Whenever a U.S. official speaks with a foreign diplomat, there’s always the chance that something will be lost in translation.  But there wasn’t much to misinterpret about Steve Posner’s comments to Chinese officials last week.

During two days of talks about human rights, the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy Human Rights and Labor thought he could break the ice by citing the recent Arizona immigration law as an example of “racial discrimination” here in the United States:

“We brought it up early and often.  It was mentioned in the first session and as a troubling trend in our society, and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination.  And these are issues very much being debated in our own society.”

Perhaps the comments put China at ease, but it rightly upset a lot of Americans here at home, who recognize that China ranks among the worst human rights violators in the world.