America: Human Rights Violator?

America: Human Rights Violator?


In the Obama Administration’s attempt to achieve respect for The United States around the world, it is again overdoing it. This effort reminds me a bit of Sally Field when she received an Oscar exclaiming, “You like me, you really like me!” It seems one of the main goals of The U.S. Department of State is to get more countries to like America.

So, someone at Foggy Bottom (maybe Hillary Clinton?) thought perhaps the US could make some gains by publicly stating (in the first-ever report to the U.N. Human Rights Council on conditions in the United States) that our nation is less than perfect and “work remains to meet our goal to ensure equality before the law.”

Annual reviews are expected from members of the U.N. Human Rights Council, a panel the Obama Administration decided to join last year in a break with the previous administration. President Bush argued that the council unfairly and disproportionately singles out Israel for criticism and he questioned the U.N.’s sincerity and commitment to human rights when many members of the council are some of the world’s worst violators. Among them are Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and China.

True America isn’t perfect, but by breaking with past practice, the Obama Administration is once again presenting a flawed America to the world. 

Why not emphasize the positive? One approach is that America is a nation that has accomplished more than any other—a democracy worth emulating, a democracy that honors human rights and will speak out forcefully and act against those who do not. It’s the United States that Ronald Reagan called “a shining city on the hill,” a beacon of hope for the world.

The focus should be on governments that are committing major atrocities against their people, not a flawed America striving to do better. America bashers will use this statement against us, yet the USA isn’t imprisoning anyone for their political views. Bloggers or web writers who criticize their government are not arrested and thrown in prison like they are in China. Christians are not arrested and thrown into prison for holding Bible studies or prayer in their homes like they are in countries like Uzbekistan. Muslims who convert to Christianity here are not arrested and strung up, tortured and beaten like they are in many countries throughout the Middle East.

Let’s keep the emphasis on atrocities committed by despotic regimes like Myanmar, North Korea and Iran. Is the U.S. perfect? Nope, but we’re a far cry from many of those who have signed on to the Universal Declaration of Human and have chosen to ignore it.

You can read the 29-page report to the UN here. And read The Universal Declaration of Human Rights here.

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