Protests over the death of George Floyd have now spread around the world. Today the NY Times reports that protesters in Berlin, Paris, London, and Toronto have held marches, partly prompted by Floyd’s death but also connecting his death to local cases where minorities have been killed by police. But for America’s opponents on the world stage, the incident has become an opportunity to turn the tables on U.S. which frequently calls on China and Iran to respect human rights.
In China, where officials have chafed at Mr. Trump’s criticism of they handled the coronavirus outbreak, the state-run news media heavily featured reports about Mr. Floyd’s death and portrayed the protests as another sign of America’s decline. The violent protests were covered extensively in the news media and on the social media platform Weibo. “BunkerBoy” became a trending topic after reports that Secret Service agents rushed Mr. Trump to a bunker on Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House.
Pierre Haski, a noted French journalist, commented on France Inter on Monday: “Beijing could not have hoped for a better gift. The country that designates China as the culprit of all evils is making headlines around the world with the urban riots.”
When an American official on Saturday attacked the ruling Communist Party on Twitter for moving to impose national security legislation to quash dissent in Hong Kong, a spokeswoman for the Chinese government fired back with a popular refrain among protesters in the United States.
"I can't breathe." pic.twitter.com/UXHgXMT0lk
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) May 30, 2020
China does not care about human rights, obviously. This is the country that has rounded up at least a million Muslims and put them in re-education camps where they are forced to memorize Chinese propaganda for hours every day or be beaten for not doing so. This is the country that has ‘disappeared‘ doctors and independent reporters who tried to tell the world about the country’s coronavirus response. It’s the country that just effectively ended independent government for 7.5 million people in Hong Kong. It’s the country that just recently launched a wave of anti-foreigner and indeed anti-African sentiment after portraying all cases of the coronavirus as coming from traveling foreigners.
China doesn’t care about George Floyd or rights for minorities, it cares about making Xi Jinping and the communist party look strong. The riots in American cities are just another opportunity to do that. Iran is also getting in on the act.
Some don’t think #BlackLivesMatter.
To those of us who do: it is long overdue for the entire world to wage war against racism.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) May 30, 2020
In case you’ve forgotten how Iran handles protesters, let me remind you. It usually involves shutting off the internet and then firing live ammunition at protesters. Just the other day, Iran admitted to killing hundreds of protesters.
#Iran‘s Interior Minister implicitly suggested that around 200 to 225 people were killed in November 2019 protests, by saying “20% of those who died, more than 40 to 45 people, were innocent & considered ‘martyrs’ who were killed by guns that didn’t belong to our security forces” pic.twitter.com/mUXsk6JyZX
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) May 31, 2020
By the way, those numbers they are belatedly admitting to are false. Reuters reported the actual total is probably close to 1,500 dead. And yet, here’s Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman making a weepy speech (in English) about the American protests today.
Ugly as f*k. Hypocrisy at its best. Iran’s fm spokesman reading the message to the American nation with such sorrow at the same day iran admitted killing 230 people in three days of protests several months ago. Real number is reported to be 1500.#BLACK_LIVES_MATTER #dcblackout pic.twitter.com/YgBjSlyjY6
— Aziz🏳️🌈 (@azizznesin) June 1, 2020