“The year 2022 witnessed a landmark setback for U.S. human rights. In the United States, a country labeling itself a “human rights defender,” “chronic diseases” such as money politics, racial discrimination, gun and police violence, and wealth polarization are rampant. Human rights legislation and justice have seen an extreme retrogression, further undermining the basic rights and freedoms of the American people,” the Report on Human Rights Violations in the United States in 2022 issued by China today.
“The U.S. government has greatly relaxed gun control, resulting in high death toll from gun violence. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Bruen case in 2022 became a landmark regression in the field of gun control in the United States. Nearly half of U.S. states have relaxed gun restrictions. The United States leads the world in gun ownership, gun homicide and mass shootings, with more than 80,000 people killed or injured by gun violence in 2022, the third consecutive year on record that the United States experiences more than 600 mass shootings. Gun violence has become an “American disease,” the report asserted.
Midterm elections have become the most expensive ones in the United States, and American-style democracy has lost its popular support. The cost of elections in the United States has soared again, with cumulative spending of the 2022 midterm elections exceeding more than 16.7 billion U.S. dollars. Political donations from billionaires accounted for 15 percent of the federal total, up from 11 percent in the 2020 election cycle. “Dark money” donations manipulate U.S. elections furtively, and political polarization and social fragmentation make it difficult for the country to reach a democratic consensus. With 69 percent of Americans believing their democracy is at “risk of collapse” and 86 percent of American voters saying it faces “very serious threats,” there is a general public disillusionment of American-style democracy.
Racism is on the rise and ethnic minorities suffer widespread discrimination. Hate crimes based on racial bias in the United States increased dramatically between 2020 and 2022. The racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket, with 10 African-Americans killed, has shocked the world. A total of 81 percent of Asian Americans say violence against Asian communities is surging. African Americans are 2.78 times more likely to be killed by police than whites. The sufferings caused by genocide and cultural assimilation taken by the U.S. government against Indians and other aborigines in history still persist today.
Life expectancy has plummeted, and deaths from drug abuse continue to climb. According to a report released in August 2022 by the National Center for Health Statistics under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, average life expectancy in the United States dropped by 2.7 years to 76.1 years from 2019 to 2021, the lowest since 1996. Interest groups and politicians trade power for money, allowing drug and substance abuse to flourish. The number of Americans dying from drug and substance abuse has increased dramatically in recent years, to more than 100,000 per year. Substance abuse has become one of America’s most devastating public health crises.
Women have lost constitutional protections for abortion, and children’s living environment is worrying. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has ended women’s right to abortion protected by the U.S. Constitution for nearly 50 years, which lands a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality. In 2022, more than 5,800 children under the age of 18 got injured or killed by shooting in the United States, and the number of school shootings amounted to 302, the highest since 1970. The child poverty rate in the United States increased from 12.1 percent in December 2021 to 16.6 percent in May 2022, with 3.3 million more children living in poverty. The United States had seen a nearly 70 percent increase in child labor violations since 2018, and registered a 26 percent increase in minors employed in hazardous occupations in fiscal year 2022.
U.S. abuse of force and unilateral sanctions has created humanitarian disasters. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the United States has carried out military operations in 85 countries in the name of “anti-terrorism,” which directly claimed at least 929,000 civilian lives and displaced 38 million people. The United States has imposed more unilateral sanctions than any other country in the world, and it still has sanctions in place against more than 20 countries, resulting in the inability of those targeted to provide basic food and medicine for their people. Immigration issue has become a tool of partisan fight, and immigration farces have been staged on a large scale, making immigrants face extreme xenophobia and cruel treatment. There were a record high of nearly 2.4 million migrant arrests at the nation’s border in 2022, and the death toll of immigrants at its southern border reached 856, the deadliest in a single year.
The United States, founded on colonialism, racist slavery and inequality in labor, possession and distribution, has further fallen into a quagmire of system failure, governance deficits, racial divide and social unrest in recent years under the interaction of its polarized economic distribution pattern, racial conflict dominated social pattern and capital interest groups controlled political pattern.
American politicians, serving the interests of oligarchs, have gradually lost their subjective will and objective ability to respond to the basic demands of ordinary people and defend the basic rights of ordinary citizens, and failed to solve their own structural problems of human rights. Instead, they wantonly use human rights as a weapon to attack other countries, creating confrontation, division and chaos in the international community, and have thus become a spoiler and obstructor of global human rights development.