Nationwide protests show US 'hypocrisy, human rights failure'
Published: Jun 16, 2020 09:08 PM

Demonstrators take part in a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the United States, June 13, 2020. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

The head of a research institute of a Chinese university said that the deeply-rooted racial inequality problems that triggered the ongoing nationwide protest in the US uncovered its hypocrisy and failure on human rights, and that this will help the Chinese public realize that the US is not that advanced and developed.

Chang Jian, the director of Nankai University's Center for the Study of Human Rights in Tianjin, told the Global Times on Tuesday, following the release of the report by the center, "I can't breathe": The Death of George Floyd and the Survival Dilemma Facing African Americans.

The report was released on Monday and covered data and case studies about the conflict between African Americans and white Americans, the wealth gap among races, and the tough situation African-Americans face from the COVID-19 outbreak in the US. 

Chang told the Global Times that "the report about racial problems in the US asks the following questions: Why can the death of an African American cause massive riots and protests across the US? What can China learn from the mess in the US? How should we treat US criticism against our human rights situation? And how will the riots in the US develop?"

The report said the UN has repeatedly expressed grave concerns about racial discrimination in law enforcement and judicial practices in the US. In its 2016 work report on investigations of the United States, the UN Human Rights Council's Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent heavily criticized the police violence and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. A large number of cases have confirmed the problem of law enforcement officials' use of violence and excessive use of lethal force, which are largely exempt from criminal liability, the report said.

Chinese analysts said although the US also faced criticism and accusations on the human rights issue, not many Western mainstream media reported about these, and are more interested in showing the problems of others, including China, Russia, Middle East countries and India. They make the US look like a "champion of human rights" by lecturing others and even creating excuses to intervene other countries' domestic issues.

By using human rights as an excuse, the US has destroyed many sovereign countries and made them failed states, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, they noted.

Chang said the US is not a champion of human rights at all since it can't even clean its own mess.

"In the past, many Chinese might believe the US was a developed country, so we can learn a lot from it to improve our situation. But now, we know that learning from the US won't solve problems, and could even make our situation worse," he noted.

The US always politicizes the human rights issue in the international arena and this time, the horrible human rights conditions of African Americans and other minorities have uncovered the hypocrisy of US politicians, which makes the US less qualified to comment on other countries' human rights issues, Chang added.

The nationwide riots have been transformed into a new stage called "America's Cultural Revolution" which forced classic films and TV series off the air, and caused statues of eminent persons in US history to be smashed and destroyed, including a statue of Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the US, ABC reported.

Chang said the long-standing racial problems in the US are not a simple issue, which is coupled with the immigration problem, widening wealth gap, and polarization in society, adding that the US failure to handle the COVID-19 outbreak also worsened the problem. 

The report said "African Americans have far higher rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths than other ethnic groups. In the economic field, the epidemic has left many people of African descent in dire straits. The fear of disease and the economic shock have created strong negative emotions, which are also manifested in the protests."

Due to the struggle between Republicans and Democrats, there is no sign the protests would end before November, Chinese analysts said.

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