Throughout this assignment I have read Yoshino’s “Covering” and how he is able to defend the people who are choosing to cover up their true self. Yoshino is an advocate for these people struggling to show their true colors to our society but no one is doing anything about it. Everyday there is a someone hiding their personality, sexual orientation and parts of themselves that make them unique.He talks about how he wants people to be able to emboldened their identities so they don’t lose part of themselves. Yoshino’s wants to open everyone eyes to how we as human beings should have the basic right to be defined the way we want to and not to have to cover our identities.
He talks about civil rights for individuals and groups and explains that, “ The aspiration of civil rights has always been to permit people to pursue their human flourishing without limitations based on bias focusing on laws that prevents us from seeing the revolution threats of that aspiration as law has limited civil rights to particular groups.” Limitations in the article are holding our society back from being themselves. The laws are limiting our growth on becoming ourselves and who we really are. If we have these limitations that makes us feel the need to cover our true identity, we will never have room to flourish to our fullest potential and we could even lose part of that identity. In our society today there are many aspects that can define who someone is and most people will define us by groups.
Yoshino’s defines that our civil rights should protect every aspect that we are as individuals and a group. Group rights are rights held by a group and individual rights are rights held by individual people. In this article the writer talks a lot of about individual and group rights and how we are categorized as groups with our identities. Yoshino’s talks about the Liberty Paradigm of Civil Rights v. Equality Paradigm of Civil Rights. He claims that “ its much more sympathetic to “liberty” claims about freedoms we all hold than to “equality” claims asserted by a subset of the population. It is easy to see why. Equality claims- such as group-based accomodation claims- inevitable involve the court in picking favorites among groups. In an increasingly pluralistic society, the court understandably wishes to steer clear of that enterprise. Liberty claims on the other hand, emphasize what all americans(or more precisely, all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States) have in common.” As yoshino claims that there is a fine line between liberty and equality within our court system where the court favors liberty claims about freedom over equality for an individual or group.
Yoshino’s is a strong advocate for having a informal conversation about how the Liberty Paradigm of Civil Rights and Equality Paradigm of Civil Rights for people that cover. Covering is something we do to shield us from hateful comments but we should have rights that say this isn’t okay. To cover is to tone down your identity in order to be able to fit into the mainstream of today’s society. It is used to hide a true self which is an identity that showcases your authenticity. In this article covering is explained as something that goes against our civil rights. In Yoshino’s view of covering people will cover their true identities because they feel that they need to fit into the mainstream of today’s society and to meet everyone’s expectation of what a real person should be like and act like. As a solution yoshino offers that “We must indeed build a new civil rights paradigm on what draws us together rather than on what drives us apart because covering applies to us all it provides an issue around which we can make common cause this is the desire for authenticity are common human wish to express ourselves without being impeded by reasoning demands for conformity.” Covering is an issue that strips our authenticity away from us and takes away the right for us to express our true self. Some examples of covering is pretending to be a different race, sex or hiding your sexuality. Other examples of covering can vary from not saying hi to someone you know but other people don’t like or not showing your true personality. Our identity is the part of us that someone can’t take away and by Yoshino standing up for what some people can’t reflects that there may be an end to covering. Identity can divide and bring people together and some people can lie on who they are in order to fit in or to understand their place in the world.There are so many ways to identify someone by the way the look to one thing that they do. Personality though and their beliefs are a key factor when knowing your identity.
Everything that defines us is what authenticity is and the writer wants us to realize that it times to build a new civil rights paradigm which can bring us closer together than driving us further away. Covering is something we do to shield us from hateful comments but we should have rights that say this isn’t okay. People that are covering are burning an identity that they found didn’t matter or was hated in order to survive but we can see now that our life is ordinary but authentic and that is what our identity is to. These individuals or groups need to ask themselves why do they cover their true identity, and to have a conversation where there isn’t any biased so they can show people who they are. The people that cover should see what there covering and how it can be damaging to themselves. As a society we need to make a change for our civil rights and to start that conversation. Showing your true identity is who you are and because people have to cover this they lose parts of themselves but also by covering you may also find a part of yourself that they never knew was there.