North Korea is joining a chorus of countries with poor human rights records in criticizing the U.S. for hypocrisy over the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.
The country's foreign ministry told the A.F.P: (emphasis ours)
The US is indeed a country wantonly violating human rights where people are subject to discrimination and humiliation due to their race, and are in constant fear that they may get shot at any moment ... It should not seek solutions to its problems in suppressing demonstrators, but bring to light the real picture of the American society, a graveyard of human rights, and have a correct understanding of what genuine human rights are like and how they should be guaranteed. The US had better ... mind its own business, instead of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
That's right, North Korea. A country that, in February, the United Nations named "without any parallel in the contemporary world" in terms of human rights abuses, called the United States a "graveyard of human rights." And North Korea isn't alone. China, Egypt, and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have all called out the United States for the violence against protesters in Ferguson.
Last week, The Global Times, a state-influenced Chinese tabloid wrote "It's ironic that the U.S., with its brutal manner of assimilating minorities, never ceases to accuse China and countries like it of violating the rights of minorities." Russia's Foreign Ministry, who recently oversaw the invasion and annexation of Crimea in Ukraine, echoed Chinese sentiments in comments to USA Today.
I would like to advise the American leaders to pay more attention to restoring order in their country before imposing its dubious experience on other states."
Even Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the hostile Iranian supreme leader, has chastised the U.S. over Ferguson, tweeting, "You who claim the #leadership of the world, can you claim that African-Americans have the same rights as the whites? #Ferguson."
Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf brushed off Egypt's criticism: "We here in the United States will put our record for confronting our problems transparently and honestly and openly up against any other countries in the world."
Seeing the North Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Iranian criticisms as anything more than laughably un-self aware propaganda campaigns is a stretch, but the question remains as to whether or not international condemnation of the events in Ferguson should raise alarm bells about how our county is seen abroad.
As Zach Goldhammer wrote in his essay, The Whole World Is Watching Ferguson, its not just our enemies that are concerned about Ferguson.
Palestinians are tweeting advice to Ferguson protesters about how to deal with tear gas. Tibetan monks have traveled to Missouri and assumed the "hands up, don't shoot" pose in solidarity with the demonstrators. Amnesty International, which dispatched a delegation to Ferguson, has called for independent investigations into the killing of Michael Brown and condemned Nixon's curfew tactic as akin to "dictators ... quelling dissent and silencing protesters."
When images of police beating back rioters, sitting atop of military tanks, and spraying tear gas into crowds of protestors are being seen around the world, a look at the mirror isn't the worst thing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.