The United States of America was founded by European pilgrims who made their way to new lands in search of a home where they could be themselves without persecution. Those early settlers made friends with Native Americans, and learned from them.
But soon those who were the victims became the perpetrators. It continues today, although there are thousands of individuals who fight for the rights of others, and justice for all.
Despite the blase attitude of many around the world, there are those who are standing up for wrong doings to themselves and others. Two such champions are Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. The journalists were thrust into the limelight in 2007, when they were arrested based on notes the two had on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Lacey and Larkin sued the county and was awarded $3.75 million dollars, which they promptly turned into funding for other rights group.
Lacey and Larkin help fund other rights groups, no matter if their focus is civil rights, immigration rights, or human rights, with their Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. They also stand behind freedom of speech and civil participation. While they extend a helping hand to other groups, they aren’t well known, unlike others who lead the march for rights and equality.
Likely Lacey and Larkin have networked with other rights activists, including those from the International Migrant and refugee rights advocacy. This began in 1986, as a grassroots gathering within communities attempting to make reforms post civil rights movements of the 1960s.
It quickly developed and granted us the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, or IRCA, and formed the official National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights. The IRCA act allowed for the legalization of millions of undocumented persons to live and work in the states. But it also set in place the criminalization of undocumented immigrant workers and the growing militarization of the U.S.-Mexico borders. Border patrol officers are not only looking to keep out illegal drugs, but unauthorized immigrants also.
ACLU, or the American Civil Liberties Union, is the most well known human rights group in America and perhaps world wide. With more than 1.6 million members, nearly 300 staff attorneys, thousands of volunteer attorneys, and offices all over the country, the ACLU is prepared to stand up for their clients, even if they stand against the government, and in the face of unpopular causes and opinions. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
As Goliath as they are now, they began small, after the end of the first World War, when Attorney General Mitchell Palmer began rounding up and deporting alleged radicals. They were arrested without warning, their properties searched and seized, and suffered abusive treatments. Early members of ACLU stood up for those injustices, thus beginning one of America’s greatest civil rights groups yet.
It’s 2017, and America is still struggling with rights issues. With such a melting pot it may never completely be over, but thankfully there are always those who will stand beside and behind those in need.