Last Friday, the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a report called The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011. It was in response to the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011, which featured information on about 200 countries, China included.
China’s report, published on Xinhua, et al., was about 8,000 words. We read it so you don’t have to — and brought in TAR Nation to explain what it all means.
Tao: The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China claims its report on the US’s human rights record is “to reveal the true human rights situation of the United States to people across the world and urge the United States to face up to its own doings.” Did it succeed in doing so?
TAR: No. The Chinese government has difficulty in differentiating between human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and simple controversy, which is easy to understand as there is very little of any of these in China. Gun ownership, for example, is a controversy, not a human rights violation. It was less a report on human rights in America and more of a statement that shit happens in the USA. I was reminded of the “There are no cats in America” song from An American Tail. There bloody well are cats and they will fucking stab you.
Another detractor was the fact that the Communist Party spends half its propaganda power hating on the Western media every single day but relied on it almost exclusively for this report. The New York Times, the BBC, Reuters, the Washington Post and Bloomberg were their main sources. Proving that the Chinese government correctly understands irony, if one follows the statistics they quote in the report, many of them lead straight back to the State Department. Oh, except for the part on press freedoms. They had to get some of those from Russia and China.
Of course the US has problems with human rights right now and in the past, problems that some are trying to fix and others are trying to make worse, but the concept of human rights is not the enemy. As with any difficulty, the problem is bastards.
What part of the report was most eye-opening and potentially informative to you?
By far the most hilarious part was the civil and political rights part. It was like watching a bloodstained psychopath ripping a kitten limb-from-limb doing a PETA advertisement. Where was the first place they went? Occupy Wall Street, a vague and thus ultimately doomed protest movement. I never realized exactly how much the propaganda masters had blown it out of proportion. They seem to think that there is a massive government conspiracy to silence the protests. There isn’t. The government of the United States is currently to the left, and so are the protestors. There would be no point. It would be like the Communist party going after the wu mao dang. The Occupy protesters aren’t arrested for their ideas or beliefs. They’re arrested because they’re blocking traffic. The Communist Party seems to not understand that the POINT of civil disobedience is to get arrested, a way to nonviolently shame your opponents and remind your government of their responsibilities. If you don’t get arrested, then you’re doing it wrong. There is a massive difference in civil disobedience and non-violent protest, and I find both rather noble. The difference was expressed beautifully in Martin Luther King Jr.’s But If Not speech.
Is there a part that you think could have been done better?
I think that if I covered my penis and balls in ink and flung myself at a wall, I could have written a better report.
Do you agree with China’s claim that the US has not “faced up to its own doings”? If that’s the case, what should the punishment for the US be?
Yes, and they should be imprisoned without trial for years, beaten, tortured, given a trial without proper legal representation, and then sentenced to arbitrarily long jail terms, reeducation through forced labor, extrajudicial imprisonment by hundreds of guards, intimidation of their family and then finally be brutally executed.
Quoting: “A report published by the U.S. Department of Justice on September 15, 2011, revealed that in 2010 the U.S. residents aged 12 and above experienced 3.8 million violent victimizations, 1.4 million serious violent victimizations, 14.8 million property victimizations and 138,000 personal thefts.” Can you put that into perspective for us?
“He victimized my property. Ouch! My human rights!” I find it disturbing to personify lawns. It just makes cutting the grass tragic. Also, I was in America for 2010, and I am at least responsible for nine of the above figures, so, I will not throw stones… because, apparently, that’s a human rights violation and a victimization.
It seems like homicides are becoming an epidemic that threatens to touch every household in America. For example, according to the report, “Just four weeks into 2011, San Francisco saw eight homicides — compared with five during the same time of the previous year.”
Well, it’s hardly every household. As a matter of fact, assuming that every person who was murdered had at least three people who loved them (which is more than I have and a stretch considering most people who get murdered tend to be dicks), then the amount of people touched by murder in a single year would be approximately 0.00015%. If no one loved them, then it would be 0.00005%. Hardly an epidemic. I’m not defending murder, though. After reading a week of editorials in the Global Times, I can see the merit in it.
Not to mention school bullying. Have you seen the pernicious effects of school bullying, and, more to the point, can you comment on this jackknife powerbomb?
Does the Chinese government think there is anyone on the other side of this issue? Is there a pro-wedgie lobby I don’t know about? The world is full of bullies, and the presence of anti-bullying campaigns in America is at least proof of trying to put a stop to it. Frankly, if the US would have just not published figures on this, it would have never appeared in the report. Trying to fix something amounts to human rights violations, apparently. Of course, we would all like to live in a world without bullying, but without bullying, we would be living in a country called the People’s Republic of Candy, and it would actually be a republic. Sadly, this is not the case.
With regard to the powerbomb: poorly executed. The trick with powerbombs is to change momentum while the powerbombee is at a moment of weightlessness or to rest them on your shoulders for maximum downward velocity.
What are your thoughts on the fact that Americans own guns?
I think, as you can see from the prison population in America, that there are a lot of assholes in the USA. But you can’t give guns to the nice people and take the guns away from the assholes because that’s profiling. Honestly, gun ownership in America is stupid. But, hey, that’s how Americans like to do things, and I say this meaning “Americans,” not some vague “America.” Americans like guns. They’re dumb, but they like them. Thus, the American government can’t pry them from their cold dead hands, which are cold and dead because they have been shot. Also, Americans are really fat. It’s just too difficult to stab someone with pudgy arms. But — and I know this to be a fact — you can level a rifle on your belly, and, if you don’t breathe, you can hit a raccoon in the eye from 100 yards.
Let’s play a little word association. Occupy Wall Street.
Naked hippie women.
Naked woman in a hat.
Naked women in communal showers.
Depressed naked women.
Exotic naked women.
Naked communist women.
This is an election year in the US. What effect do you think China’s human rights report will have on President Obama’s chances of getting reelected?
None. The only people stupid enough to put stock in the report are people who think it is a genuine report from China think tanks rather than a propaganda response to the State Department’s Human Rights Report. On that side, you’ve basically got people who believe in aromatherapy and/or ghosts. These people either don’t vote, or vote for tree people and/or racists.
The report’s authors are correct that the US has problems of its own. But I’m surprised that China would resort to such snark to prove a point, and a point that, I should say, is reached through questionable methodology, against a State Department report that is specifically for policymaking and information. Do you think China’s report serves not to enhance its position but weaken it vis-a-vis its own human rights record?
Really? Surprised are you? Look, China’s media is the laughing stock of the world. They’re petty, cruel, predictable and oddly pathetic, second only to North Korea. They’ve been doing this report since 2003, you know, the year Bad Boys II was released. This has nothing to do with enhancing China’s position. China’s relationship with human rights seems to get more complicated every year. They used to just lie about it and say everything was great. Then they seemed convinced that they had a different version of human rights. When the media finally started reporting human rights abuses, it was related to how great China was at fixing it. It seems increasingly clear that China is simply at war with the concept human rights. I know that sounds ridiculous, but they block human rights websites. Why? What could you possibly gain from that? Why, of all the Japanese girls peeing on each other and racist Swedes on the Internet, is the enemy human rights? More to your point, how is anyone else supposed to view that? There is no way the Chinese government can defend decisions to limit information on human rights? So, no, this does not accomplish their goal of discrediting the most important concept of compassion ever devised. I wish I could say that it would all end in failure, but the human race is stupid and will grab at any chance it can to be a bastard.
Finally… is there anything else you would like to add?
TAR Nation writes the BJC column To Serve People, which you can find here every Monday.