xi's moments
Home | Featured Contributors

As UN Human Rights Council meets, a look back at US record

By Xin Ping | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-06-26 11:16

Cai Meng/China Daily

The United Nations Human Rights Council has just started its 53rd session. As usual, promotion and protection of all human rights will be discussed, and the human rights situations in many countries reviewed. We don't yet know whether the United States will repeat what it did in each previous session: pointing fingers at others with fabricated reports. More than likely, it will. The podium might also be used by it to whitewash its own human rights record.

As the council sessions offer the opportunity to review how each country is doing in human rights protection, it is fair enough — and quite necessary — that we take some time to look at the human rights record of the United States. And it's not hard to find out that "rights" and "freedom", what the US purports as its distinct hallmark, are only "a beautiful lie."

Back in 1620 when Puritans set foot on the American continent by the Mayflower, the Anglo-Saxon sin was seeded. Warmhearted natives hosted the new arrivals with turkeys to fill their stomachs in the first cold winter. In return, the guests reciprocated with a genocide against those who fed them.

To embellish this part of history, American historians often glorify the Westward Movement as the economic development of the western frontier by the American people, claiming that it helped cement US democracy, while conveniently omitting the brutal slaughter of Native Americans. In fact, it was after the Westward Movement that Native Americans, a uniquely great people, risked total disappearance. When murderers were portrayed as heroes in Hollywood's Western movies, justice for the aborigines became near impossible.

African Americans, too, have been through the same. In 1619, the first 20 black Africans were sold as slaves to the Virginia colony, commencing a dark history: from the 17th century to the 18th, countless Africans were trafficked, enslaved and subjected to forced labor. The bustling Wall Street today bears memory of being a major black slave trading market. The colonies quickly passed legislation treating black slaves as "free property" instead of human being. The Declaration of Independence, while proclaiming that "all men are created equal", did not seem to recognize black people's citizenship.

Even today, discrimination against African Americans remains rampant, and "invisible discrimination" ubiquitous. According to a 2020 study by Harvard University, African Americans killed by police are 3.23 times more than whites.

Racism in the US does not stop there. Islamophobia gives Arab migrants an equally hard time. After 9/11, the US became more hostile to Muslims, who were often seen as extremists. Under Donald Trump, people from most Middle East countries were denied entry into the United States. Asians are not faring any better either. Recent years have seen waves of hate crimes against Asian Americans, who became targets of gun violence and systematic discrimination, not least because of the myth that the diligent Asians had stolen white Americans' jobs.

The list goes on. One does not need to try that hard to unearth the real history of blood and tears for minority groups living in America. The truth, distorted and falsified, might remain unseen in the sand for quite a while. But through the weathering of years, those cover-ups and falsehoods will be gone with the wind, laying bear what's buried deep under. It is now upon the council to expose the truth and show some accountability.

The author is a commentator on international affairs, writing regularly for Global Times, China Daily etc. He can be reached at xinping604@gmail.com.

If you have a specific expertise, or would like to share your thought about our stories, then send us your writings at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn, and comment@chinadaily.com.cn.



Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349