Since Monday, May 25, when news of Floyd’s death first surfaced. I have watched the video of the tragic, untimely death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and have remained appalled at the brazen inhumanity demonstrated by the police in a “first world” democracy.
George Floyd’s tragic death is not an isolated incident, not a mistake or an exception. It is a sign of a systemic failure in upholding the human rights of minorities and migrants in the United States.
The US is always proud to condemn the “brutal violence by cowardly and vicious armed groups” and the “disproportionate use of force”.
Major US cities have been put under curfew to suppress the unrest that was triggered after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
That the US is facing such a human rights crisis at home perhaps should not come as a surprise. For decades, despite what it has been preaching, it has purposefully undermined international law and the establishment of a robust international human rights regime that would have pressed governments around the world (including the US one) to uphold human rights at home and abroad.
This has served the US well because it has ensured immunity for its soldiers and political agents committing violent crimes abroad and supporting and abetting dictatorial regimes that have victimised their own citizens. The US has done nothing to prosecute grave human rights violations and killings by its soldiers in Iraq and has gone as far as threatening the International Criminal Court, which has opened an investigation into US crimes in Afghanistan. It has also consistently overlooked grave human rights violations by its closest allies – Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Therefore, the truth is the US does not really care about human rights. It just cares about preaching about human rights and striding the world stage with hypocritical pride and a pompous air. If it really did care, America would not be witnessing nationwide protests today and its fellow “first world” nations would not be so silent about it.
The author works for the Department of Asia Africa and Middle East Studies of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia