It has become a full-time occupation for many in Washington to badger regular Americans about the continuous need to address the consequences of slavery. The new Biden administration has promised to promote “racial equity” throughout all levels of government.
On June 19th, the last slaves in the United States were informed of their freedom. While this beautiful event in American history was elevated to a government holiday under the less laudable umbrella of the Black Lives Matter “racial reckoning,” it is still worthy of celebration.
This makes the meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese President Xi Jinping unexpected. On Juneteenth, the day of remembrance our leaders requested be established to reflect on the atrocities of slavery, Blinken met with the head of one of the world’s most prolific slave-holding states.
More than a hundred thousand Uyghur Muslims and other members of ethnic minorities are being held in concentration camps in China, where they are subjected to torture, forced labor, and sterilization. Slave labor is used to manufacture anything from plastics and textiles to foodstuffs.
Since Biden assumed office, Blinken has been the highest-ranking American official to visit the country. He met Xi Jinping and bowed down to him and the Chinese government. The goal was to eliminate obstacles to further cooperation between the two nations.
Blinken said he brought up the Uyghurs but didn’t press the matter. Attacking China for its human rights abuses is counterproductive if easing tensions is the aim.
Regarding U.S.-China relations, liberals tend to take a more theoretical and distant stance. The collapse of communism was supposed to signal the end of history, the final victory of liberal democracy against authoritarianism. China’s assimilation of Western norms was inevitable; the only issue was when. The “experts” told us that the process would go faster if we kept bringing them into the global economy and regulatory framework. Even though any objective observer has debunked this theory, many in Washington refuse to let go of it.
Maybe they’re true believers, or maybe they just don’t want to be incorrect.
Nonetheless, Juneteenth is a significant American holiday because it allows for some introspection into the ludicrousness of this hypocrisy.