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“When it comes to human rights, the United States must practice at home what it preaches abroad."
The United States can proudly hold its head high as it joins the ranks with Iran and Myanmar in mistreating ethnic and racial minorities, according to a review performed by the United Nations. Their report, which was actually prepared before the events in Ferguson Missouri, is particularly prescient in the wake of the police crackdown and tactics seen there.
(Reuters) - The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record.

After examining the U.S. record? The crass nerve of these foreigners! No one has a right to examine our record except us! How dare they examine our record.

In preparing its report the CERD Committee took a broader view than, say, the entire American corporate media on racism in America:

"Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation, access to health care and housing," Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman, told a news briefing.
Well, this proves they are lying, doesn't it?  Because we don't hear a single thing about these so-called problems on our high-priced cable news stations. Discrimination in access to housing? Access to health care? Never heard about that on CNN. We do know that Brad and Angelina just got married.  And we know about the "Ice Bucket Challenge."  But there are certain things that just don't seem important enough to make it onto the network news. Like the fact that the white kids go to a white school with no metal detectors and new textbooks, while the black kids in their black school get frisked and have to share graduation gowns.
"The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities is an ongoing issue of concern and particularly in light of the shooting of Michael Brown," said Amir, an expert from Algeria.

"This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training of law enforcement officials."

Wait, didn't our Supreme Court just tell us race isn't a problem anymore? So we can ditch that 60's stuff, "Affirmative Action" and the  "Voting Rights Act?"  Huh, isn't this just what you'd expect from some guy named "Noureddine Amir" who works for the UN.  Let me tell you, if he shows his face in my town the police will pull him over in a heartbeat. And God help him if I feel "threatened' because I'll shoot his ass.
[T]he U.N. panel said "Stand Your Ground" Laws, a controversial self-defense statute in 22 U.S. states, should be reviewed to "remove far-reaching immunity and ensure strict adherence to principles of necessity and proportionality when deadly force is used for self-defense".
Now they're trying to rewrite our laws! Next thing you know they'll be coming for our guns, mark my words.

It's a good thing we don't need to pay attention to these foreigners. They apparently don't know squat about our freedom-loving American culture.

"The Committee remains concerned at the practice of racial profiling of racial or ethnic minorities by law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Transportation Security Administration, border enforcement officials and local police," it said, urging investigations.

The experts called for addressing obstacles faced by minorities and indigenous peoples to exercise their right to vote effectively. This was due to restrictive voter identification laws, district gerrymandering and state-level laws that disenfranchise people convicted of felonies, it said.

Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the U.N. recommendations highlighted "shortcomings on racial equality that we are seeing play out today on our streets, at our borders and in the voting booth.


Actually, we do have to listen to these "foreigners."  

The Convention was adopted at the global level in 1965 and ratified by the U.S. in 1994. It is one of only three human-rights related treaties to be ratified by the United States.  

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its State parties.

All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Convention and then every two years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”.


The Convention is non-binding on any domestic U.S. court, but it is supposed to have the same effect as Federal law. Of course, there's nothing Americans hate more than being judged by the outside world, a world where we're constantly taught by our own media that we are the heroes, we're the ones who set the example.  A world that owes us respect. And indeed before this report was issued the US delegation urged consideration of the "great strides" America had made towards eliminating racial discrimination, pointing specifically to the election of Barack Obama.

But that's the problem. If anything, the election of Barack Obama brought racism in this country from its bubbling undercurrent up to the surface in all its ugliness. So much that the entire politics of the nation--even its economic policy--is paralyzed as a result of one political parties' overt manipulation of racist sentiment. Racism has become the defining characteristic between left and right, between Democrats and Republicans, between Fox News and MSNBC. The disparate reaction by the public to the events in Ferguson is just one example of that divide.

And indeed, the position of the U.S. delegation, however, was considerably at odds with the position of those actually experiencing the discrimination:  

Despite the official U.S. government bravado, some 40 civil rights groups on their own filed a report with the UN committee detailing a number of policies and practices in which the U.S. has failed to fulfill its obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  The leading organizations behind the report, Falling Further Behind: Combating Racial Discrimination in America, were the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law and the NAACP, with funding for the report from the Overbrook Foundation.
It's strangely refreshing to hear a viewpoint that isn't either mindless chest-beating exceptionalism or weepy navel-gazing and soul-searching, one that isn't catering in any way to the sentiments of Republicans or Democrats, and one which isn't filtered through the self-interest of the US media. Nothing but the facts here. No sugarcoating, no "he said/she said."  No endless televised debates between experienced commentators wondering "did he break the cop's jaw, or did he have his hands up?"

In the end it doesn't matter whether he broke the cop's jaw or whether he had his hands up.

America is a racist country. Everyone else knows it, whether we admit it or not.

[More on the view from outside the Bell Jar by Pluto.]

Originally posted to Dartagnan on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and White Privilege Working Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They can't do that to our pledges... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dartagnan, a2nite

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:11:51 AM PDT

  •  The UN hates everything about the US (0+ / 0-)

    except the significant share of its budget that we fund.

    If we didn't need to be on the Security Council, with a veto, to protect our self interest we should have left a long time ago.

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:05:06 AM PDT

  •  Will the UN intervene on behalf of the (0+ / 0-)

    minorities' rights in America with more than just a sternly worded reprimand?  I hope that the world will one day see that as long as any one is not free, then no one will be free.   And then be willing to do something about it.  

    Malcolm X said " America preaches integration, but practices segregation" in the sixties.  If possible, this is truer today, than then.

    I can remember reading as school child that Malcolm X sought to go the UN for crimes against humanity here in the good ole US of A.  Other historical figures sought to do the same, namely, Paul Robeson and W.E. B. Du Bois.  

    The president has stood up for all kinds of rights ( read women, gays, veterans, immigrants, etc...), and I am not envious, however, I am still hoping that before he leaves office, he will stand as strong for the rights of African American to live free, unmolested (read not murdered), in their pursuit of happiness.

    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 KJV

    by looking and listening on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:34:18 AM PDT

    •  Will the UN intervene? (0+ / 0-)

      Surely you jest. The UN won't intervene when dictators are directing their armed forces to intentionally kill their citizens, by the tens of thousands. In addition the UN has no legal right to intervene in the US on matters dealing with state law enforcement.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:49:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's more than state law !! (0+ / 0-)

        I disagree, I think the UN does have a legal right to intervene.  The murders happens all over the US, so it is much more than a state law. It is a state of mind that prevails throughout America.  It is systemic - nationwide hatred that results in the murder of black people.

        I say it's time for the UN to intervene.  Of course , you can't see this from your window!  Your window shows you a different worldview.  

        And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 KJV

        by looking and listening on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 11:01:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  l and l, exactly what would the UN do? (0+ / 0-)

          And what specific legal right would they have to do it?

          Even our federal government has very limited rights to intervene in local police matters.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 11:26:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What do they and we (USA) do when it has been (0+ / 0-)

            determined that a group of people in a certain country has been the victim of been denied basic human rights?

            Look back at the interventions of the past thirty years, I think you will see what the UN has the right to do!

            And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 KJV

            by looking and listening on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 11:33:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Help me here, what would they do (0+ / 0-)

              and what legal right would they have? What they have done in other countries doesn't have much relevance to the US.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 11:38:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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