Posted on November 25, 2010
Obama sends regrets to UNHRC
In keeping with his stated intention to improve America's standing in the world, Barack Obama decided that the U.S. would join the United Nations Human Rights Council. According to the rules, each member state is required to submit a Universal Periodic Review, in which it is supposed to report on human rights issues within its own country. Naturally, Obama saw this as yet another opportunity to apologize for the United States to the rest of the world.
The review wastes no time in undercutting America's foundation. "The story of the United States of America is one guided by universal values shared the world over," it begins, "that all are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights." If it were true that America had been guided by universal values, it would stand to reason that the same was true of the rest of the universe. That being the case, the very existence of America would seem to be rather unnecessary.
It isn't true, of course. The universe is not now, nor has it ever been in agreement that all men are even created, let alone equal. The fact that the document spelling out these "universal" values was signed as an act of rebellion against a monarchy should have been the first clue for whoever wrote and edited the review. It's as if the administration is unwilling to defend America on its merits, but can only find virtue in being part of a global consensus.
The report's indictment of America is founded upon the unsupportable assertion that, "Our commitment to the rights protected in our Constitution is matched by a parallel commitment to foster a society characterized by shared prosperity." Freedom and collectivism do not "parallel" each other, but by claiming that they do, the report is able to characterize a lack of "fairness" as a human rights violation.
The Obama administration therefore finds America guilty for every statistical disparity that is unfavorable toward a racial minority. "We are not satisfied with a situation where the unemployment rate for African Americans is 15.8%, for Hispanics 12.4%, and for whites 8.8%, as it was in February 2010," it says. Apparently, Obama is less concerned with unemployment in general than with an inequitable distribution of it. Perhaps our country would be exonerated in his mind if twice as many whites became unemployed.
"We are not satisfied when fewer than half of African American and Hispanic families own homes, while three quarters of white families do," it continues. "We are not satisfied that whites are twice as likely as Native Americans to have a college degree." Even diseases are unfairly distributed, according to the review. One section on "health" seems to complain that non-Hispanic whites don't contract enough heart disease, cancer, diabetes or HIV, compared to other demographic groups.
Still, the review is mandatory for all UNHRC members, so these concocted American offenses should compare favorably to the other countries' self-reported atrocities, right? Let's find out, by comparing the U.S. review to one that was submitted last year by another member state, Cuba.
"With the triumph of the Revolution … the Cuban people achieved true independence and were able to create the conditions for full and universal enjoyment of all human rights." That's a funny way to confess to human rights abuses. Oh, well, they're bound to come around to it eventually.
"The Cuban political system is the expression of the will of its people."
"Other forms of direct democracy are encouraged, as well as a participatory culture, which includes social and grass-roots organizations representing the plurality of Cuban society."
"Rights to life, liberty and security of person. These are at the core of the actions of the Cuban authorities and the functioning of society as a whole."
"The Cuban revolution respects all churches and religious beliefs, without any discrimination whatsoever."
"Cuba eradicated illiteracy in 1961 and is now working on the universalization of higher education."
"The right to health is realized through the national health system."
Lest we doubt the word of a Communist dictatorship, the Cuban review does include allegations of human rights transgressions. It's just that the alleged transgressor is the United States, which it accuses of terrorism and genocide, stemming largely from the embargo that it falsely describes as a "blockade."
Thanks to Obama, we've reached common ground with the "international community." Our president finds America guilty of all sorts of injustices, and the despots of the world agree. How this makes America more respected, he should be asked to explain.-- Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
Return to Shinbone
The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press
Mailbag . Issue Index . Politimals