By Michael Park
Posted on Freedom Advocates on February 23, 2005
Some Santa Cruz County politicians celebrated the United Nation’s Human Rights Day with typical public deception. Papers were handed out that OMITTED a critical part of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
It happened in early December during a celebration of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Two local mayors and a vice mayor stood on steps of the county courthouse to read aloud the thirty articles of the declaration and proclaim their support for its principles.
Before the event started, several people advocating increased assistance for homeless people in Santa Cruz stood on the steps and criticized Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin for failing to follow up his support for “human rights” with more handouts. One of these protestors showed the conviction of his message by wearing a dirty bathrobe, complete with a soiled teddy bear tied to his waist.The proclamation itself was hardly more serious. Mike Rotkin read the first ten articles of the declaration, inserting his own commentary about its continuing significance. Scotts Valley Mayor Paul Marigonda then incorrectly offered the claim that the declaration is essentially the same as the United States Bill of Rights. Antonio Rivas, vice mayor of Watsonville, completed the reading with frequent tangents about universal health care and a number of other issues.
The tone of the entire event could be summed up in something that was glaringly omitted: Article 29, Section 3 of the declaration. This section declares that “these rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.” In effect, this section nullifies everything that might be good about the rest of the document, placing supposedly universal rights at the mercy of the whims of United Nations leadership.
Nobody asked the question, and it’s likely there were less than two people in the crowd that day that even noticed the omission, but one wonders: how can rights be universal if they’re subject to revision by political elites? And if rights can be revised or revoked by political elites in this view, do we really want our local government to be run by people who think this way?