“Human Rights” Issue and Western – American Culture of Hypocrisy

In January 19, 2011, during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s press conference at the White House, American reporters, in addition to President Barrack Obama’s showy pressure on so-called “the rights issues,” specifically the cases of Dalai Lama and Liu Xiaobo in a private setting, pressed President Hu. As reported in the Washington Post, titled, “Hu Jintao meets the free press,” they challenged him as if they competed who’re more aggressive or nastier than others when they raised the “rights” question.

Like the Washington Post article, overall attitudes, contents, and styles of most mainstream American media reports are very much identical, almost uniformly. Their overall character is, as it’s been very much identical throughout the histories of US and its Western allies, hypocritical. In fact, this is one of their most stereotypical cultural features, particularly among politicians, (corporate) media, and religious (fundamental Christian) people.

Whenever they approach to this so-called “human rights” issue, their culture of hypocrisy reemerges or is conveniently reemployed. Their hypocrisy as an unconscious culture, backed up by culture of forgetfulness on their own history of “human rights abuses” (as distinctively as in the cases of history of black slave trade and genocidal history of Native-American people throughout their quincentennial history of colonial aggressions, masscares and the subsequent dominations), is geared into action or function.

This self-righteous thereby self-destructive culture of hypocrisy has been evermore present in their histories. It’s been particularly omnipresent whenever they had to deal with their either strategic rivalries (e.g., China, Russia) or enemies (e.g., Cuba, North Korea, Iran, etc.) or even with difficult “preys” (e.g., Venezuela, Sudan, etc.). Whenever their goals are unmet or unfulfilled, or their interests are not obtained, particularly when their bully military threats and/or aggressions don’t work, they then take out their most stereotypical “weapon,” i.e., the “human rights” card and wield it both arrogantly and self-righteously.

The human rights issue as a political culture of hypocrisy is played out unconsciously both in their daily politics and international relations. Particularly, their “double standard” applications of “human rights” to others, while completely neglecting their own histories of human rights abuse, are notoriously hypocritical. In fact, they really don’t care other peoples’ “fundamental social/communal rights” in terms of  peace, security, survival, food, shelter, education, medical care, employment, equal sociopolitical rights and wealth/resource distribution, national sovereignty and independence, etc.

Undoubtedly, among the world’s majority population, there seem not many disagreements if someone argues that the “US has one of the worst human rights records.” As well-documented, throughout 60s, 70s, 80s and afterwards as well, they’d  repeatedly sponsored, installed, supported, funded, and even trained a number of third world countries as “America’s client nations” whose human rights records were undisputedly the worst, the most horrible, particularly during military dictatorships in the cases of South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, etc.  

The sitting American president, senators, house representatives, the corporate media and their think-tanks uniformly challenged the visiting Chinese president as their guest to their own turf with the latter’s “human rights” issue. This whole episode first and foremost seems very much hypocritical. Majority populations around the world seem laugh in dismay or disbelief.

They are once again reminded of America’s very much “arrogant, judgmental and self-righteous” culture of hypocrisy. In fact, this culture of hypocrisy is the one that has consistently existed ever since Christopher Columbus’ first footage in 1492 in a North American shore.

Dr. Kiyul Chung (Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University/Editor-in-chief, The 4th Media)

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