By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily
China’s State Council Information Office on March 28 issued The Report on Human Rights Violations in the United States in 2022. With massive facts and statistics, the report exposes unrelenting human rights violations in the U.S
The report says the year 2022 witnessed a landmark setback for U.S. human rights. In the U.S., a country labeling itself a “human rights defender,” “chronic diseases” such as money politics, racial discrimination, gun and police violence, and wealth polarization are rampant. Human rights legislation and justice have seen an extreme retrogression, further undermining the basic rights and freedoms of the American people.
Facts have profoundly revealed that American democracy cannot safeguard the human rights of people in the U.S.
U.S. politicians declared that human rights are universal and that they won’t brush aside the human rights problems of America. However, in the 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released by the U.S. Department of State recently, the country ignores its own issues of human rights but points fingers at nearly 200 countries and regions for their human rights situation.
The report issued by China, with ironclad facts, exposes the “diseases” of the U.S. human rights－a dysfunctional civil rights protection system, hollowed-out American-style electoral democracy, growing racial discrimination and inequality, worsening subsistence crisis among U.S. underclass, historic retrogression in women’s and children’s rights, as well as wanton violation of other countries’ human rights and trampling on justice. It is a great textbook for U.S. politicians who need to study more about the problems of human rights in their own country.
The hollowed-out American democracy cannot solve the systemic human rights problems that have long existed in the U.S.
At present, American democracy is being rotted because of political donations, dark money donations, voting obstacles as well as violence and intimidation that accompany its elections. Billionaires and interest groups can easily manipulate the direction of elections, while the will of the people can barely be turned into governance decisions.
The insoluble problem of gun violence is an example. Though most American citizens request gun control, the gun control agenda has been paralyzed due to the manipulation by interest groups and the collusion between politicians and businesses.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the “Bruen case” in June 2022 overturned half a century’s gun control legislation in New York and six other states. Residents of these states were allowed to make concealed carry, a landmark backward step in the field of gun control in the U.S.
The widening ideological divide and opposition between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have expanded the tear in American society and led to the idling of American politics, which has severely undermined civil rights.
Even the U.S. Supreme Court has been involved in partisan struggles. Last year, it ended women’s right to abortion protected by the U.S. Constitution for nearly 50 years, which landed a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.
The struggle between the two parties has resulted in a “vetocracy,” and the governance efficiency of the U.S. has declined, which seriously weakens the public confidence in American democracy.
According to a poll, 69 percent of Americans believe their democracy is at “risk of collapse” and 86 percent of American voters say it faces “very serious threats.” There is a general public disillusionment of American-style democracy.
American politicians, serving the interests of oligarchs, have failed to solve the structural problems of human rights in the country. Hate crimes based on racial bias in the U.S. increased dramatically over recent years.
The racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket in May 2022 has shocked the world. The number of Americans dying from drug and substance abuse has increased dramatically in recent years, to more than 100,000 per year. The child poverty rate in the country increased from 12.1 percent in December 2021 to 16.6 percent in May 2022, with 3.3 million more children living in poverty.
Facing these brutal facts, U.S. politicians have lost their subjective will and objective ability to respond to the basic demands of ordinary people and defend the basic rights of ordinary citizens. Instead, they have become an obstructor in eliminating chronic diseases in American human rights in the U.S.
Failing to safeguard the human rights of citizens in their own country, U.S. politicians are still provoking confrontations, division and chaos in the international community under the disguise of so-called “democracy” and “human rights.”
According to data released by Brown University, since the 21st century, the U.S. government has undertaken what it labeled “counterterrorism” activities in 85 countries, directly killing at least 929,000 people and displacing 38 million people. The U.S. military operations around the world have violated the freedom and human rights of people in the U.S. and other countries.
The U.S. is the most prolific enforcer of unilateral sanctions in the world. It currently has sanctions in place against more than 20 countries, which have greatly weakened the capacity and level of human rights protection of the sanctioned countries.
Currently, the U.S. is organizing another edition of the so-called “Summit for Democracy.” Its true intention is to maintain its hegemony by playing bloc politics and using democracy as a tool for political ends.
The international community has come to realize that U.S. politicians indeed follow power politics though they always talk about “democracy” and “human rights,” and they have become a saboteur of global peace and development and a stumbling block to human rights progress.
The U.S. is blind to its serious human rights problems and unable to solve them. However, it has pointed fingers at other countries for their human rights development, which is bound to be strongly opposed by people around the world.
The United States should let go of its arrogance and bias, face up to its serious human rights issues, reflect on the institutional source of these issues and stop its hegemonic, domineering and bullying acts that violate the human rights of other countries as early as possible.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)