“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.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.
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.
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.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.
"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."
[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.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.
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”.
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.
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.]