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Mike

Abraham, Martin and John

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Abraham, Martin and John

Has anybody here

Seen my old friend Abraham?

Can you tell me where he's gone?

He freed a lotta people

But it seems the good, they die young

You know, I just looked around

And he's gone.

Has anybody here

Seen my old friend John?

Can you tell me where he's gone?

He freed a lotta people

But it seems the good, they die young

You know, I just looked around

And he's gone.

Has anybody here

Seen my old friend Martin?

Can you tell me where he's gone?

He freed a lotta people

But it seems the good, they die young

You know, I just looked around

And he's gone.

Didn't you love the things

That they stood for?

Didn't they try to find some good

For you and me?

And we'll be free

Someday soon

And it's a-gonna be

One day...

Has anybody here

Seen my old friend Bobby?

Can you tell me where he's gone?

I thought I saw him walkin' up

Over the hill

With Abraham, Martin, and John.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Civil rights are the protections and privileges of personal liberty given to all citizens by law. Civil rights are distinguished from "human rights" or "natural rights"—civil rights are rights that are bestowed by nations on those within their territorial boundaries, while natural or human rights are rights that many scholars claim ought to belong to all people. For example, the philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) argued that the natural rights of life, liberty and property should be converted into civil rights and protected by the sovereign state as an aspect of the social contract. Others have argued that people acquire rights as an inalienable gift from the deity or at a time of nature before governments were formed.

Laws guaranteeing civil rights may be written, derived from custom or implied. In the United States and most continental European countries, civil rights laws are most often written. In the United States, for example, laws protecting civil rights appear in the Constitution, in the amendments to the Constitution (particularly the 13th and 14th Amendments), in federal statutes, in state constitutions and statutes and even in the ordinances of counties and cities. In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, such rights are frequently granted by custom and are not memorialized in written law. "Implied" rights are rights that a court may find to exist even though not expressly guaranteed by written law or custom, on the theory that a written or customary right must necessarily include the implied right. One famous (and controversial) example of a right implied from the U.S. Constitution is the "right to privacy", which the U.S. Supreme Court found to exist in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut. In the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the Court found that state legislation prohibiting or limiting abortion violated this right to privacy. As a rule, state governments can expand civil rights beyond the U.S. Constitution, but they cannot diminish Constitutional rights.

Examples of civil rights and liberties include the right to get redress if injured by another, the right to privacy, the right of peaceful protest, the right to a fair investigation and trial if suspected of a crime, and more generally-based constitutional rights such as the right to vote, the right to personal freedom, the right to freedom of movement and the right of equal protection. As civilisations emerged and formalised through written constitutions, some of the more important civil rights were granted to citizens. When those grants were later found inadequate, civil rights movements emerged as the vehicle for claiming more equal protection for all citizens and advocating new laws to restrict the effect of current discriminations.

Civil rights can in one sense refer to the equal treatment of all citizens irrespective of race, sex, or other class, or it can refer to laws which invoke claims of positive liberty. An example of the former would be the decision in Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954) which was concerned with the constitutionality of laws which imposed segregation in the education systems of some U.S states. The theories set out below explain why such laws should not be considered legitimate, but do not explain why the case failed to declare the general principle that all manifestations of segregation were a breach of civil rights (that would be more properly a question of politics). The U.S. legislature subsequently addressed the issue through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Sec. 201. which states: (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin. Some other countries have enacted similar legislation, or have given direct effect to supranational treaties and agreements such as the European Convention on Human Rights (with forty-five countries as signatories), which encompass both human rights and civil liberties.

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"Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children."

"Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Excellent, Mike. I was proud to explain to the 6 year old Peachlette who Dr. King was and how he helped change how people see one other. I was even prouder that she had no idea why someone would think that people are different from each other becauese "God made us all." It doesn't matter whether you believe in God or a higher power or not, the innocence of a child who doesn't yet know the ugliness in the world is truly a beautiful thing.

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"Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring—when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children—black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics—will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Man, this quote gets me everytime.

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