Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fevered Human Rights

This week I have been blazing through boxes of Kleenex with a red, rubbed-raw nose and an intermittent fever while I read about the evolution of social work and our engagement or not in the political process. 

"Politics ought to be a part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." 
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1954)

I write about my politics a lot and when I say that, I mean I don't KNOW a lot about politics, I merely write about it a lot. Politics seem to have threads in every part of my day from where my t-shirt is made to the kind of car I drive to what food is available to me at the grocery store... I will stop but you see where I am going here.

I have a friend who's shy about politics, thinking because their own politics are different than mine we can't have dialogue. This makes me a bit sad because I want to hear other people's opinions because I only have mine because this is all I know so far. The more I talk about it, the more I learn about it, the better equipped I am to make a better informed decision.

I think a lot about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as brought to us by the United Nations. Specifically I think how amazing it is that I think of myself as someone who knows about some stuff, not a ton but some and I had never heard of this until last January when I came to Humboldt State and one of the professors presented it to us. 

What would the United States of America look like if these were taken into account? That is all my fevered head can hold for one day. Thanks for dropping by.


  1. Hey Jessica! I too, have some knowledge of happenings in the world, but find myself limited what I really know of and about politics. I have never been interested much with politics until my journey began with HSU. I realize now, that in order for social workers to be better informed, provide input to assist in making changes in agencies/organizations that they either work with or support outside of the work arena, that politics are connected to everything. I can no longer say that I am not interested, because I am. For me, its like reading a good book; I can't read fast enough...there is so much in this world that I am still learning! I look forward to learning with you and the others in our cohort!

  2. I think that's awesome that you're embracing politics. It can be daunting and everyone has an opinion. We have a stack of voter registration forms at my work. I offer them to whomever I am meeting with, if they are interested. I am often told "it makes no difference what I vote for." It makes me sad. I have felt the same things before but if we don't vote, we're giving our voices to those that do. Meanwhile, we can continue to inform ourselves and work to make changes within the current political structure if we're not seeing it realized presently. Cheers to diligence and a well-informed populace!

  3. Hi Jessica...I have had some similar experiences in not being able to discuss politics with friends. One in particular is firmly entrenched in extremely conservative ideologies. We can begin a discussion, but I refuse to argue what I cannot back up with good sources (and that is indeed a part-time job -- keeping up with knowing your stuff). So at that point, I listen and ask questions. I ask "why" a lot and rarely is there a substantial answer. Usually the support for a comment is backed up because of having heard (fill in TV personality name here) say it, or because of having read (fill in trendy book author here). Having good, objective resources for information and studying more than one perspective takes a lot. SW 530 is providing a good overview of many processes, which will be useful when giving careful consideration to the many perspectives.

    1. Thanks for this, Monica. I find I learn so much in conversations. That is my favorite part of politics, where the rubber meets the road. It's easy to generalize about conservatives and liberals alike but we're all some amalgamation. I used to be über liberal. According to ( I am a liberal libertarian. Whatever that means. I am just as bad as some of the people you talk to in where my facts come from. Seems like more and more whomever I talk to think the whole system needs an overhaul.