U.S. Human Rights Violations
The idea that human rights are a Western conception is a topic of contemporary debate. Given the democratic ideals of human rights, it seems plausible that the concept of human rights did in fact originate in the West. The United States for example, prides itself on the fundamental principle that individual rights and freedoms of all people are to be respected and protected. Thus, it might be difficult for some Americans to think of the United States as a place where human rights violations occur. Historically, the United States has experienced periods when human rights violations occurred. These violations seemed to occur mostly as a result of minority groups being excluded. For example, think of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Given the U.S. principles of equality and due process, the international community may have perceived the United States as contradicting its founding principles.
To prepare for this Discussion:
• Review Chapters 5 and 14 in your course text, Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice and consider Western (U.S) and non-Western conceptions of human rights.
• Review the article "USA: Investigation, Prosecution, Remedy, Accountability for Human Rights Violations in the 'War on Terror'" and focus on the issues of human rights and the rule of law.
• Review the article "Human Rights in the United States" on the Amnesty International website. Take note of the various examples of U.S. human rights violations cited.
• Select one human rights violation in the United States to use for this Discussion.
• Think of one way in which the violation you selected might affect the global perception of the United States.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 a brief description of the human rights violation you selected. Then explain one way in which the human rights violation might affect the global perception of the United States. Be specific.