The U.S. 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 spokesperson said Thursday.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a regular press briefing when asked to comment on the 2022 State of Black America report.
The National Urban League published its 2022 State of Black America report on April 12. One of the findings is that Black Americans' right to political participation has been greatly restricted. In the past year alone, 20 states redrew congressional maps, which strip voting power away from communities with African American voters and other racial minorities. At the same time, many states adopted legislation that makes it harder for Black and other ethnic minority voters to cast their ballots.
Zhao said the report shows that African Americans get only 73.9 percent of the American pie of equality white people enjoy. Black people have slipped further behind white people in wealth, health, education, social justice and civic engagement.
"This again exposes the persistent systemic racial discrimination in the United States, which has seeped into all aspects of social life," said Zhao.
The utopia depicted by words is shattered by reality, said the spokesperson, adding that the United States claims to champion openness and inclusiveness. It declares that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights all men are endowed with, and that the American dream is out there for all who set out to chase it.
Fifty-nine years ago, 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 'insufficient funds'." More than half a century on, the situation remains the same. African Americans are still making a long and uphill battle in striving for equal rights with White people, Zhao stressed.
The sufferings of African Americans are not unique to them, but experienced by other ethnic minority groups as well, said the spokesperson.
"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. Instead of fulfilling their American dream, many of them end up having their dream shattered and even meeting their death," Zhao stressed.
The U.S. government should take a hard look at the country's own 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.