In March 2013, new leadership assumed power in China. Since than, according to the Human Rights Watch’s 2015 country report, “authorities have also unleashed an extraordinary assault on basic human rights and their defenders with a ferocity unseen in recent years—an alarming sign given that the current leadership will likely remain in power through 2023.” Via the Human Rights Watch:
“Activists increasingly face arbitrary detention, imprisonment, commitment to psychiatric facilities, or house arrest. Physical abuse, harassment, and intimidation are routine.”
The report goes on to list gross, ongoing violations to basic human rights ranging from religious and political persecution, violations to women’s reproductive rights, discrimination against the disabled, and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
The Humans Right Watch clearly states that the new Chinese government is assaulting basic human rights with “ferocity unseen in recent years.” But, if one takes Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s word for it, the Human Right Watch’s 2015 report is wrong.
Rather, according to Murray’s analysis of the situation (and we have no idea how he came to his conclusion), China is “moving forward, unlike North Carolina.”
Murray, responding to widespread criticism labeling his upcoming trip to China as hypocritical given his ban on travel to our country’s own states like North Carolina, decided to defend the atrocious human rights situation in China by bashing North Carolina. Here’s what he said on KIRO Radio:
“I don’t think you can make the connection between people who are trying to turn back 50 years of civil rights legislation in the United States and actually enact legislation that would discriminate, versus a country that is moving away from legal discrimination of LGBT people…
“[China] is hardly a heaven for gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender people,” Murray said. However, “this is a country moving slowly in the right direction.
“I’m quite surprised by — not exactly sure where this criticism is coming from,” he continued. “I think if I were traveling to Gaza or Egypt, where gays and lesbians are being persecuted and executed … that would be a different situation. But it seems like there’s a misunderstanding about the slow progress — but progress — that China and, really, many Asian countries are beginning to make.”
Murray’s statement is bizarre and highly problematic. Attempting to justify the unjustifiable, Murray appears to have resorted to making up an alternate reality in which China — all of a sudden — is going the “right direction” in terms of human rights. Perhaps Murray should contact the Human Rights Watch and let them know of the latest developments in China.
Never mind that he is pushing a flawed analysis of the North Carolina’s law (a smear campaign meant to draw attention and funding to the Democrat gubernatorial candidate), the fact that Murray is willing to overlook a disturbing reality in order justify his grandstanding reveals just how far liberals are willing to go for the sake of their false narrative.
Last month, a judge in China ruled against a gay couple in the country’s first same-sex marriage case and another judge ruled against a transgender man in the first ever transgender workplace-discrimination case. Despite the defeats, the fact that the cases were allowed to come to court (though not without great difficulty) was seen as victories in themselves.
But, even if it can be argued that China is making “slow progress” in terms of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights (a great leap considering the authoritarian nature of the government), making that argument overlooks a whole plethora of other human rights violations.
To put it in perspective, China is a place that practices forced insertion of intrauterine devices and forced abortion to control women’s reproduction. Additionally, one in four children with disabilities are excluded from attending school due to discrimination. Official guidelines allow universities to “deny enrollment in certain subjects if the applicants have certain disabilities.”
Yet, Murray feels comfortable speaking positively of human rights in China in the same breath as he attacks a fellow free state in the United States. More, he claims to be “quite surprised” over the criticism he has received.
Rather than “surprised,” Murray should be ashamed. Of course, he isn’t because he rationalizes his stunning hypocrisy with the delusional reasoning that has come to characterize Seattle liberals.