Weekend Words: Rights

Hendrick de Keyser, “Liberty” (1614–20). Bronze. height 173 cm. Nieuwe Kerk, Delft. (Image via Web Gallery of Art)

Two-hundred twenty-five years ago today, James Madison proposed twelve amendments to the United States constitution. Three and a half months later, ten of the twelve were ratified, and have since become known as the Bill of Rights.

“What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.”

—H. L. Mencken

“So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’ll be called a democracy.”

—Roger Baldwin

“We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. We have talked for a hundred years or more. It is time now to write the next chapter, and to write it in the books of law.”

—Lyndon Johnson, speech to Congress, 1963

“The extension of women’s rights is the basic principle of all social progress.”

—Charles Fourier, Theory of Four Movements, 1808

“The price of championing human rights is a little inconsistency at times.”

—David Owen, speech in Parliament, 1977

“The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights.”

—J. Paul Getty

“The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life is just and fair; but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved.”

—Emma Goldman

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