World Insights: United States shows appalling U.S. human rights record in wake of COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2021-04-08 21:57:50|Editor: huaxia

A woman raises her arms as riot police fire tear gas during a protest outside the 5th Police Precinct in Minneapolis, the United States, on May 30, 2020. (Photo by Angus Alexander/Xinhua)

From post-election riots to deep-rooted racist problems and an incompetent pandemic response, the appalling facts have completely unmasked the self-proclaimed "defender of human rights."

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Based on fabricated materials, the United States has once again wantonly slandered other countries by releasing the so-called 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

In fact, the United States, with its own human rights problems piling up, has earned itself a tainted human rights record in the past four years.

From post-election riots to deep-rooted racist problems and an incompetent pandemic response, the appalling facts have completely unmasked the self-proclaimed "defender of human rights."


Photo taken in New York, the United States, on Nov. 6, 2020, shows the live stream of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivering a speech in Wilmington, Delaware. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN DISORDER

Disorder in American democratic institutions led to political chaos, further tearing the fabric of society apart. Money-tainted politics distorted and suppressed public opinion, turning elections into a "one-man show" of the wealthy class.

According to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, dark money groups poured more than 750 million U.S. dollars into 2020 elections through ad spending and record-breaking contributions to political committees such as super political action committees.

According to a commentary carried by the Wall Street Journal on Nov. 9, 2020, the 2020 U.S. election can be seen as the culmination of a two-decade period of decline in faith in the basic building blocks of democracy.

Gun trade and shooting incidents hit a record high, and people's confidence in social order waned.

The shooting incidents have rekindled the debate over gun control in the United States. However, over the past years, political division and partisan fights have complicated the issue and made the process fruitless.


Protesters take part in a rally to protest over the death of George Floyd on Foley Square in New York, the United States, May 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

RAMPANT RACISM

In the United States, ethnic minority groups have been suffering systematic racial discrimination and are in a difficult situation.

The murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin charged with killing African American George Floyd in late May last year officially got underway in Minneapolis, Minnesota last month.

Young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts -- 21 times greater, according to federal data. The data also showed that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.

However, police officers in the United States who enforce laws with violence are usually not brought to justice.

Moreover, African Americans are not the only victims of racism in the United States. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, some Washington politicians have been manipulating racist rhetoric and sentiments by linking the deadly pathogen to specific ethnic groups, leading to increasing violence and hatred against Asian Americans.


A homeless man sits on the roadside in Chicago, the United States, Jan. 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Ping)

GROWING POLARIZATION BETWEEN RICH, POOR

In the United States, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened, with the people at the bottom of society living in misery.

The pandemic led to mass unemployment in the country. Tens of millions of people lost health insurance coverage. One in six Americans and one in four American children were at risk of hunger. Vulnerable groups became the biggest victims of the government's reckless response to the pandemic.

Experts believe that the pandemic has exacerbated the survival crisis of the people at the bottom of U.S. society, but the problem of inequity in wealth distribution in the country has long existed and is worsening, thus triggering social and political unrest.


The Manhattan skyline is seen behind Calvary Cemetery in New York, the United States, on Jan. 18, 2021. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

INCOMPETENT PANDEMIC CONTAINMENT

Due to the government's reckless response, COVID-19 in the United States has spiraled out of control and turned into a human tragedy.

By the end of February 2021, the United States, home to less than 5 percent of the world's population, accounted for more than a quarter of the world's confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly one-fifth of the global deaths from the disease.

In a documentary that aired on CNN, Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator under former U.S. President Donald Trump, said the biggest mistake the federal government made in handling the pandemic was not providing "consistent messaging."


Photo taken on June 17, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium shows a screen that displays the 43rd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council held in Geneva, Switzerland. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

TRAMPLING ON INTERNATIONAL RULES

In the past four years, the United States has persisted in pursuing an agenda of "America first," isolationism and unilateralism, thus becoming the biggest threat to global security and stability.

In June 2018, the United States brazenly announced its withdrawal from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.

John Bolton, former U.S. national security advisor, and former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, warned in September 2018 and in March 2019 respectively that if the International Criminal Court (ICC) went ahead with investigating personnel from the United States and its allies, the United States would impose retaliatory measures against the personnel that were directly responsible for the investigations such as a ban on their entry to the United States, fund freezes and even economic sanctions on the ICC.

From July 2017 to July 2020, in violation of international human rights laws and international humanitarianism, the U.S. immigration authorities have forcibly separated more than 5,400 children from their parents who are refugees or illegal immigrants in the southern border area, causing the painful separation of families as well as many child deaths in custody.

In 2019, a total of 850,000 immigrants were arrested in the southern border area of the United States. Most of them suffered rough, insulting treatment and their human rights were trampled on.

Due to its government's ineffective anti-pandemic efforts, the United States has unfortunately seen itself become the most seriously-affected country during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and its immigrant detention centers are the most severely-affected places in the country.

Ignoring the risk of spreading the virus, the U.S. government has even forcibly repatriated a large number of illegal immigrants, which has put the people in Central America at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

During the just-ended 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, some countries' representatives have accused the United States of pursuing "vaccine nationalism."

Over the years, the U.S. armed interventions have caused large numbers of civilian casualties in other countries. The U.S. unilateral coercive measures against certain countries have gravely violated human rights and even caused humanitarian crises.

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