Report on U.S. human rights violations in 2021 highlights serious contradictions
Bradley Blankenship
People wander near the White House in Washington, D.C., the United States, June 22, 2021. /Xinhua

People wander near the White House in Washington, D.C., the United States, June 22, 2021. /Xinhua

Editor's note: Bradley Blankenship is a Prague-based American journalist, political analyst and freelance reporter. The article reflects the author's opinions, not necessarily the views of CGTN.

China's State Council Information Office on February 28 published its Report on Human Rights Violations in the United States in 2021, touching on many subjects. 

The key sections of the text were the country's failed management of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, increasing violence among the population, the breakdown of political rights, endemic racism, the migrant crisis and violations of human rights in other countries. 

Going into extensive detail, the text's foreword highlights some very disturbing figures, such as the fact that the United States saw life expectancy fall by 1.13 years in 2021 thanks to its highest-in-the-world COVID-19 death toll, and the fact that mass shootings increased by 10.1 percent from 2020 to 2021.

It also noted that 420 bills aimed at restricting voting access were passed in 49 states and only 7 percent of young Americans believe the country is a "healthy democracy." On top of this, violence against minorities, particularly people of Asian descent, soared in 2021, and the U.S. detained more than 1.7 million immigrants – including 45,000 children – and maintained impoverishing sanctions around the world while also committing war crimes. 

Each one of these key points not only conforms to the real-world experience of many Americans, including my own, but they point to the very real contradictions within American society. 

Take the issue of COVID-19. The U.S. claims to value human life while also implicitly placing more value on some lives over others, namely those who can provide labor for the economy over the elderly and immunocompromised. 

Washington's decision to accept endemic COVID-19 with no concern for those most susceptible is telling. That is, it shows that the country does not value human life as it claims. That's because the United States has by far the largest amount of confirmed cases and deaths in the world, thanks to its failed management that is, undoubtedly, a deliberate policy choice. 

Data has clearly shown that, in addition to vaccines, measures such as improved ventilation, air filtration systems and wearing masks can be effective at limiting the spread of the virus. Instead, the U.S. government failed to implement adequate labor laws and workplace safety standards to protect its frontline workers at the behest of corporate lobbies. 

Of course, this is no surprise to anyone aware of a few other points mentioned in the text, such as the U.S. treatment of minorities, immigrants and people in other countries.

Screenshot from the official website of the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China.

Screenshot from the official website of the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China.

The police essentially act like an invading force in black neighborhoods while people of Asian descent are being attacked on the streets, due in part to the U.S. government/media "crusade" against all things Chinese. Immigrants are told flatly to "not come" to the United States of America, even though American imperialism is largely to blame for their misfortune. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues unabated in its quest for world domination, using both its economic weapons to strangle and impoverish millions of people and literal weapons to murder and displace many more millions. We can see how dehumanization is at the very core of American society both through what it does at home and abroad. This tendency toward violence is reflected again in the country's surging violence, mass shootings and domestic terrorism. 

The U.S. claims to be the world's shining example of democracy, but saw remarkable backslides in what was already a faux democracy last year. States are implementing a range of measures aimed at limiting ballot access, part in parcel with former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

As the report noted, young people are completely fed up with the country's direction and don't believe their "democracy" can address it. However, the real contradiction is that American democracy has always been a democracy of exclusion, which is why minorities, women and the working class couldn't vote at the country's inception. 

From the start until now, American "democracy" has always been a dictatorship of the wealthy. If democracy means rule by the people, as in all people, then America and its founders do not and have never cared about that. It's now, as things are becoming so dire – especially for young Americans – that most people are starting to realize this fact.

Some claim that the United States can course-correct all of these terrible contradictions. However, this presumption is rooted in the idea that people can actually influence the government. It is becoming clearer that this clearly can't happen, as evidenced by the failure of President Joe Biden to pass his major legislative agenda. 

Last year was a terrible year for human rights in the United States and, unfortunately, things don't look like they will get any better so long as these gaping contradictions in society are not addressed.

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