25 November 2014   2 comments

Reaction to the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO in the killing of Michael Brown last August has been largely negative.  But the international repercussions of the incident have been quite damaging to the US’s reputation.  It is difficult to get a representative sample of opinions from overseas, but a small sampling of the reactions suggests that the US is no longer regarded as the paragon of human rights.   The event has clearly diminished America’s “soft” power.  France’s Justice Minister Christiane Taubira quoted Bob Marley’s song, “I Shot the Sheriff” in a tweet:  “Kill them before they grow.”

While protests are going on in the US, the Hong Kong Government is trying to remove protesters from the streets.  The negotiations between the government and the protesters have yielded no agreement, and the protests are entering a new phase.  Apparently the protesters are resorting to social media and trying a form of “mobile” protests, moving from street to street.  The cat-and-mouse game will definitely tax both sides.

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Posted November 26, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “25 November 2014

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  1. Was the U.S. really seen internationally as the “paragon of human rights” prior to this incident? Our incarceration numbers are staggering, we imprison people for years for nonviolent crimes, we’ve implemented a system of mass surveillance on our own citizens, and we torture to no real identifiable end at Guantanamo Bay. I’d say we, as a nation, are completely unfit to champion human rights until each of those glaring issues are addressed.

    • Actually, no country has ever been a “paragon” of human rights. However, there is a great disparity among nations in terms of observing human rights. For a very long time, the US was regarded as a nation that had made a substantial commitment to human rights, notwithstanding its failures in the area of civil rights. Since 11 September 2001, many in other countries have, as you rightly point out, lamented its many lapses. The question in the minds of many, Americans and non-Americans, is whether these newest failures are aberrations or whether they have become a permanent part of the US system. I suspect that the US could regain some of its attractiveness if it were to change substantially its post 9/11 policies.

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