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United States seriously threatens, hinders healthy development of world human rights cause

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America
America

By Zhong Sheng, 

China’s State Council Information Office on May 29 released a report on human rights violations in the United States in 2023, revealing the deteriorating human rights situation in the United States with facts and figures.

The report says that civil and political rights have become empty talk in the United States, where there are the chronic disease of racism, growing economic and social inequality, persistent violations of the rights of women and children, and heart-wrenching struggles of undocumented migrants. Besides, American hegemony has created humanitarian crises.

Various human rights problems in the United States not only turned its own human rights essentially into a privilege enjoyed only by a few, but also seriously threatened and hindered the healthy development of the world human rights cause.

Facts provide the most accurate depiction of a country’s human rights situation. When evaluating a country’s human rights record, actions speak louder than words.

Approximately 43,000 people were killed by gun violence in the United States in 2023, averaging 117 deaths per day, and at least 1,247 deaths were attributed to police violence. Ethnic minorities in the United States face systematic, persistent and comprehensive racial discrimination. The gap between rich and poor in the United States has reached its worst level since the Great Depression of 1929. Women and children’s rights in the United States have long been systematically violated, with constitutional provisions for gender equality remaining absent.

Facts have fully proved that human rights are becoming increasingly polarized in the United States. The U.S. Department of State recently released so-called 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, criticizing and making unfounded claims about the human rights situation in nearly 200 countries and regions worldwide, while saying nothing about the United States itself. This is just another case of double standard. The hegemonic, domineering and bullying nature of the United States and its selfishness and hypocrisy are on clear display.

The U.S. politics has been plagued by political polarization and partisan fights, which seriously threatens human rights in the United States. 

American scholar Francis Fukuyama said in an article that when a society’s institutions fail to adapt to changing circumstances, sclerosis follows. 

Political polarization in the United States is becoming increasingly severe, with issues such as gun control, abortion rights, immigration, and women’s rights becoming bargaining chips in the fierce battles between the two parties.

The constant farces of vetocracy have hindered the U.S. government from effectively safeguarding human rights, leaving the American people deeply disappointed.

According to U.S. research and survey institutions, the U.S. public trust in government has been near historical lows and stood at 16 percent in 2023. From January to December 2023, at most 81 percent and at least 76 percent of Americans expressed dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the country. Besides, 76 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. American democracy, which favors shows over effectiveness and disregards human rights, will inevitably lose its credibility.

Why is the United States, which has long claimed to be a “human rights defender,” unable to bridge its own human rights deficit? A poll by the Pew Research Center well answers this question. According to the organization, 65 percent of the U.S. citizens say most political candidates run for office “to serve their own personal interests.” 

American politicians prioritize the interests of parties, constituencies, interest groups, and their own over national and public interests, even going so far as to tear the society apart. They certainly do not care about the human rights of ordinary citizens.

For decades, the United States has pursued hegemony, unilateralism, and power politics, and abused force and unilateral sanctions, causing serious humanitarian consequences.

A research report released in May 2023 by Brown University’s “Costs of War” project website reveals that in the theaters of war where the United States conducted overseas “counter-terrorism” operations following the 9/11 attacks, the total death toll ranges from at least 4.5 to 4.7 million people.

Extensive “proxy forces” operations by the United States undermine social stability and violate the human rights of other nations. Continuous delivery of weapons such as cluster munitions to other countries exacerbates regional tensions and armed conflicts, resulting in a large number of civilian casualties and severe humanitarian crises. 

The United States’ disregard for the tens of thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza and its repeated vetoing of the United Nations Security Council’s efforts to push for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is a clear demonstration of the country’s disregard for human rights and its trampling upon them.

The hypocrisy of the United States seeking hegemony under the disguise of protecting human rights has long been laid bare. 

The country should seriously examine the fundamental defects and malpractices of its own political system, and safeguard human rights in a practical manner, rather than continuing pointing fingers at other countries as a “human rights lecturer,” while turning a blind eye to its own dismal human rights record.

It should stop interfering in other country’s internal affairs, stop infringing on the human rights of other countries, and stop exporting conflicts and turmoil.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)

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