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Human rights decided by skin color in United States

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)    17:20, March 19, 2020

"Color has obviously played a major role in determining the fate of many Americans...” That is a line by Thomas Sowell in his book Ethnic America: A History, which carries his deep frustration.

The traumatic racial discrimination in the United States is not being alleviated as time proceeds, but turns severer instead, and takes root in all social aspects.

China’s State Council Information Office recently issued a report on the human rights violations in the United States. By using abundant data and facts, the report indicates that the deeply rooted racial discrimination in the United States has exposed its political structure and ideology of white supremacy, and highlights the US hypocrisy on human rights.

The United States is still a country of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, where all other races, ethnic groups and religious and cultural communities endure various levels of discrimination.

A study published in Psychological Science suggests that whites begin to perceive African American boys as threatening at just 5 years old, associating them with adjectives such as "violent," "dangerous," "hostile" and "aggressive."

More than four-in-ten say the country hasn't made enough progress toward racial equality, said a Pew Research Center survey titled Race in America 2019. According to the survey, about 58 percent say race relations in the United States are bad, and about 65 percent say it's become more common for people to express racist views in recent years. The survey, which exposes the wide and systematic racial discrimination issue in the United States, proves that racial equality is just a tantalizing pie in the sky for the country.

White supremacy in the United States has shown a resurgence trend since 2016, leading to racial opposition and hatred. White men accused of carrying out deadly mass shootings have cited the same paranoid fear: the extinction of the white race.

On Aug. 3, 2019, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius drove 650 miles to the Texas border city El Paso and rampaged into the superstore, opening fire and killing 22 at a Walmart superstore. He said this attack was a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that white supremacy is a persistent and pervasive threat to U.S. security. "The United States has always been in the midst of a white nationalist terrorist crisis," said Ibram Kendi, director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

What’s the source for such a strong trend of white supremacy? That is a question that shall never be ducked by the United States, and obviously, the nightmare of the country will continue if it fails to eliminate racial discrimination.

The stronger the trend is, the more discrimination will be placed against ethnic minorities in the United States. All are equal before the law is a basic principle of the International Bill of Human Rights, but the law enforcement of the United States is running counter to it.

Shootings and brutal abuse of African Americans by policemen are frequent, and racial discrimination is common in law enforcement, with the basic human rights of ethnic minorities being wantonly trampled on.

UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance pointed out that people of African descent in the United States are still killed and brutalized at alarming rates by law enforcement authorities and vigilantes, who have little to no accountability.

In an appalling act of police violence with racial discrimination a year ago, six police officers shot Willie McCoy, a 20-year-old rapper, about 25 times in the head, ear, neck, chest, arms, shoulders, hands, and back. This is something that shall never be tolerated by human conscience.

Is there really any human conscience? Just look at this figure - African American adults are 5.9 times more likely to be incarcerated than white adults, and this may give a little hint on that question. The vestige of slavery and racial segregation still exists in the United States. It has seeped into the judicial systems of the country, exposing the cruel selective inattention of the government’s policies and institutional structure to the human rights of ethnic minorities.

Besides, racial discrimination in economy further perpetuates the social inequality in the United States. The Center for American Progress reported on its website that compared with their white counterparts, African American workers face systematic obstacles to getting jobs. They face higher unemployment rates, fewer job opportunities, lower pay, poorer benefits and greater job instability. Occupational segregation and the persistent devaluation of workers of color are a direct result of intentional government policy.

Over the past 40 years, workers of African descent have consistently endured an unemployment rate approximately twice that of their white counterparts. Figures from the Federal Reserve show that racial disparities in wealth have worsened, as the typical wealth for a white household is nearly 10 times that for African Americans. These differences are so entrenched that if current trends continue, it could take more than 200 years for the average family of African descent to accumulate the same amount of wealth as its white counterparts. It suggests that ethnic minorities see little hope of emancipation, as it is difficult for them to get rid of such cruel facts.

Social separation is a foregone conclusion in the United States as the country suffers preoccupied problems of racial discrimination – which indicate the country’s violation of human rights.

The reason for the United States to not go all-out to eliminate racial discrimination is that some people in the country are actually enjoying the white supremacy and deceiving people for their own good. Adopting double standard and pointing fingers at other countries’ human rights conditions, they are only after hegemony, not justice. It is a desecration to the human rights cause of the world.

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

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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