When most Americans hear of human rights abuses, they likely think of atrocities in some far off corner of the globe. And when Americans consider the idea of democracy, it's probably accurate to say that they think of our government as a model to be emulated.
The reality, of course, is more complicated. Abuses against individuals' basic rights also occur regularly here in the United States, and our money-saturated political system hardly deserves the title 'democracy.'
When it comes to human rights defense and the basic ideal of citizen rule, the United States has room for improvement. The racial inequalities of police persecution and criminal sentencing, our reliance on capital punishment, abuses against immigrants, the denial of labor rights, and the controversies surrounding the basic mechamisms of our democracy reveal the urgency for reform.
Flag by Shi-Zhe Yung, Pratt Institute, NY, NY