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Outstretched Hand, Not Upraised Fist

Responsible for Equality and Liberty (R.E.A.L.)’s human rights message is that we offer an outstretched hand, not an upraised fist, to all of our fellow human beings. This includes those who are avowed enemies of us as individuals and as human rights campaigners. But when we offer our outstretched hand to the enemies of human rights, we also bring the message to ask them to abandon a war on human rights and to rejoin the family of our shared universal human rights.

Our handshake must include this message. Our outstretched hand is not an acceptance of contemptible behavior towards our human rights and identity groups. Our outstretched hand is not a mere shrug-shoulder tolerance of calls for violence and hate towards others. Nor is our outstretched hand simply asking for an apology at that moment for disgraceful behavior. Instead our outstretched hand is asking for CHANGE — not just in immediate behavior — but change in their view on our shared universal human rights, which is what requires real courage.

Our outstretched hand is not a passive surrender on our shared universal human rights. Our position is an aggressive challenge to all of our fellow human beings to have lives where they are accountable and responsible for our shared universal human rights – being responsible for equality and liberty. When it comes to our universal human rights, Responsible for Equality And Liberty supports human rights activism which doesn’t know the meaning of the word “surrender.”

Some would probably find it easier to face us if we brought an upraised fist, rather than calling for their change. Change is difficult. But our call for universal human rights is not about ease or convenience, it is about realizing the vast possibilities of the human experience by living together with respect, dignity, peace, and security. Our call is based on the struggles of the many who have come before us, and the generations who have never lost faith in humanity.