Americans give selves low human rights marks

H. C. Covington (rdc01@sprynet.com)
Thu, 11 Dec 1997 07:59:43 -0600


H. C. Sonny Covington @ I CAN! America
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Americans give selves low human rights marks


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States, which grades human
rights records of other countries, won low marks from its own
people for a wide range of social failings, according to a poll
released Wednesday.
Almost two-thirds of those polled, or 63 percent, said that
the poor were usually discriminated against in U.S. society, the
Peter D. Hart Research Associates survey found.
Half or more of the 1,004 adults surveyed last month also
named the disabled, the elderly, gays and lesbians and native
Americans as routinely discriminated against, the poll showed. 
Forty-one percent of those questioned said black Americans
routinely suffered discrimination, and 70 percent of blacks
themselves said they felt discriminated against.
``The survey shows we have human rights problems right here
in the United States,'' said Lyn Beth Neylon, director of Human
Rights U.S.A., which commissioned the poll to mark the
anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The survey found that only eight percent of U.S. adults and
four percent of teenagers in the 11th and 12th grades were aware
of and could name the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
adopted by the United Nations in 1948 to spell out the
fundamental rights of all people.
In grading their nation's performance, three in four
Americans said that if the country's founding fathers returned
today they would be ``disappointed with the way things are going
in the country,'' Hart told a news conference.
He said Americans felt U.S. social programs fell short in
affordable health care, environmental protection and helping the
poor.
In addition, the survey pointed to a country whose people
''lack respect for one another, are intolerant of those who are
different from themselves, and who fail to stand up against
racism and prejudice,'' a summary of key findings said.
Human Rights U.S.A. is a a national drive to promote action
to guarantee fundamental rights for all Americans. It is being
implemented by Amnesty International USA; the Center for Human
Rights Education; Partners in Human Rights Education; and Street
Law, formerly the National Institute for Citizen Education in
the Law.
^REUTERS@