Cory V. Clark
RINF Alternative News
After the re-election of president Obama, I wrote an opinion piece titled Pepsi Vs. Coke that spoke about the Left/Right paradigm. In a lot of ways the issue of human rights in this country is very similar in nature, especially where the media is concerned.
Well, I didn’t give Obama a free ride on his crimes then and he, nor America ggets a free ride from me on Human Rights now.
We browbeat any and every country which doesn’t agree with our global domination or which presents themselves as a competitor in the global market and for every little human rights violation found.
While I find it to be a positive thing for the people of the world and their nation’s respective media outlets and politicians to speak out against these violations, the fact that America and it’s allies are not often condemned for the same actions as non-allies is appalling.
While China is condemned for the arbitrariness of it’s legal system and the use of its prison population as forced labor, the same can be and should be said of the American judicial system and many other judicial systems in the capitalist west.
The American prison system also forces its inmates to to work for pennies on the dollar per labor hour to make all sort of products, many of which are used by the state and other product sold to the public. When those same inmates stand up and fight back for fair wages, they are violently suppressed and often the entire prison system of a particular state is locked down for weeks at a time. Yet, there is rarely a word spoken about this situation even though it is very similar to the one in China. Why is that?
The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world per capita far surpassing that that of China and other nations accused of human rights violations, it’s laws being equally arbitrary and often applied to largely poor minority populations which make up the majority of those imprisoned.
It should be noted that we are also one of a small number of countries that imprison children under life sentences. America also has the largest number of this demographic as well and many of these children are from poor Black and Latino communities.
We condemn other countries for the treatment of women, LGBT and other minority groups even though in this country, when we’re not trying to over sexualize women, we’re condemning them for being “too sexually liberal.” Their male counterparts are allowed to be as sexually liberal as they like, while women, minorities and members of the LGBTQ community are still discriminated against in the workforce and are underpaid compared to white men doing the same job with the same qualifications.
Women who have been raped in the military are discouraged from coming forward and even punished via the bureaucracy of the V.A. after they’ve been discharged. Where is the outrage against these human rights violations?
We talk about how Russia should stop attacking it’s LGBT communities yet we will not allow same sex marriage in America. America is certainly not as violent but is equal in its injustice when we take from the lGBT community many of the rights afforded to straight couples.
Who will go after these human rights violators in the richest and most powerful nation in the world?
In this country, we speak of the people around the world forced into poverty. We feel appalled at the starving masses of emaciated children crowding our T.V. screen but seldom hear of, or demand to hear of, the starving or deprived human beings in our own country.
We demand children of other countries be fed, crying out that food is a human right, how dare they be allowed to starve by their governments. Most notable of the nations condemned for this is North Korea, one of the triad known as the axis of evil. But, what do we say of the masses of starving Americans also forced into poverty by the American government’s corporate welfare policies and free trade policies that aren’t just sending American jobs overseas, but driving down wages here, forcing workers to accept the watering down of worker safety policies? In some states there is a call for reduction in child labor laws just to be able to compete with other economies.
What sort of criticisms can be found of the corporate welfare system that by far sucks up more taxes dollars than ten nations with the same amount of individuals on public assistance? Well?
While houses and buildings are left abandoned and neglected, the homeless are forced to sleep outside exposed to everything from hurricanes, blizzards, freezing temperatures. Their only alternative is to be crowded into dirty shelters which are often unfit for human habitation. These Americans are forced to eat out of trash cans, to eat low quality and even spoiled food donated by churches, while food stamps are cut by the state and politicians argue over whether or not to extend other jobless benefits.
In some places the homeless are jailed if they choose not to go into the shelter where they will likely be abused by staff and other residents who are mentally ill or be robbed of what little possessions they may have. These concerns are then marginalized by the media. Those who choose not to subject themselves to inhuman treatment or the stresses of an overcrowded shelter system are then called unsocial for not wanting to be subjected to the animality imposed on them.
In some places in America the poor are still being sterilized, such as in Virginia where a woman who is on welfare and has more than certain number of children is forced to have her tubes tied because she is deemed to be unfit. Various states are trying to outlaw birth control and abortion. The majority of women most seriously affected by these policies live in poor Black and Latino communities.
In fact, the majority of people affected by poverty causing policies, anti homeless policies, disparities in the criminal justice system, institutional slavery and ecocide are poor Black and Latino communities. I think there’s a word for that. What was that word? Oh yeah, I remember – apartheid.
Didn’t president Obama just give a speech at a memorial for a man this country put in jail as a political prisoner, a man who fought against apartheid in his own country? Didn’t Obama condemn other nations for ignoring human rights and the equality that that same man fought for? Do not these same condition still exist – not just in South Africa – but here in America as economic disparity? Oh, what a thin disguise for economic-apartheid for institutional racism.
So, the corporate welfare system isn’t the one criticized by the media, our elected or our nation in general, but rather the individuals themselves. The very ndividuals who have been forced into poverty because of low wages in this country, jobs being shipped out to emerging labor markets which don’t have a minimum wage, have weak worker safety regulations and little if any child labor laws. These are the ones being criticized, the individuals, not the corporations, not the government and not the media. There is no outrage over the hoarding of wealth, property and resources by the rich. There is no outcry over the racism still very evident in poor communities this country. We, our politicians and our media try to pretend this situation doesn’t exist here at home while shedding tears for starving elsewhere around the world.
American poor are walked over as they freeze, starve or sit dehydrated in the summer sun. The mentally and physically disabled are ignored. Veterans needlessly have to constantly fight a process of delay, delay, deny. Those who served us in war stay on ever growing waiting lists hundreds of thousands of names long until they give up, die or just go away. Our veteran homeless numbers increase proportionately daily because of bureaucratic mentality.
Poor children in America have been told they should have to work in cafeterias to pay for their lunch. Our ‘future of America’ is told “there are no free rides in America” while corporations get to ride all day for free. Oh wait, it’s not for free, as the corporate free ride is taxpayer funded.
Women and nearly all other minorities are discriminated against still in the workforce, either directly or because there are no protections for certain classes such as ex offenders. The masses are told that it is the fault of the poor for their poverty and not the fault of exploiters and racist policies.
Oh, poor America, what hypocrisy, what graft, what lies you tell yourself of your equality, your fairness, your justice, your freedom.
Didn’t you hear the old cry that it is he that thinks themselves the freest who are the most enslaved? Yet, still you rant at other nations while the same cries of the disenfranchised go unheard throughout your land.
Cory V. Clark is a photographer and writer, who’s focus is on civil unrest, the Occupy Movement, Anarchism, other non – two party or anti-status quo movemnts.