The fight for equality

Today I will bring to the attention of da-boss’ readers two fresh reports from the front lines of the never-ending fight for equality in the West. It is one of the banners all sensible humans should be able to stand under so I do not expect this post to be particularly controversial.

Another shocking case of sexual abuse was reported in the New Zealand Herald. The abuser, 36 years old, had sex with a minor multiple times over a period of a few months and the abuse started when the victim was only 11 years old. Tragically, the abusive affair has resulted in a pregnancy.

The case made the headlines because the abuser cannot  be charged with rape but only on a lesser count of sexual violation. The reason is that under New Zealand law the charge of rape applies only to men and in this case the abuser is female.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10890674

However:

It has prompted Justice Minister Judith Collins to step in saying she will seek more information on the law. “This case raises an important point. I will seek advice from officials on whether or not a law change is required.”

so, hopefully, this legal anomaly will be corrected and full equality of genders before the law restored.

The other case I will touch on today comes from the US where, even after decades of fight for racial equality, there are still state institutions discriminating against the citizens on the basis of their ethnicity. This particular example happened in the deep South which has a painful history of racial oppression. A young Texan, Abigail Fisher, claims to have been denied access to the University of Texas at Austin because of the colour of her skin. You see – Abigail Fisher is white.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/11-345

Fisher sued the university, arguing that the denial violated her Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection because she was denied admission to the public university in favor of minority applicants with lesser credentials.

As per the linked summary the university authorities do not deny that race is a factor in the student recruitment process. Abigail took her fight all the way to the Supreme Court which will rule on the legality of the procedure. To some, she is an icon of the fight for racial equality, like Rosa Parks who in 1955 protested against racial segregation on buses in Montgomery, Alabama. I do not know if this is the best comparison but fighting institutionalised racism seems like a noble thing to do.

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