US Human Rights II: A Chinese Take
On racial discrimination: “Ethnic minorities in the United States have long been suffering systemic, widespread and institutional discrimination. And racial discrimination has become an indelible characteristic and symbol of American values.
Ethnic minorities have low political, economic and social positions due to discrimination. The number of ethnic people in civil service is not proportional to their population. The NYT reported on June 23, 2011, that the number of Asian Americans in New York City has topped one million, nearly 1 in 8 New Yorkers, but only one Asian-American serves in the State Legislature, two on the City Council and one in a citywide post of the New York City. According to the annual report released by the National Urban League of the US, African-Americans’ 2011 Equality Index is currently 71.5 percent, compared to 2010’s 72.1 percent, among which the economic equality index declined from 57.9 percent to 56.9 percent, and the health index, from 76.6 percent to 75 percent, and the index in the area of social justice, from 57.9 percent to 56.9 percent.
Ethnic Americans are badly discriminated against when it comes to employment. It was reported that the unemployment rate of Hispanics rose to 11 percent in 2010 from 5.7 percent in 2007 (NYT 9/28/11). The unemployment rate of African Americans was 16.2 percent. For black males, it’s at 17.5 percent; and for black youth, it’s nearly 41 percent, 4.5 times the national average unemployment rate (CBS News, 6/19/11). Nationally, black joblessness stands at 21 percent, rising to as high as 40 percent in major urban centers such as Detroit (The WSJ 8/31/11). In Ziebach County of South Dakota, a community mainly composed of Native Americans, more than 60 percent of the residents live at or below the poverty line, and unemployment rate hits 90 percent in the winter (The Daily Mail, 2/15/11).
The poverty rate of African Americans doubles that of whites, and the ethnic minority groups suffer severe social inequalities. According to a report by the Pew Research Centre (PRC) released in June 2011, the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households (pewresearch.org). In 2010, poverty among blacks rose to 27.4 percent, and poverty among Hispanics increased to 26.6 percent, much higher than the 9.9-percent poverty rate among whites (www.census.gov).
“Ethnic minorities are denied equal education opportunities, and ethnic minority kids are discriminated against and bullied in schools. According to a report by the US Census Bureau on June 8, 2011, in 2008, among 18-to 24-year-olds, 22 percent were not enrolled in high schools for Hispanics, 13 percent for African-Americans, whereas only 6 percent for whites (www.census.gov).
A NYT (12/1711) says the New York Police Department recorded more than 600,000 stops in 2010 and 84 percent of those stopped were blacks or Latinos. It was reported that black non-Hispanic males are incarcerated at a rate more than six times that of white non-Hispanic males (World Report 2011: United States, www.hrw.org).
“On Dec 1, 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union said that “the FBI is using its extensive community outreach to Muslims and other groups to secretly gather intelligence in violation of federal law”. A survey by PRC finds that 52 percent of Muslim-Americans surveyed said their group is under government’s surveillance, about 28 percent said they had been treated or viewed with suspicion and 21 percent said they were singled out by airport security.
“Race-motivated hate crimes occur frequently. According to an FBI report, 6,628 hate crime incidents were reported in 2010, 2,201 of which were against African-Americans, 534 against Hispanics and 575 against whites. And 47.3 percent of all were motivated by racial bias, 20 percent by religion and 12.8 percent by an ethnicity/national origin bias.”
On the rights of women and children: “To date, the US has ratified neither the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, nor the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”