth right now has value as a human being. He or she is a part of someone’s family, possibly someone’s mother, daughter or friend. These people are forced into the abused positions because those in a position of power do not respect or value life other than their own. The abuse continues because nobody will speak out.

Legality does not correlate with morality. Being pro-life, we should know that. Stealing is stealing even if it is under the legal term of civil forfeiture, and murder is murder no matter who commits it. People sometimes have the right to unethical behavior too, such as murder in some select clinics in America or theft disguised by a legal term. Regardless, if someone has the right to or not, it is not ethical for someone to take advantage of you or your property.

I’m not sure how we regular citizens can make sure government officials are held to the same standards as we are, but I do know that if you want to cause a change, you start with that most immediate to you. For example, we could bring attention to theft, hold everyone to the same standards and work for a solution that doesn’t involve theft.

Being silent with little incidences like these and turning our heads is what leads to police, politicians and celebrities getting away with many crimes. Someone who does not value other people or their property will always abuse people further and further as long as nobody is speaking out against them. The other celebrities who knew that Harvey Weinstein was abusing women and did nothing to stop it are no better than he is. The world is not going to be destroyed by people doing evil but by people who stood by and did nothing to stop it.

If you are or know someone who is being abused or having their individual rights violated, please do not be a bystander or silent. Please speak out. You are a human being worth so much more and do not deserve to have anyone violate your self-ownership or your private property rights under any excuse.

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