How America’s Credibility Gap Hurts the Defense of Rights Abroad

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tags: racism, American History, international relations

“America the irrelevant.” That is the message the United States risks conveying in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, economic collapse, and racism dominating 2020. Even before these recent events, Washington was hardly the beacon of stellar governance. But it is fresh incidents of racism, a problem in American society for hundreds of years, that could irreparably harm U.S. credibility to defend fundamental rights abroad.

Slavery and its evil twin, racism, define the past and the present in the United States. Americans struggled to evolve beyond these two legacies, even as adoption of the Reconstruction amendments to the U.S. constitution and a powerful civil rights movement led to legal reform and moral uplifting since the 1950s. Along the way, Jim Crow laws set the stage for racist policies; and segregation, discrimination, mass incarceration, and police brutality have daily violated the bedrock principle that “all men [humanity] are created equal.”

Footage showing the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day could ultimately transform the country, provided that peaceful protests, police reform, legislative initiatives, and principled leadership take hold. But for now, circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death deny the United States the moral high ground.

Footage showing the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day could ultimately transform the country, provided that peaceful protests, police reform, legislative initiatives, and principled leadership take hold. But for now, circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death deny the United States the moral high ground.

Read entire article at Council on Foreign Relations