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Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011

English.news.cn   2012-05-25 20:03:53

IV. 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. New York Times 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 U.S., 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 (The New York Times, September 28, 2011). 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, June 19, 2011). Nationally, black joblessness stands at 21 percent, rising to as high as 40 percent in major urban centers like Detroit (The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2011). 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, February 15, 2011). A study shows that of the seven occupations with the highest salaries, six are overrepresented by whites (Washington Post, October 21, 2011).

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 Center 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). A Pew Research Center report says the lopsided wealth ratios among whites, Hispanics and African-Americans in 2009 were the largest in the past 25 years (pewresearch.org). According to an investigation done by the Washington-based Bread for the World, "black children are suffering from poverty at a rate of nearly 40 percent, and over a quarter of Blacks reported going hungry in 2010." "The figures are both startling and very telling," said the Rev. Derrick Boykin (www.amsterdam.com).

Ethnic minorities are denied equal education opportunities, and ethnic minority kids are discriminated against and bullied at schools. According to a report by the U.S. 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). U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on October 28, 2011, one third of American students are bullied at schools, and Asian American children bear the brunt. The teases and insults they get in cyber space are three times more compared to kids from other ethnic groups. A research finds 54 percent of Asian-American students have been bullied at schools, 38.4 percent for African-Americans and 34.3 percent for Hispanics (World Journal October 29, 2011).

Ethnic minorities and non-Christians are also badly discriminated against in the fields like law enforcement, justice and religion, rendering the so-claimed ethnic equality and religious freedom nothing but self-glorifying forged labels. A New York Times story (December 17, 2011) 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 December 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." (Washington Post, December 2, 2011) A survey by Pew Research Center 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 (articles.boston.com). More than half of Muslim-Americans in a new poll said government anti-terrorism policies single them out for increased surveillance and monitoring, and many reported increased cases of name-calling, threats and harassment by airport security, law enforcement officers and others (Washington Times, August 30, 2011).

Illegal immigrants also live under legal and systematic discrimination. It was reported that after Arizona passed its anti-illegal immigration bill, the State of Alabama began implementing its immigration law on September 28, 2011. The Alabama immigration law provides differentiated treatments to illegal immigrants in each of its term, rendering their daily lives rather difficult. Critics argued that the law runs counter to the U.S. Constitution and to certain terms in relevant international human rights law regarding granting equal protections to illegal immigrants (www.hrw.org). The New York Times reported on May 13, 2011, that the State of Georgia passed an anti-illegal immigration law which outlaws illegal immigrants working in the state and empowers local police officers to question certain suspects about their immigration status. Illegal immigrants suffer ferocious maltreatments. Internal reports from the Office of Detention Oversight of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed grave problems in many U.S. detention facilities for immigrants, including lack of medical care, the use of excessive force and "abusive treatment" of detainees (The Houston Chronicle, October 10, 2011). A report released on September 21, 2011, by an Arizona-based non-profit organization revealed that thousands of illegal immigrants detained across the border between Mexico and Arizona are generally maltreated by U.S. border police, being denied enough food, water , medical care and sleep, even beaten up and confined in extreme coldness or heat, suffering both psychological abuse and threats of death (The World Journal, September 24, 2011).

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Editor: Lu Hui
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