LatinaLista — When news first hit the wires today that China had released their assessment of the U.S.’ record on human rights, the reflex action within the United States was to dismiss it.
After all, it’s China â€” the biggest country dedicated to communist ideals and for many in the world, the worst violators of human rights themselves. It is the land of the one- child family policy, the Tiananmen Square massacre and the place where human rights activists are jailed with increasing frequency.
It is also the host of the August Olympic Games.
Since China always seems to make the list in U.S. reports on global violators of human rights, China’s stab at creating a government sanctioned document turning the tables on the US is seen by everyone as nothing more than getting even with the US.
Yet, China’s report, the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2007, is more than just a retaliatory document. It chronicles some very real issues that underscore the point that we don’t have to look any farther than our own communities to find the kind of violations against human rights that we see so easily in other countries.
China’s report looked at several issues to compile their list of human rights violations. They were: life and personal security, on human rights violations by law enforcement and judicial departments, on civil and political rights, on economic, social and cultural rights, on racial discrimination, on rights of women and children and on the United States” violation of human rights in other countries.
The report draws from FBI and census data and news sources in compiling a report built on facts to show the world that the U.S. has its own problems.
The report goes as far as to bluntly say: “Racial discrimination is a deep-rooted social illness in the United States.”
To bolster that claim, the report cites poverty, unemployment and incarceration statistics to show where blacks and Latinos are when it comes to these issues.
Unfortunately, a quick look at some headlines would have also sufficed:
Hispanic man attacked, spit on because of race
Robbers Play Cops, Target Illegal Immigrants: Pair Impersonating Police Linked to 13 Robberies â€” and That’s Just the Reported Crimes
Hate crime allegation added in Yucaipa slaying of Hispanic
Indicted officer may have preyed on undocumented women
Ferraro: Obama got where he is because he’s black
Though it can be seen how discrimination is alive and well, a rather odd memo was signed today by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
AFP Photo: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice(R) and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.
Being an African American woman, Rice has most probably suffered her own fair share of discrimination. One has to wonder why she hasn’t been as vocal about racial discrimination as she seems to be in Brazil. The AFP reports:
BRASILIA: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Brazilian Racial Equality Minister Edson Santos signed a joint action plan here Thursday promising cooperation in fighting racial discrimination.
The text of the memorandum stressed the shared “democratic, multi-ethnic and multi-racial” characteristics of their two countries and opened the way for information-sharing to eliminate discrimination.
A joint working group is to be set up that will meet alternately twice a year in Brazil and the United States to work out specific areas where Washington and Brasilia can work together on the issue, especially in education.
Other aspects call for developing cooperation in employment, lodging, sport and access to the legal systemâ€¦
Sharing information to eliminate discrimination? Meet alternately twice a year to work on areas that the two countries can work on together? Develop cooperation in employment, lodging, sport and the legal system?
As the China report illustrates: Isn’t it time the US solved its own problems before it tries to solve those of others?