Ms. Amna Munir
The United States of America considers itself to shape world politics, and democratic structure. It has seen massive economic growth after the industrial revolution, from being a colonial economy, to an independent agricultural state to becoming a complex industrial economy. However, with the discoveries and inventions in the 19th century, Americans readily adopted the money-making lifestyle because of the flawed class structure.
Where rapid economic development was a success for the US, they have their share of longstanding challenges. Even after the official abolition of slavery, racism was deep-rooted in their society which generated social imparities. Class fluidity was only for the white. People of color were excluded from all-important decision-making processes. They were alienated in a land where they belonged. Though policymakers ruled out racism in all forms, lack of active efforts to enforce the laws and bring about change widened the gap between black and white. Hate crimes against black increased and were reported all across the country.
United States has had a democracy that concentrates power and influence to a certain segment of the society, leaving many out of the decision-making process. According to a new Center for American Progress analysis 9.5 million American adults lacked full voting rights in 2016, most of which were people of color. The lack of right to vote precisely means exclusion from the political process, which translates into the policy making process. Due to their inability to vote, the Black people are unable to choose people with their shared beliefs and values for offices of high power. Ultimately, these all issues led to ambiguous policies further deepening racism and exclusion of people of color.
People have faced systematic exclusion from obtaining and retaining their own homes and accessing affordable housing for years. Where policy makers have tried to reduce barriers in home owning and affordable housing, this has only benefitted the white. This is evident from the data that in the Nation’s capital Washington DC, from 2000-2013, 20,000 African Americans were displaced, which happens to be the highest rate of gentrification. Although, the US is very vocal about their efforts of eradicating racism and their dream of an equal, free and fair country, the statistics show otherwise. Hence, the efforts made so far are negligible and seem to be a mere façade.
At the same time, Islamophobia is at an all-time high in the United States, with hate crimes being reported all across the country. Even though the FBI report for hate crimes showed 110 anti-Muslim incidents in 2020, down from 180 in 2019, it is considered untrustworthy. Crime report submission to the FBI is voluntary and many crimes go unreported to the FBI. Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in May 2022, reported a 9% increase in the complaints filed by American Muslims. “CAIR received a total of 6,720 complaints nationwide involving a range of issues including immigration and travel, discrimination, law enforcement and government overreach, hate and bias incidents, school incidents, and anti-BDS/free speech,” the report said.
United States has systematic ambiguous policies for certain domestic issues and they have so far not benefitted them. Despite their exponential economic growth, they have failed to deliver their promises of a free, fair state for all, in line with the American Dream. A country of such global stature as the United States, is assumed to have its internal policies well sorted out. US has had economic policies that worked in their favor and are exemplary for the world, but its social policies seem to need revamping.
Recently, United States has lost its legitimacy over moral grounds. With constant war waging foreign policies, ever increasing racism and Islamophobia internally, it has become seemingly difficult for the US to hold its moral stance. At the same time, China has risen to be the biggest economy in the world in a span of a few years. With China’s mutual trust and win-win cooperative policies revamped through Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), its active role is aiding regional countries’ and struggling economies. China has strengthened its moral grounds. China’s foreign policy throughout history has been non-confrontational that puts it at a benefit in the global politics. It has promoted peaceful growth and expansion in mere economic terms rather than war-waging tactics. Thus, United States must learn from China and revisit its domestic and foreign policies. It is evidently important to abolish ambiguous laws and take immediate, streamlined course of action to stay relevant in world politics.