You are a contemporary traveler visiting a country outside the U. S. that has a history of some type of human rights abuse. You might be a mission worker in Sierra Leone, a nurse in Kenya, or a hiker in Nepal. During your stay, you witness an outrageous offense against someone who belongs to a particular group of people. These people because of their gender, race, religion, ethnic group, even age, are subject to a specific abuse. They might be boy soldiers; child prostitutes; or victims of FGM, of religious persecution, or of honor killings…
You react immediately to stop the abuse and find yourself in jail for disturbing the peace. You begin to remember other citizens of the world who took part in acts of civil disobedience, fighting nonviolently for the rights of individuals, when popular opinion, even the law of the land, was against them.
In mid-nineteenth century Massachusetts, Thoreau questioned the validity of “laws that did not conform to moral justice” and asked “that citizens act on the basis of conscience.” Thoreau inspired Mahatma Gandhi, who led India’s fight for independence from Great Britain, finally won in 1947. He once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi, in turn, influenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who began in the 1950s to guide the U.S. in “nonviolent direct action” to resolve Civil Rights abuses.
In a Letter from ________________________Jail, write a reasoned and supported argument that describes your country, details the specific abuse against one group of people, and proposes the first step towards helping those in need.