Rights aren’t always taken at gunpoint

Armando Valladeres Perez was an American poet, diplomat and human rights activist. For 22 years of his life, he was a Cuban prisoner. He was arrested in 1960, at the age of 23, reportedly for refusing to put an “I’m with Fidel” sign on his desk at work.

Just after he refused, he was arrested by political police at his parents’ home and given a 30-year prison sentence. Though the Cuban government stated he was arrested on charges of terrorism, the reasons stated at different times were conflicting. Most of the free world felt he was imprisoned because he was against communism.  He was tortured unmercifully during this imprisonment. 

After his release in 1982 he wrote a book about his imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Cuban government. In 1987 he was appointed to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights by President Ronald Reagan.   Perez admits he supported Castro in the beginning but once that support started to wain he became an enemy of the state.

One statement that he made, reads “Sometimes your freedom is not taken away at gunpoint but instead it is done one piece of paper at a time; one seemingly meaningless rule at a time; one small silencing at a time.”

That gives us something to seriously contemplate, especially in the current conditions. Perez learned first hand how easily a person can be stripped of their rights by the government even if any accusations are false.

We are seeing much debate about our Constitutional Rights these days and people draw lines in the sand on which side they stand. Either they totally believe rights are being taken and violated or they don’t have a problem with it and will take on anyone who does have a problem. Sad really.

I’m not a Constitutional attorney, nor am I a doctor, nor do I profess to be, however, I do have a problem with what’s going on in the world today.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws which regulate an establishment of religion, prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

There is debate on both sides as to whether or not being allowed to hold church services violates this amendment. To me, it depends. If you can hold service and maintain the 10 people or less and the six feet apart and want to, I don’t see anything wrong with that. I also don’t see anything wrong with drive-in services. But a governor in Kentucky felt otherwise. If a liquor store can have drive up services, then why can’t a church? You can’t give one special treatment over the other. 

 Personally, I don’t think the whole economy should have been shut down for a virus. I’m not saying precautions should not have been taken or that the elderly or those most susceptible should not stay home. That’s just common sense. 

If you do any research, what will frustrate you is that the numbers don’t add up. You can take the mainstream media’s word which by the way, changes every day, or you can do research yourself to get to the bottom of things. It has already been proven that some of the media have used fake photos from other places but claimed they were in our country. There is also other conflicting information and if you research Dr. Fauci and his connection to Bill Gates, you might decide you don’t want to listen to him at all. Gates want to vaccinate us all with a vaccine that includes a chip and wants us to carry a vaccination ID. Ironically, he is against voter ID. Go figure.

It is a tedious job to come up with accurate information and there are factions on both sides of the issue. Many of the people who get upset when you say  you don’t agree with a lock down, they are not on fixed incomes and have retirement or a stream of income so they are not affected. But I think about others. Those with limited income and those who live from paycheck to paycheck or the elderly on fixed incomes. What about those businesses which were already struggling?

We currently do not have a food shortage but with all the hoarding, it could come to that as well. I’ve seen where dairies have had to dump milk and vegetables have rotted in the field because of no market due to schools and restaurants being closed. Now stores are limiting your purchase to one or two items on many things.  If people continue to hoard, you will see that get worse. And I still don’t understand about the toilet paper but that’s okay, I don’t have to understand. 

All those people who would vote for Joe Biden are getting just a little taste of socialism. Yes, it’s been bad, but socialism would be 10 times worse.

We’ve got to keep our perspective and we’ve got to use common sense. That is hard to find these days, I know.

I will say it’s great to see all the good things people are doing for other people during this pandemic. All the crosses for “faith over fear” and red ribbons for the blood of Christ. It’s awesome and that’s what we should be doing. But when this is all over, it’s my prayer all of this will continue. Crawford Countians certainly have been doing their share and I’m really proud to be a part of this community.

I’m sure other communities are doing things we don’t hear about as well.

As newspaper personnel, Kristi. Robby and I are considered essential employees and we’re thankful that we are. Yes, this has impacted our business as it has most all small businesses in the community. Will we survive. I personally believe God will provide and He has never failed me, even during the storms of life. So my hope is in Him.

During this time pray for our President and leaders as I can not imagine the responsibility on their shoulders. The President can do no right as he is attacked no matter what. He’s holding up better than I am through this!

As Melessa Hollis is fond of saying “Do something down here that matters up there”. Let’s adopt that as our motto as we keep on keeping on. Have a blessed week.

VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com  

About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Copy Editor, Copywriting, Event Planner, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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