“The Persistent Challenge to Human Dignity,” by Beverly Eileen Mitchell

One of the most important lessons I believe we can learn from the Holocaust is that we must safeguard the dignity of every human being. Yet the persistent violations of this dignity at the hands of fellow human beings have been an omnipresent challenge many decades after the end of World War II. The well-known slogan “Never again” refers to the defiant affirmation from within the Jewish community that they will never allow another Holocaust. While there has been no repeat of the Holocaust in terms of the Jews, there have been other genocides, ethnic cleansings, and mass killings since the end of World War II. These crimes against humanity constitute a persistent challenge to the dignity and welfare of every human being. For those of us alarmed by these kinds of crimes, we have the responsibility to recognize, embrace and propagate the notion of the importance of safeguarding human dignity because of the bond we share as fellow human beings. Historically, an important step in the protection of human dignity is attentiveness to the presence of ideological thinking and/or propaganda in the public sphere that makes dehumanizing practices within society possible.

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