In the Movie “Mississippi Burning” we witness various typed of discrimination, civil rights movement, and many over issues that were reflected on and ignored. Firstly we see many ways that coloured people’s civil rights were rejected and abused by everyone including the law enforcement themselves. Throughout this essay I will explain and reflect all the different typed of issues and how they are applied throught the film and how they relate to people today. Inalienable rights are proclaimed to be “natural rights” by nations.
These are rights that are given to us and cannot be taken away, removed, or denied. Some examples of these are the right of your free speech, the right of assembly, the right to the integrity of one’s person and the right to life. The personal rights to life, speech and liberty are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Human rights belong to each person as an individual. Wherever the person lives or works, the rights are applied. These rights are a part of every individual. No one may revoke them, unless it’s due to an extraordinary circumstance.
Human rights are fundamental rights, especially the ones that are believed to belong to a certain person and in whose exercise a government is not allowed to get in the way of. This includes the right to speak, associate, work, along with a variety of others. A human right is a claim that is based exclusively on the dignity of being human. Legal or civil rights are entitlements or claims that have come up from the need to set up parameters which will allow people to live without harm in a state or community and to live cooperatively.
Civil rights are the rights to full social, legal and economic equality. These rights are recognized by governments, which allow each citizen to participate in government, with certain obligations and to a varying degree. Human rights and legal rights are not the same thing, although many times they do overlap, they also can sometimes stand to be complete opposites. These rights are the rights that form the content of government constitutions and charters of freedom. In society, we have numerous types of issues and concerns.
These include personal or individual concerns and social or communal concerns. Personal or individual concerns involve a person themself and the things that involve them. They are issues that do not involve others and the community, but involve exclusively one’s own personal concerns. For example, a personal or individual concern can include someone’s husband cheating on them. This issue strictly involves the people in the relationship. In no way is the community or society needed to deal with this situation. Another type of concerns are social or communal concerns.
These concerns involve more than just a person, but look at the bigger picture. These types of concerns move away from small personal issues, and move towards greater issues that can have an effect on a community and the people living within it. Social concerns also include the interactions between people within a community, and are controversial issues. Examples of social concerns are racism, immigration, gay rights, and censorship. These issues would involve more than just a single person and their concerns. These issues would involve communities in their entirety.
These are the types of issue that get groups of citizens together to voice their concerns and discuss issues. Person or individual issues are exactly what their name says; they belong to a person or an individual. Social or communal issues, as their name states, involve a society or community. Although these two types of issues may be difficult to distinguish between at times, they are still two separate issues. Majority of situations and concerns in our lives will be personal or individual concerns, but there may come a time when we must deal with a social or communal concern.
An issue is a matter of personal/ individual concern vs. social/communal concern when you’re personal faith, ethics and values that society can’t tell you what to think. A personal/ individual concern is when there’s a personal connection involving the issue due to a person experience or deeply held belief. A social/ communal concern is when the issue has an impact on the society and involves the community and society as a whole. There are many laws out there that limit and/or remove the rights of individuals. Laws are created to protect the people of nations from harm and to try to keep everyone content.
Although we have the right to keep our rights and freedoms, they are sometimes removed or revoked temporarily in order to support the common good of all. These rights can be small, almost insignificant rights or they can be more prominent rights that people are opposed to the removal of. The smaller rights include such things as areas where smoking is prohibited, a legal drinking age, and a legal age at which someone is able to obtain their license. Many of these laws are placed into action in favor of supporting the common good. This would mean in favor of keeping individuals in our community healthier, safer, responsible, etc.
Some of these laws that are limiting the rights of people in our society to support the common good are. In the movie Mississippi Burning that was watched during class there were a few human rights that were upheld. Most of these rights that were being upheld were associated with the white people more so than the black people in that community. The freedom of speech is upheld as it shows when the community came together for a “political debate” which seemed to be a lot like a Ku Klux Klan meeting without the costumes as the FBI agents mentioned.
There was a stage and people were up on stage stating their opinions and thoughts to the rest of the crowd. The ability to do that shows that they still have a right of speech. Another human right that is upheld is the right to religion. The white people in that community do not have respect for the black people living within it but they continue to allow them to have their own church where they can worship their Lord. The white people of the community have their own church as well so that’s a sign that they are upholding the citizen’s rights to religion.
In the movie there were a few legal rights that were being upheld as well. But these rights were not being upheld by their community, rather the two FBI agents that came to that community to solve the case of the 3 missing boys were supporting them. These FBI agents did not care what the colour of the persons skin was, or the way they looked, they just wanted to find out about the truth and solve the case. These agents did not look upon murder as a right in any way, no matter what the colour of the victims skin, they saw it as it was with the law, which is wrong, and against the law.
For the black part of the community, many of their human rights were being ignored. They got treated horribly and there was nothing they could do about it in that time. Their right to live free was ignored, and they were being ill-treated and tortured. Their freedom for thought and expression were ignored because the people in the black community were scared and knew that if they expressed themselves they’d get beat because of the colour of their skin. A main legal right during the movie that was shown is towards the black people as well.
Their right to a fair trial was not taken into consideration from the community and they never had a chance to be treated fairly during trails. The white citizens of the Jessup County, Mississippi had all of their human rights upheld. They were able to live their lives without any worry of having their life threatened, being free from torture, free from slavery, and many more human rights. This is the same of the legal rights of white people. The white citizens did not have to worry about their legal rights being challenged, especially for no reason.
It is a whole different story for the black citizens of Jessup County. Practically all of their human rights and legal rights were stripped from them simply because they were not white. The human rights that were stripped include the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, the right to a fair trial, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. The white citizens felt that they were above the black people and decided it was the right thing to do by taking the lives of the black citizens for no reason at all.
The black people were put through terrible torture, such as having their private parts cut off, being beaten, and being hung from trees. When the white people were confronted by the FBI, it seems as though the black people will get back their rights. Instead, the black people are stripped of their right to a fair trial and the white people who have been doing all the arbitrary killing walk away with no consequences. With all of the violence occurring in Jessup County, the black citizens in turn lose their freedom of speech and eventually lose their freedom of religion.
The black citizens are brutally beaten and killed as they leave their church and are persecuted for worshipping. The rights and freedoms of the white citizens are upheld and honoured, unlike the rights and freedoms of the black citizens which are stripped from them with an arbitrary power, leaving them with no human or legal rights. Some of the white citizens in this country are very traditional to their history and don’t believe in the present change of the world today. They like to try and follow after their parent’s, grandparent and great-grandparent’s footprints.
Due to this factor, some white citizens of this country believe that it is okay to treat the black citizens this way. In history, black people were the white people’s slaves and were thought to be no good at anything. They were treated very poorly and did not have half the amount of rights the white citizens did then, nor did they have half the rights they have today. Many of the white citizens in this country have been brainwashed to think that black people are the cause to the problems in the community and that they are no good.
These white people don’t chose to be racist but it just sort of comes upon them a lot of the time because of the way they were raised. If an individual is raised with racist parents, they sub-consciously become the same way most of the time. If that was all they were ever taught when they were growing up, that black people are bad and only cause problems, then that is most likely what they are going to believe for the rest of their life. No matter if that is true or not, they already grew up with that thought and it’s hard to change that.
Some of the white citizens in Jessup County thought that it was right to treat the black citizens this way because they believed that they were an inferior race. They believed that the black citizens were below them and did not deserve to have to the same rights and freedoms as the white citizens. The white citizens looked down upon them and treated them incredibly poorly simply because they were not white. They were given slave jobs, such as working in fields and cleaning, and yet were still not appreciated for their hard work and suffering.
The white citizens did not consider the black citizens to even be called ‘people’ and that they were not equals in the society. The black people were considered to be the cause of all the problems and issues in Jessup County and were therefore treated in a manner that was a sort of punishment. As if the thoughts of the white citizens were bad enough, there were political figures in the county speaking out against blacks and that they should be kept out of their county.
With this sort of influence being seen by all of the citizens, their actions and behavior towards the blacks was encouraged and ultimately seen as the right thing to do. If a political figure had stood up and spoke against the poor treatment of the black citizens, maybe the outcome of the county would have been different and many innocent lives could have been spared. Another reason why some white citizens thought that it was okay to treat the black citizens that way was because that was all they knew since they were born.
With parents that have a certain mentality when it comes to black people there is no way for a child to know anything else. Children are taught to act the same way their parents did towards black people, for no reason at all, but simply because that was what everyone else around them was doing. The children were just following the example that was showed to them. Freedom comes with responsibilities and with freedom comes rights. When we get our freedoms and rights taken away from us, it is not uncommon to be resentful and that alone takes away from our ability to act according to our will, to be authentic.
When there is loss of freedom, there is also a loss of responsibility, which means that we won’t have to worry as much about being the best person we can be, especially if the freedom is taken away from us for unnecessary means. When you lose your freedom you may become less able to act to be an authentic person because in a way loosing your freedom is closely connected to loosing you sense of safety. For example, if you go to jail, and you’re a flamboyant person, you will feel uncomfortable with every body else around you because you are not like the way they are and you feel like you are being judged and looked at weird.
Losing your freedom can also cause a person to lose their sense of individuality. Losing your individuality can cause someone a mass amount of confusion and has the ability to make them a less authentic person. An example of where this might happen could be maybe if a person is switching schools or moving to a school from a different country. The style, atmosphere, and attitudes are all super different than what the individual is used to and may overwhelm them and scare them.
The person may feel threatened by the other kids who are used to the style, atmosphere, and attitudes and could essentially feel as if their style doesn’t work there, and are afraid of what people may thing of this person. They then decide to change their style that they are used to, which is like taking a part of yourself away and hiding it from others. That is considered loosing parts of your individuality, because you don’t feel as if you have the right to be yourself. Losing our freedom limits our ability to act according to our will because it restricts our actions.
If we were to lose our rights to life and a fair trial or our freedom of speech or religion, we would not be able to live our lives to their full potential and with the most happiness. As we were able to see in the movie Mississippi Burning, the black citizens of Jessup County had their freedoms stripped from them for no reason other than the fact that they were not white, and they were not capable of living their lives to be authentic people. They had to base their lives around the actions of white people and their beliefs, even though they were wrong and negative.
The loss of freedom limited the ability of the black citizens to act according to their will because they were afraid to practice their rights and freedoms in fear of being murdered. Even though the white citizens tried to take away the freedoms of the black citizens, they still stayed strong as a community. There was one young black boy in particular who stood his ground when it came to his freedoms. He did not allow the limits put on his rights and freedoms to change the person he was and continued to act in a way that promoted the good. He will let the events of his life shape him and the man that he will one day become.
With the situation that he lived through, he will help people in the future when it comes to discrimination based on a reason that is no one’s fault, including being black rather than white. This young boy maintained his belief in his freedoms and did not give his consent, in any way, shape or form, to the white citizens of Jessup County. People and situations cannot fundamentally change the person we are without our consent or agreement even though they can take away our physical and/or emotional freedom. This is an accurate statement because our mind is our own and no body can control that.
In order to change the person they are, it has to be a choice made by the person him or herself. Not one person, or situation can make a person change just like that. Although, situations and specific people can make an individual question themselves as a person, and make them want to change who they are, but even with that, there is a consent from the person him or herself that they are going to change, it will not just happen against their will, the human mind does not work like that. Each and every one of us is free to decide how the events of our lives will shape us, and control whom we become as a person.
Although, we are not always free to do what we know we must or should, or what would be for the good. This statement is accurate because we are our own controllers of how our lives are going to turn out. We can control this simply by the way we react to certain situations and our attitudes towards them and on them afterwards. Situations and experiences that we go through growing up makes us stronger as a person and individual and it gives us more character, the way we react to these experiences and situations show who we are as a person and how strong we are.