By Larry Elder · Thursday, September 16, 2010
Does America engage in massive and widespread violations of human rights?
The Obama administration thinks so. That's the takeaway of the "Report of the United States of America Submitted to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights." The introduction says it "gives a partial snapshot of the current human rights situation in the United States, including some of the areas where problems persist in our society."
What human rights problems?
One is the higher unemployment rate for blacks (15.8 percent) and Hispanics (12.4 percent) compared with that of whites (8.8 percent).
Unemployment is directly related to education. Blacks and Hispanics drop out of high school at a higher rate than whites. Some Asian-American groups, on the other hand, have unemployment rates similar to that of whites.
Low unemployment among these Asian-American groups results from high-school graduation rates that exceed those of whites. Comparing students at the same socio-economic level, Asians outperform whites, blacks and Hispanics on standardized tests. Government neglect is not the culprit. Cities with large black and Hispanic populations -- such as New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago -- spend more per student than do cities in Utah and Iowa, yet they do worse on standardized tests.
This is not good. But what has this to do with human rights?
Another "human rights" problem is the existence of "don't ask, don't tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states to reject gay marriage. Until recently, former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell defended DADT, and he urged former President Bill Clinton to back away from his promise to allow gays to serve openly in the military. President Barack Obama publicly opposes gay marriage. However one feels about gays in the military or gay marriage, these are policy and value issues where reasonable people can disagree -- not matters of human rights.
Another so-called human rights problem is that of "sentencing disparities between powder cocaine and crack cocaine offenses (because) those convicted of crack cocaine offenses are more likely to be members of a racial minority."
The stiff sentences for crack resulted from demands by Jesse Jackson and the Congressional Black Caucus for Congress to do something about the inner-city crack trade and its attendant violence. Congress acted. When blacks got busted at higher rates than whites, this suddenly became a human rights issue.
Another human rights problem is unequal homeownership rates between whites and blacks and Hispanics, irrespective of creditworthiness or whether the ownership of a home is necessarily a good idea.
The report even mentioned Arizona's SB 1070, which the attorney general has called racial profiling.
President George W. Bush refused to join the U.N. Human Rights Council, a position immediately reversed by Obama. When council members include countries like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Cuba and China, isn't the entire exercise a sick joke?
In Saudi Arabia, a Lebanese man was arrested while on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. A Saudi court sentenced him late last year for practicing "witchcraft" -- making predictions about the future -- on his own Lebanese TV show. The punishment? Death by beheading. Libyans rejoiced over the return of the only terrorist convicted for the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people, most of them Americans. In Cuba, journalists are routinely thrown in jail, their number and condition unknowable because of the repressive state-run media. No one knows the true number of dissidents killed during China's Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, but the number may exceed 3,000. Political dissidents remain behind bars in China, and the country continues its "one-child" policy with penalties for noncompliance that include forced sterilization.
The report's introduction says: "Some may say that by participating we acknowledge commonality with states that systematically abuse human rights. We do not. There is no comparison between American democracy and repressive regimes." Well, that's nice to know.
Obama's report is a left-wing indictment of America. Left-wing policy goals are called human rights. And left-wing legislation signed by Obama is touted as an advancement of human rights.
That totalitarian regimes like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Cuba and China serve on any human rights council -- and pass judgment on how America treats its citizens -- is a vulgarity.
Obama's view of America -- and his message to the world -- is that we are deeply flawed and have much to apologize for, even to thug countries that equate terrorism with freedom fighting. And by touting his left-wing policy goals as human rights imperatives, Obama arrogantly equates leftism with cosmic justice.
Why not simply take our chances with Judge Judy?
COPYRIGHT 2010 LAURENCE A. ELDER
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