Approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born, of which about six percent are naturalized U.S. citizens. Given the image associated with immigrants, one would assume that all Americans in the U.S., natural born or naturalized, have equal worth as citizens. This, however, is not necessarily the case.
Dignity is every human's birthright, one value that can cut across all cultures and situations. All too often, those of us with mental health challenges have experienced their dignity being taken , though, by stigma and discrimination, forceful, demeaning and negative treatment, by silencing and shame.
As we gear up for the 2016 election -- the first presidential election since the Supreme Court crippled the VRA's protections -- we need, as President Johnson said, a new triumph for freedom to match any won on a battlefield. On the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, it is time to legislate, not just commemorate.