Monday, July 30, 2018

We Have Lost Our Place

When former President Jimmy Carter spoke at a gathering at the Carter Center in Atlanta, he declared that the US had lost its place as a champion of human rights.  "We should be the champion of human rights. We're a superpower, not based solely on military power; part of that definition should be a commitment to human rights."

Echoing what many others have thought, Carter turned his attention to the immigration situation.  "We need a comprehensive bill that has bipartisan support. Immigrants need to have a clear picture of what will happen to them when they come here. Clarification of US law is most important."  Few would argue that an immigration law overhaul is needed.  But before we can reach a bipartisan agreement,  Congress must find the allusive and avoided middle-way.

Mr. Carter is hopeful that we can recover our standing in the human rights community.  But in order to do so, the US must demonstrate a long term commitment to human rights.  

"We still have a chance to restore that position, but if we retain our current position of indifference, we only encourage human rights violators. We have abandoned our position as a government."
In the meantime, at least one international group is considering withdrawing its international meeting from the US because of US human rights violations. The International Aids Conference scheduled to be held in San Francisco in 2020 may be moved to a non-US location.  A growing movement is demanding relocation due to hostile Trump policies, including those that would restrict entry for some attendees.

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