During Tuesday's episode of the ABC talk show "The View," host Sunny Hostin made a controversial comparison between the prison systems of the United States and China. Hostin, a woman of color with two black sons, said, "As a woman of color with a six-foot-two black kid in college and a five-foot-seven, five-foot-eight black kid in high school, I don't see that part of American exceptionalism. I'm sorry. I think this country has a lot of problems that could be solved. Yes, maybe they're putting Muslims in jail in...China; they're putting a lot more black people in jail here."
The following day, Kayleigh McEnany, co-host of "Outnumbered," criticized Hostin's comparison. McEnany stated, "She was putting the United States of America on the same moral plateau as China, who our own government has said is committing genocide, who the United Nations said is committing crimes against humanity. Since when is it okay to dismiss a genocide on a mainstream talk show?"
During Tuesday's episode of "The View," co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin discussed China's abysmal human rights record and claimed that if the U.S. is not the world's top superpower, it will be China. The Chinese Communist Party has long maintained that its re-education camps are voluntary, but it has been internationally recognized as a genocide due to its forced labor, sterilization, and killing of subjugated peoples.
Leaked documents and photos from 2022 have revealed that the camps are far from voluntary. According to a public database of the documents published by the Victims of Communist Memorial Foundation (VOC), the text of one 2017 speech from a high-ranking CCP official contained a shoot-to-kill order for anyone who attempted to escape.
"To compare the brutalization, the systemic torture and extermination of the Muslim Uyghurs there in China with this situation falls massively flat." - Emily Compagno
Co-host Sunny Hostin drew criticism for her comments that the Chinese internment of Muslims is not as bad as mass incarceration in the U.S. "To equate our country with China committing genocide is reprehensible, and you do not belong on a mainstream talk show in this country," responded "Outnumbered" co-host Kayleigh McEnany.
Co-host of "Outnumbered," Emily Compango, joined the chorus of critics who spoke out against Hostin's comments, condemning her for displaying "deep ignorance" on a widely watched show.
"As someone who has spent countless hours in federal and state prisons in this country, the issue I have with that comparison is that it undermines the attention she was trying to draw to the incarcerated population in the U.S. by making a completely absurd comparison," Compango remarked.
She went on to say, "While it is true that our prison system has significant issues that need addressing, including serving substandard food to inmates and having a flawed system, comparing the brutal and inhumane treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China with our situation here is a gross overstatement."
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Uyghur activists renewed their call last week for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate genocide against the ethnic minority group in China and demanded the arrest of Chinese President Xi Jinping for his alleged crimes.
However, the ICC has repeatedly rejected previous filings that sought to investigate reports of forced relocations, arbitrary arrests, detentions in concentration camps, medical experimentation, and other human rights abuses, including genocide, committed against the Uyghur people. The court has cited its lack of jurisdiction in China, as Beijing is not a signatory of the Rome Statute, which established the ICC in 1998.
Compagno and other co-hosts of "Outnumbered" emphasized the need for those who are the loudest critics of human rights abuses to take "responsibility" and speak out against the actions of China, including in businesses and professional sports.
"There is a failure of responsibility by people to take account of the position they hold on social media and the mainstream media to actually further the truth rather than capitulate to it," Compagno said, highlighting the importance of promoting accurate information and standing up for human rights, even when it may be difficult or unpopular to do so.