Google defines Civil Rights as: “The rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.”
We are a country of rights: the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assemble, etc. We have numerous rights, so it makes sense that talk of rights is frequent. We even had a movement just fifty years ago to free minorities from oppression, and give them all the rights that they, as human beings and Americans, deserved. I understand that the term civil rights has significant weight. That being said, in recent years, it has become dramatically overused.
When an argument has stalled, and it has lost its momentum, a favorite tactic of the Left is to label the issue a “civil rights issue.” With that label, the issue suddenly becomes so significant that it must not be opposed; it becomes untouchable. Once something is labeled a civil rights issue, opposition to it is racist, bigoted, or—my personal favorite—xenophobic.
The most recent issue that has been given the civil rights label is illegal immigration. The push for amnesty has become much stronger in just the last eighteen months, and I suspect it will only continue to gain power in the coming years leading up to the presidential election. According to The Hill, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said:
“I think this is one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time…We’re at a pretty critical moment in the movement right now where it’s really important to keep pushing ahead.”
There it is. More and more often I am seeing amnesty pushed as a civil rights issue. But what does that really mean? The goal of labeling it as such is to position it in the same category as the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. By placing amnesty right next to something so meaningful and integral to our society as the civil rights movement, those who are making the associations are hoping to silence opposition. It’s just a tactic. But is there really any comparison?
When it comes down to bare bones, one group of people were being oppressed within a society and a country to which they belonged, and from which they were owed basic rights, and the other group is one that does not belong to this country. Illegal immigrants—whether Hispanic, or Irish, or French, or Chinese—have come here outside the legal authority of the United States. They are not citizens, and are therefore not owed anything. There is no comparison.
Even at the most basic level, amnesty is not a civil rights issue, it is a legal issue. But that is not what the Left wants us to believe. They want us to be silent. Don’t fall for the “civil rights issue” nonsense.