The Shame of the USA, Not Just Champagne

Last year China finally recognised Champagne’s intellectual property status. Hooray! The USA, along with Russia, Argentina and Brazil still refuse to recognise the protected status, the intellectual property of the wine growers from the Champagne region of France. A reflection for me of much that I find problematic in the US. An attitude that says “as an American I can do what the hell want! Just because I am American.” All Americans? No, of course notI One only has to notice the battles and fracturing that is happening in the US now between, broadly, those who see the social changes as not only inevitable but also good, and those who seek to entrench themselves in the past, mythical or otherwise.

I have been watching with incredulity the anti-children protests happening on the southern border of the USA. I am also proud of the counter protests, protests welcoming these exhausted, frightened human beings, these children, fleeing violence and disorder in their own countries. But unfortunately there are enough ugly, ignorant protests happening that I feel the need to say something.
The US is sometimes known for not respecting international laws and regulations, and not just about champagne. Torture comes to mind of course. But the current situation with children and mothers arriving at the border and the response of some Americans and their politicians again brings into focus American’s belief in their special status. There are refugees and asylum seekers all over the world, and many countries, less able than the US accept many more than the US and its citizens are willing to accept. Yet this refusal is against not only International law but even under American Law these refugees have a strong case for asylum. Yet what is happening is a push to deny such status to these kids and to accelerate the deportation, contrary to international law. I feel ashamed. If this were happening somewhere else americans would be encouraging the receiving countries to accept the migrants, they would be talking about moral obligation, etc;, etc. But on their own border, a different case!

Just a reminder :

“The 1951 Refugee Convention spells out that a refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”

 

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