By Global Times
March 28, 2023
China’s State Council Information Office on Tuesday issued the Report on Human Rights Violations in the US in 2022, revealing human rights legislation and justice have seen an extreme regression, further undermining the basic rights and freedoms of the American people.
2022 witnessed a landmark setback for US human rights, the report said.
In the US, a country which labels itself a “human rights defender,” chronic diseases such as money in politics, racial discrimination, gun and police violence, as well as wealth polarization are rampant, it added.
The US government has greatly relaxed gun control, resulting in high death toll from gun violence. The US Supreme Court’s decision in the Bruen case, a case challenging a New York law limiting concealed handgun carry in public, in 2022 became a landmark regression in the field of gun control in the United States. Nearly half of US states have relaxed gun restrictions, the report said.
The US leads the world in gun ownership, gun homicide and mass shootings, with more than 80,000 people killed or injured by gun violence in 2022, the third consecutive year on record that the United States experiences more than 600 mass shootings. Gun violence has become an “American disease.”
The report said that US is a country defined by extreme violence, where people are threatened by both violent crime and violent law enforcement, and their safety is far from being guaranteed. Prisons are overcrowded and have become a modern slavery establishment where forced labor and sexual exploitation are commonplace. America’s self-proclaimed civil rights and freedoms have become empty talk.
In a latest mass shooting case on Monday, a 28-year-old from Nashville fatally shot three children and three adults at a private Christian elementary school, which was another shock to the American society, the New York Times reported.
Also, the report pointed out that midterm elections have become the most expensive ones in the US, and American-style democracy has lost its popular support. The cost of elections in the US has soared again, with cumulative spending of the 2022 midterm elections exceeding more than $16.7 billion. Political donations from billionaires accounted for 15 percent of the federal total, up from 11 percent in the 2020 election cycle.
“Dark money” donations manipulate US elections furtively, and political polarization and social fragmentation make it difficult for the country to reach a democratic consensus. With 69 percent of Americans believing their democracy is at “risk of collapse” and 86 percent of American voters saying it faces “very serious threats,” there is a general public disillusionment of American-style democracy, the report noted.
Racism is on the rise and ethnic minorities suffer widespread discrimination. Hate crimes based on racial bias in the US increased dramatically between 2020 and 2022. The racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket, with 10 African-Americans killed, has shocked the world. A total of 81 percent of Asian Americans say violence against Asian communities is surging. African Americans are 2.78 times more likely to be killed by police than whites. The sufferings caused by genocide and cultural assimilation taken by the US government against Indians and other aborigines in history still persist today, the report said.
The report also revealed that Life expectancy has plummeted, and deaths from drug abuse continue to climb.
According to a report released in August 2022 by the National Center for Health Statistics under the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, average life expectancy in the US dropped by 2.7 years to 76.1 years from 2019 to 2021, the lowest since 1996. Interest groups and politicians trade power for money, allowing drug and substance abuse to flourish. The number of Americans dying from drug and substance abuse has increased dramatically in recent years, to more than 100,000 per year. Substance abuse has become one of America’s most devastating public health crises, the report said.
Women have lost constitutional protections for abortion, and children’s living environment is worrying.
The US Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has ended women’s right to abortion protected by the US Constitution for nearly 50 years, which lands a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.
In 2022, more than 5,800 children under the age of 18 got injured or killed by shooting in the United States, and the number of school shootings amounted to 302, the highest since 1970. The child poverty rate in the United States increased from 12.1 percent in December 2021 to 16.6 percent in May 2022, with 3.3 million more children living in poverty. The United States had seen a nearly 70 percent increase in child labor violations since 2018, and registered a 26 percent increase in minors employed in hazardous occupations in fiscal year 2022, the report revealed.
Separately, US abuse of force and unilateral sanctions has created humanitarian disasters. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the US has carried out military operations in 85 countries in the name of “anti-terrorism,” which directly claimed at least 929,000 civilian lives and displaced 38 million people. The United States has imposed more unilateral sanctions than any other country in the world, and it still has sanctions in place against more than 20 countries, resulting in the inability of those targeted to provide basic food and medicine for their people, according to the report.
Immigration issue has become a tool of partisan fight, and immigration farces have been staged on a large scale, making immigrants face extreme xenophobia and cruel treatment. There were a record high of nearly 2.4 million migrant arrests at the nation’s border in 2022, and the death toll of immigrants at its southern border reached 856, the deadliest in a single year.
The report pointed out that the US, founded on colonialism, racist slavery and inequality in labor, possession and distribution, has further fallen into a quagmire of system failure, governance deficits, racial divide and social unrest in recent years under the interaction of its polarized economic distribution pattern, racial conflict dominated social pattern and capital interest groups controlled political pattern.
American politicians, serving the interests of oligarchs, have gradually lost their subjective will and objective ability to respond to the basic demands of ordinary people and defend the basic rights of ordinary citizens, and failed to solve their own structural problems of human rights. Instead, they wantonly use human rights as a weapon to attack other countries, creating confrontation, division and chaos in the international community, and have thus become a spoiler and obstructer of global human rights development, the report said.
Also, religious intolerance intensifies, the report noted. According to the Hate Crime Statistics for 2021 released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on December 15, 2022, a total of 1,005 religious hate crimes were reported in the US in 2021, of which 31.9 percent were anti-Semitic incidents, 21.3 percent were anti-Sikh incidents, and 9.5 percent were anti-Islamic incidents, 6.1 percent were anti-Catholic incidents and 6.5 percent were anti-Orthodox incidents.
-Illustration by Liu Rui