Xinhua Commentary: U.S. should face up to its shameful record of human rights violations-Xinhua

Xinhua Commentary: U.S. should face up to its shameful record of human rights violations

Source: Xinhua| 2023-03-29 18:38:17|Editor:

BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhua) -- While claiming to be a "human rights defender," deep-rooted problems such as money politics, racial discrimination, and gun violence remain entrenched in U.S. society.

And worse still, human rights legislation and the judiciary have taken steps backward, further undermining the basic rights and freedoms of the American people. Under the guise of a so-called champion for human rights, the United States is in fact saddled with a shameful record of human rights violations.

The safety of citizens cannot be guaranteed in the United States as gun violence becomes increasingly frequent. With less than 5 percent of the world's population, the United States owns 46 percent of the world's civilian guns. As a result, the country leads the world in gun ownership, gun homicide, and mass shootings.

According to a CNN report on June 8, 2022, 72 percent of Americans were dissatisfied with the country's policies on reducing or controlling crime, and more Americans said they worried a great or fair deal about crime and violence (80 percent) than at any point in well over a decade.

American-style electoral democracy is increasingly hollowed out after money in elections has set a new record, creating an oligarchy. "Of the people, by the people, for the people" has become "of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, and for the 1 percent."

Helene Landemore, a political theorist at Yale University, wrote in an article published by the Foreign Policy magazine in December 2021 that American democracy lacks "people's power," and that only the very rich, a very small part of the population, can use their very high economic status to push for a set of policy priorities that serve themselves.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter once said political bribery has tainted the U.S. political system. "It's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being at the essence of getting the nominations for President, or to elect the President," he said.

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. Up to 67 percent of Americans think the nation's democracy is in danger of collapse, showed a poll by The Quinnipiac University Poll on Aug. 31, 2022.

Racial discrimination and inequality are getting worse with hate crimes remaining high, not least those against Asians. Fifteen major U.S. cities saw double-digit growth in hate crimes between 2020 and 2021, and an increase of about 5 percent in bias-motivated incidents till August 2022, said a study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

According to a report released by the U.S. National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum on March 30, 2022, 74 percent of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women reported having experienced racism and/or discrimination over the past 12 months.

Racial wealth inequality in the United States is further widening, with serious racial inequalities in areas such as housing policies and healthcare services. A recent long-term study, co-released by researchers from Princeton University and the University of Bonn, found that the racial wealth gap is the largest of the economic disparities between Black and white Americans, with a white-to-black per capita wealth ratio of 6 to 1.

The rights of lower classes and vulnerable groups are increasingly insecure, and the wealth gap has further widened. In 2021, people living below the poverty line in the United States increased for the second consecutive year to 37.93 million, according to Statista, a provider of market and consumer data.

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey which guaranteed women's abortion rights, a major setback in the protection of the rights of women and children in the United States. It ended nearly 50 years of constitutionally protected abortion rights and would lead to a ban on abortion in about half of the states.

"It is hard to believe that America is taking a backseat, is backsliding, when the rest of the world is moving to give women the kinds of rights they should have had a long time ago," U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra was quoted as saying by BBC on June 29, 2022.

Sexual assaults on women are shocking. One in five female students in the United States said they had been sexually assaulted in college, and the trauma affected their entire educational experience.

Rampant gun violence threatens the lives of children. From 2011 to 2021, nearly 18,500 children aged 17 and under were killed by gun violence in the United States, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation on Oct. 14, 2022.

The United States recklessly violates the human rights of other countries, tramples on international justice, pursues power politics in the international community, and willfully uses force. It has increasingly become a saboteur of global peace and development and an obstacle to human rights progress.

According to data from the UK-based monitor group Airwars, U.S. airstrikes alone have killed as many as 48,000 civilians in nearly 100,000 bombings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen since 2001.

In recent years, the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States on other countries have increased exponentially, which has greatly weakened the capacity and level of human rights protection of the sanctioned countries.

Exclusive immigration policies create tragedies with nearly 2.4 million migrants arrested at the U.S. border in 2022, an increase of 37 percent over 2021 and the highest number ever recorded.

The shameful record of human rights in the United States is piling up, and the structural problems of human rights in the United States are becoming increasingly incurable.

U.S. politicians need to reflect on themselves and mend their ways rather than get obsessed with pointing an accusing finger at other countries. Time for Washington to choose to become a guardian or saboteur of global human rights development.