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They have rights too
The following is from a speech given by Imogen Erry at a recent civil liberties conference. I thought my readers might be interested in it. It hasn't got a lot of press coverage recently - the media have treated the issue like it doesn't exist.
Ladies and Gentlemen. As bad as the last five years have been for civil liberties both globally and in this country, we should not forget the advances made over the last 100 years. In many areas there is still work to be done, and room for improvement, but at least, in many cases, the oppressed and victimised now have a voice and can work to their own betterment. Especially in Western countries, many forms of legalislated discrimination have been overcome.
In many countries, women's rights are identical to men's. There are still inequalities that must be sorted, but women's movements have a voice. Women have a vote.
The civil rights movements in countries like America mean that the Government no longer discriminates against people just because of their skin colour.
Apartheid in South Africa has ended.
So yes, ladies and gentlemen, we've come a long way.
But there is still so far to come. There are still people living under oppression. Ignored by society. Given no rights. Today, I speak to you about just such a people.
I speak, of course, of Imaginary People. Despite all the progress which has been made for other groups, nothing at all has been done for Imaginary People. Nothing at all!
They cannot vote! They can't get welfare. There is no category of visa letting them in the country. They are not allowed to work. Children of Imaginary People are not allowed into schools. The Imaginary have no property rights. The Government systematically discriminates against them. Acts like they don't exist.
And the police are no better. If a Real Man has sex with an Imaginary Woman without consent, it is ignored. The police do nothing. Each year, thousands of Imaginary People are sat upon and assaulted. The police do nothing.
The media ignore their plight. Rarely do you ever hear or read about the Imaginary plight.
The Government should lead but they don't. So it is left to us. But what have we been doing? We have been complacent. Giving other, more visible groups assistance, while letting the poor Imaginary People suffer.
I have a dream.
I have a dream that one day a Real Child and an Imaginary Child will be able to hold hands and play together.
I have a dream that a Real Boy can take his Imaginary Girlfriend to meet his friends and family and not be made fun of.
I have a dream that one day all children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the existence of their skins.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day all children will be treated equally regardless of whether their parents are Real or Imaginary. That Imaginary, and half-Imaginary children can grow up without facing discrimination just because of their existence.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that the scourge of Existism will be erased from the face of the planet and the heart of humanity.
So I ask you today, ladies and gentlemen. Make an effort. If you are on the bus and you see a woman with an Imaginary bump, stand and give her your seat. Encourage your children to play with other children - Imaginary or Real. If your daughter brings home an Imaginary Boyfriend, be supportive. Remove discriminatory language - never tell someone to "get real".
And more importantly, lobby the institutions that are so essential for our functioning in society. Go to your bank and encourage them to open accounts for Imaginary People. Encourage your boss to hire more Imaginary People. Lobby politicians to give Imaginary People the vote. This should work in their favour, as history shows that whenever Imaginary People are allowed to vote, they are so grateful they vote overwhelmingly for their patron.
And as I go now, I would like to leave you with the words of John Lennon, "Imaginary People, sharing all the world. You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one." Thank you.
Comment from Todd Fraser
That is an awesome speech!!!
Imogen just missed one point.... Today around the world millions nay billions of children are already playing hand in hand with imaginary people.... yes we of the adult kind are much more biassed but her dream for the children has been occuring for decades if not centuries
I forgot to mention, the right to reproduce the speech has been sought and granted from the speech-writer
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.