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Skift earlier this week published a column about the largely unexamined yet powerful double standard that is often applied when deciding what destinations are “safe” and “unsafe” in the wake of a tragedy or violence.
While the U.S. State Department regularly issues elevated travel advisories for countries with a seemingly minor threat levels — see level two warnings for France, Germany, and the UK — America is rarely thought of as “unsafe” by the global community, despite the fact it has experienced more than 250 mass shootings since the beginning of the year.
This week, some authorities changed course. Throughout the week, several other warnings have been issued for travelers going to the U.S., cautioning them to be aware of the threat of random, uncontrolled gun violence — some even going so far as to describe these tragedies as motivated by racial discrimination and hate. Below, we’ve collected a list of those new warnings. We will update this post if and when more are issued.
As reported in our original piece, Uruguay issued a travel warning on Monday to its citizens traveling to the U.S. citing “growing indiscriminate violence, mostly for hate crimes” and the “the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population.” According to the Washington Post, this was thought to be somewhat retaliatory, as on Aug. 2, the State Department increased its warning level for U.S. citizens headed to the nation. Travel advisories are often a tit-for-tat measure, but the language of Uruguay’s was very clear in its repudiation of America’s gun violence.
Uruguay today issued a travel warning to its citizens visting the United States of America, citing “growing violence” fueled by “racism and discrimination” that American “authorities are unable to prevent” due to “indiscriminate” gun ownership. Let that sink in for a minute. pic.twitter.com/M0u6520caL
— Rep. Dean Phillips (@RepDeanPhillips) August 5, 2019
Also cited in our piece, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry cited the weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton as reason for Venezuelans to take extreme caution and perhaps even cancel or postpone trips to the U.S. A statement from Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza cited racial discrimination as being at the root of these attacks:
“These growing acts of violence have found echo and sustenance in the speeches and actions impregnated with racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations pronounced and executed from the supremacist elite that hold political power in Washington.”
For diplomatic context, it’s worth noting that the U.S. government does not recognize the current Venezuelan administration of Nicolás Maduro as being legitimate.
On Wednesday, human rights campaign group Amnesty International issued its own worldwide warning for all travelers and visitors to the U.S. They noted that travelers could be more at risk of being targeted by gun violence depending on their “gender identity, race, country of origin, ethnic background, or sexual orientation.”
Amnesty International today issued a travel warning calling for travelers and visitors to the United States to exercise extreme caution due to rampant gun violence, which has become so prevalent in the US that it amounts to a human rights crisis. https://t.co/bsVsiBOO5K pic.twitter.com/CVWEyVzR3c
— Amnesty International (@amnestyusa) August 7, 2019
Consulate general of Japan in Detroit
Japan’s consulate in Detroit, Michigan issued a statement after the Dayton shooting that Japanese residents in the U.S. should “be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States, a gun society, and continue to pay close attention to safety measures.” (Translation from Google Translate)