A US not safe for own citizens is not qualified to lead the world
Published: Sep 08, 2022 10:09 PM
US flag and the statue of liberty photo: VCG

US flag and the statue of liberty photo: VCG

Eliza Fletcher, a mother of two, went for her regular early jog but never made it back to her kids. She was abducted and murdered. The tragedy in Memphis, Tennessee, triggered a public opinion storm in the US. Meanwhile, quite a few voices suggest that she shouldn't have been jogging at 4:30 in the morning. 

This is what social order looks like in the US - going out in an "inappropriate" time, one could get killed. 

In a TV program aired on Tuesday local time, Fox News host Tucker Carlson commented, "An American citizen should be able to live or walk anywhere in America without being raped or murdered for it, period. That is the baseline requirement for civilization. It's called order."

Unfortunately, that is not what the US has right now and Americans seem to have forgotten this "baseline requirement." There are too many violent crimes, and people have, to some extent, gotten used to it, taking the situation as a part for their normal lives. That's why many people's first reaction is suggesting that Fletcher should have chosen a different time, different route, taken precautions to defend herself, and some even said that she should have used a treadmill.

This is why Carlson lamented that "everyone knows the rules" - one should go to safe places in safe period of time - otherwise, "you run the risk of being raped and murdered. That's how things work in this country. So, adapt. Accept it. Move on." He also warned that the entire country will be Memphis if Americans don't put a stop to this insanity.

More and more common people who live in the US simply do not feel safe anymore. As Carlson put it, the US lost the baseline requirement for civilization, or order.

"US murder rate highest it's been in 25 years as big cities shatter records," reads a headline published in January by Fox News. Reports also show that over half of Americans feel like they're in imminent danger at least once a day. 

Also in Memphis, a shooting spree occurred on Wednesday evening local time. A 19-year-old drove around the city shooting at people during an hours-long rampage, and posted live footage of the process on Facebook and Instagram. As of press time, four innocent people have been killed. Worse, gun violence has long become a norm in the US. New tragedies often arrive even before the old wounds are healed. 

The deterioration of public security in the US has come to where it is today all thanks to the country's systemic chronic disease, which resulted in the chaotic US judicial logic. The judiciary is supposed to protect the interests of people, but now it has become a victim of American politics and commercial interests, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Lü said that the Republican Party emphasizes law and order while some left-leaning Democrats emphasize justice reforms. But no matter what was regarded as high value, people only witness the opposite of what was expected. Those who stress law and order tend to arbitrarily arrest others and pass sentences. Mass incarceration for profit has for a long time been a cancer in the US judicial system. This has, in turn, led to more crimes. On the other hand, do those who advocate for judicial justice really care about it? See how a big controversy was triggered by the FBI's search of Donald Trump's home.

The basic social order of the US is severely challenged. The only way out is a reform in its system, including judicial system, to cure social inequality and bridge the gap between the rich and poor. 

To do that, the US needs to become humbler, let go of its hegemonic arrogance, and learn from advantages of other civilizations. Unluckily, the self-superiority is hindering the country from gaining the ability to learn and self-reform. That being said, in another five years, the US will be the same, or even worse than how it is today, Xu Liang, an associate professor at the School of International Relations of Beijing International Studies University, told the Global Times. It means there will be more Fletchers, more tragedies. 

A US without a proper order at home is a reminder to the world that the US is not the role model. From whatever perspective, copying the US system will only lead to a mess. The deaths of victims like Fletcher are a slap in the face of Washington, which still attempts to prove it is the only "city upon a hill" representing the only correct system. Crises are lurking in US ideology and governance. A US like this is not qualified to dominate world order.