In a heightened era of US belligerence under an overtly chauvinistic President and administration are we now seeing the total exposure of the USA’s hierarchical elites and their neo-colonial nature? Islamic Human Rights Commission convened a conference in London to unmask the more systemic problems that support and promote US exceptionalism.
This conference focused on the Americanisation and the praxis of human rights, arguing that they have become a tool of US-led foreign policy rather than a transformative discourse that seeks to liberate individuals, groups and, indeed, large sections of society who are oppressed by unjust systems. Speakers included Saeid Reza Ameli of the Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran; Tasneem Chopra – Consultant, Author & Activist; Sohail Daulatzai, a Documentary Film Maker & Author of Black Star Crescent.
The conference was convened in two parts with the first focusing on the Americanisation of human rights and the second looking at the US as a failed state. The US Model and Praxis of Human Rights was explored, and the panel discussed how US advocacy and their narrative has changed over the last fifty years. Speakers agreed that the US needs to change to tackle its manifest injustice in the contemporary era.
Also speaking was Ramon Grosfoguel from the University of California, Berkley; Sandew Hira – Founder of International Institute for Scientific Research, Saeed A Khan from Wayne State University, Michigan. Critical issues were raised by these panelists such as the institutionalisation of American exceptionalism in international organisations, for example in the UN, Security Council, World Bank, IMF, WTO.The supposed US ‘War on Terror’ , their War(s) on Drugs, the roll-out of COINTELPRO type measures and its impact on global human rights advocacy were also criticized for their hypocricy given the US propensity to put its economic greed above ethical policies.
The eminent Conference panel was completed by Mary Ryan of Virginia Tech, USA; Rajeesh Kumar – Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses, New Delhi and Laurens De Rooij from the University of Cape Town. The speakers highlighted examples of Americo-centrism and the double standards of American exceptionalism and their discourse on human rights in particular. The panel suggested that American exceptionalism was essentially a facilitator of US domination policy through the manipulation of the human rights narrative which has seen it promote an unethical globalisation of human rights. The conference highlighted a growing promotion of the Americanisation of human rights, hierarchical power structures as well as a plethora of divide and rule hate policies which benefited US geopolitical and economic objectives.
Evidence of the US as a failed state focused on how current modes of human rights narrative and praxis, in fact, masked internal injustices within their Prison Industrial Complex and Guantanamo. The Black and Latina narratives against racial discrimination, oppression and their struggle for equality and liberation were also analysed as examples of US human rights abuse. As one delegate concluded at the end of the event ” the time has come when America must rapidly transform its values through a more inclusive and spiritual vision, based upon a just sharing of the world’s resources.”
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