by Zach Nerpel

There is no greater rebellion than the rebellion against the self.

I’m not qualified to talk about the political aspect of human rights, nor educated enough to know their entire history. What qualification is there, though? Should I need to know the full scope of gay persecution in the United States to know it shouldn’t exist now?

How vast must my understanding of privacy be to have an inkling of doubt when the government says privacy is protected by law?

What wizarding college do I need to graduate from to say, “I don’t think we should steal living humans, ship them across the ocean, and force them to carry out our will”?

We have all seemingly agreed this is a universally bad practice, but what has actually changed since slavery was made illegal, outside of the law?

Did the exploitative nature of some humans vanish because of this law?

Does nature disappear?

Or, like tree roots slowly overtaking concrete, does it adapt… and eventually reclaim what once belonged to itself? Where are the slave owners now?

It’s a horrible thought, but if humans share a nature, maybe the atrocity is buried within us all. A disgusting, withered appendage, driven anemic by lack of circumstance. To say otherwise would suggest cruelty is a rare mutation within human nature, occurring spontaneously in the individual opposed to the whole.

In either truth, laws protecting human rights would seem to seek out the protection of the whole, from the whole.

Whether this is a winning battle or not, I don’t think anyone can be sure. If you ask the esteemed wizards of history, you may find yourself with varied answers. Some may cite the progress we have made as a country in the past hundred years, while others point out there are things we now champion as progress which existed normally in societies millenia old. Others will draw your attention to laws which explicitly criminalize certain rights of humans to this day, with more being drafted this moment.

So, what is the battle and how is it fought? I don’t know and it’s not my place to give suggestions. What I can say, though, is when laws protecting human rights are “won,” the victors include the opposition, whether they know it or not, and this has to be kept in mind.

As the overall nature of humans is varied and includes indisputable evil, keep an eye on your own. If, at any point in your life, you had to try to be a good person and it wore your patience thin, take note – it’s not as unrelated to this subject as it may seem. To battle the cruelty of others, you have to at least understand your own, no matter how deep down it is buried.