In the last couple of days one video has gone massively viral, having its own #tag on Twitter and dozen of articles written about it. A video that has shocked the world, ”My Tram Experience”.
The woman in the video was later identified as being Emma West and it was these racist comments that have led to her incarceration when she was accused of Racial Harassment.
This video has gotten thousands of responses on Twitter and some of them said she should be arrested and prosecuted, deported or that her child should be removed from her care. But doesn’t she have the right to certain freedoms like freedom of speech? Or doesn’t this speech qualify as it can be considered racially abusive?
Earlier this week, in our ethics class, we were discussing on a related topic; should one maintain their own culture when going to a new place or adapt? In other words, when in Rome should you do as the Romans do?
There is no doubt that moving to a different country is hard, even if we are talking about democratic countries which uphold personal freedoms and condemn discrimination allowing everyone to maintain their own cultural values.
One of the main key aspects of any culture is language, and in Britain, like most of the countries around the world, a resident doesn’t necessarily need to know English. This makes it easier for immigrants to reside within the country speaking only their language, sometimes living in closed communities of the same minority, educating their children in the same culture, with the same values and not conforming or adapting to the British culture. And in this case should people be allowed to immigrate to if they have no intention of adapting to it?
Another important side of a culture is religion. If we were to take the example of France, which is also a democratic country, we will see that in 2004 the parliament passed a law which forbade the wearing of all religious symbols in schools. Even though ALL religious items were banned, even crosses, the law became known as the headscarf ban.
While the 2004 law banned all religious symbols, be they Christian, Muslim or Buddhist or any other, earlier this year France also banned the use of niqabs and burkas in public. Anyone violating this law will be fined or given lessons in french citizenship. Do you believe that it has gone to a point where the republic is denying the rights and liberties of its citizens or is it simply a practical matter of public safety?
But coming back to Britain; by seeing this video and the immigrant woman replying to Emma West, defending her right to be here, to work and still being verbally abused by her makes me wonder is it even enough to adapt?
We all have our own definition of privacy and information that we want to keep to ourselves for various reasons, but in the era of the Web 2.0 is that really possible anymore? And is privacy invasion a victimless crime?
Celebrities are the best example of privacy invasion. To me, the first thing that comes to mind is, when does your job become a thorn in the side? One day you’re hired to do what you love – act in a movie or record an album (contracts which nowadays also include some sort of promotion on your side) does that automatically mean you lose any sort of privacy?
In today’s society celebrities are considered public domain and the paparazzi are going out of their way to give us pictures of the rich and famous in their most intimate moments, such as closed events, social gatherings and even their homes and bedrooms. But is that ethical? Celebrities are just regular people, doing their jobs, having a personal and private life, the only difference between you and them is just they have perhaps a little more money and admirers. Of course, people may not care what you do in your own time, but when it comes to celebrities people seem to go through an unhealthy obsession that creates a vicious circle. Cause who makes actors, musicians and so on famous if not people adding value to a name until it becomes a brand?
Can you beat them at their own game?
Every time Sienna Miller (actress) felt she was being harassed she sued the companies responsible, and I’m saying ‘every time’ because she didn’t do it just once. She sued news corporations, journalists and photographer associations. Made money out of it too. Some celebrities say there’s nothing they can do about it and some secretly enjoy the attention, but Sienna showed that you can take action if you believe you’ve been wronged. So, another question now arises, is it ethical for her to accept the settlements when she is a public figure and therefore prone to these situations?
But it’s not like she’s a politician.
Which leads me to my next topic. If a man is elected for an office or position should every aspect of his life be under scrutiny? Most politicians are chosen by others which means they managed to develop trust with their publics. My question about this trust is, should it expand to someone’s personal life or just their work ethic and accomplishments?
What do you consider when voting for a politician? Does their personal life have any say in the way you elect your representatives or is it just on merit and work?
Should all murder be forbidden by law? And can you ever really be sure it’s murder or not some other medical procedure?
Let’s start off by thinking about the topic of the capital punishment which is still being enforced in over 91 countries (http://theweek.com/article/index/220497/the-death-penalty-in-decline). Some would argue that there is fairness in the death of a man who has killed others. “An eye for an eye” said the Bible didn’t it?
Since we’re talking about Holy Books, has anyone seen how many wars are being waged on account of different interpretations of the same texts? Look at the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Jihad. The Sacred War – but can something that kills so many people be so divine? – But that’s another type of killing for another day, so let’s go back to our ‘medical procedures’.
Just because it’s using a syringe instead of a gun should capital punishment be considered just another medical procedure? And while we’re at it, let me throw one last topic your way – abortion. Abortions have become so common these days that 1 in every 3 women have an abortion by the time they’re 45 (http://www.bpas.org/bpaswoman). In today’s society, when everyone has an opinion it just depends on who you’re asking and you may be a murderer.
And in this case, can the government regulate everything? Abortions are allowed but capital punishment isn’t (for now) – is one life equal to another or is only one of them a life? Or should we just stop looking at the governments when it comes to every problem and start looking more within us?