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The American Human Rights Hypocrisy Part 1: Economic and Social Apartheid

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Washington DC, January 11, 2014 - 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?

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Cory Clark is a freelance photojournalist and writer focused on civil and human rights issues, social justice and politics. He is a regular contributor with Getty Images, AP and AFP. His work has appeared in, The Guardian, Fortune (more...)

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