Chinese foreign ministry calls on US to protect equal rights

Chinese foreign ministry calls on US to protect equal rights

Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning fast food restaurant, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, broke out in Minneapolis for a third night. JOHNMINCHILLO AP BEIJING - The US government should earnestly protect the equal and lawful rights of African Americans and other ethnic minorities, and turn rhetoric about human rights and equality into reality, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Thursday.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made remarks at a regular press briefing when asked to comment on the 2022 State of Black America report.

The National Urban League released its 2022 State of Black America report on April 12. One of the findings was that Black Americans' right to political participation has been severely restricted. In the past year, 20 states redrew congressional maps, which strip voting power away from communities with African American voters and other racial minorities. Many states have adopted legislation that makes it harder for Black and other ethnic minority voters to cast their ballots.

The report shows that African Americans get only 73.9 percent of the American pie of equality that white people enjoy. Black people have slipped further behind white people in wealth, health, education, social justice and civic engagement.

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This exposes the persistent systemic racism in the United States, which has been seen in all aspects of social life, said Zhao.

The utopia depicted by words is shattered by reality, said the spokesperson, who said that the United States claims to champion openness and inclusiveness. It declares that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights that all men are endowed with, and that the American dream is out there for all who set out to chase it.

Martin Luther King Jr. said in his I Have a Dream speech that America has given its colored people a bad check, a check that has come back marked as 'insufficient funds'. The situation remains the same over the past half a century. Zhao stressed that African Americans are still making a long and uphill battle in striving for equal rights with White people.

The sufferings of African Americans are not unique to them, but they are experienced by other ethnic minority groups as well, said the spokesperson.

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Overshadowed by systemic racial discrimination featuring discriminatory treatment and violence in law enforcement, ethnic minorities in the United States live under unease, inequality and fear. Rather than fulfilling their American dream, many of them end up having their dream shattered and even meeting their death, Zhao stressed.

The US government should take a hard look at the country's human rights issues, earnestly protect the equal and lawful rights of African Americans and other ethnic minorities, and square rhetoric about human rights and equality with reality for the tangible benefits of each and every American people, the spokesperson said.