Amid the powerful ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests going on across the entire United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, President Donald Trump administration has come under severe criticism over the management of the crisis. As the protests that started in the US spread across the globe, US diplomats at missions overseas are struggling to position themselves in such unprecedented situations.
While some US ambassadors, including career diplomats in Foreign Service, have voiced their support to the protests escalating back home, many other diplomats are facing condemnation and critical response from foreign adversaries like China and Iran. As per media reports, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently questioned Hong Kong’s government’s move for rejecting peaceful vigil marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. However, he was met with outrage from critics who in response condemned the Trump administration’s brutal handling of the protests and assault on peaceful protesters. In the past few days, hundreds of demonstrators have been gathering and protesting outside the US embassies in Paris, London, Berlin among other places.
Interestingly, the State Department recently released a statement maintaining that the US is devoted to free speech and assembly, adding that taking human rights seriously, governments are open to addressing concerns and making improvements.
These demonstrations have erupted across the globe at a time when US ambassadors have been struggling to represent and defend the Trump government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic which has not only deteriorated the economy but has led to the death of over 1 lakh citizens from the disease.
Several former diplomats and agency officials have also raised their voices over difficulties being faced in defending the American governance to foreign nations amid the ongoing situation at home. Over 500 former ambassadors and civilian officers reportedly have signed a letter criticizing the Trump administration’s response to the countrywide protests and use of the military in confronting the peaceful demonstrations at Lafayette Square and the Lincoln Memorial.
In an unprecedented turn of events, US turmoil has stirred anti-government or pro-equality protests in a number of countries such as Russia and Iraq.