[Blackstudies-l] UN Experts Catalog Seemingly Endless List of Racial Discrimination in US

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sun Jan 31 06:47:18 EST 2016


Tomorrow we will catch up on all the articles--including the one below--and
start the book on Friday.  If you see or communicate with Prof. Crosby,
make sure you thank her for all the help she's giving us.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Emilye Crosby <emilye.crosby at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jan 30, 2016 at 11:56 PM
Subject: Fwd: UN Experts Catalog Seemingly Endless List of Racial
Discrimination in US
To: Maria Lima <lima at geneseo.edu>




Emilye Crosby

Begin forwarded message:

*From:* Portside moderator <moderator at PORTSIDE.ORG>
*Date:* January 30, 2016, 8:02:22 PM EST
*To:* PORTSIDE at LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG
*Subject:* *UN Experts Catalog Seemingly Endless List of Racial
Discrimination in US*
*Reply-To:* Portside moderator <moderator at PORTSIDE.ORG>

<http://portside.org>


UN Experts Catalog Seemingly Endless List of Racial Discrimination in US
<https://portside.org/2016-01-30/un-experts-catalog-seemingly-endless-list-racial-discrimination-us>


Andrea Germanos
January 29, 2016
Common Dreams
<http://commondreams.org/news/2016/01/29/un-experts-catalog-seemingly-endless-list-racial-discrimination-us>

*"Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow
and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one
group over another continues to negatively impact the civil, political,
economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights of African Americans
today,"*



Protesters hold signs during a Black Lives Matter action in Baltimore in
2015., Dorret/flickr/cc
<http://commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/unitehere-a.jpg?itok=5XU8aGS2>,




>From being victims of police killings to facing barriers to educational and
health equity, African Americans are facing "systemic racial
discrimination" and deserve reparatory justice, a United Nations working
group said Friday.

Having just completed an 11-day mission with visits to Washington D.C.,
Baltimore, Jackson, Miss., Chicago and New York City, the five-member
Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent say they are
"extremely concerned about the human rights situation of African Americans."

The statement comes from their preliminary findings after hearing from
state and federal officials, as well as individuals and civil society
organizations.

"Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow
and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one
group over another continues to negatively impact the civil, political,
economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights of African Americans
today," said human rights expert and working group head Mireille Fanon
Mendes France.

"The persistent gap in almost all the human development indicators, such as
life expectancy, income and wealth, level of education, housing, employment
and labour, and even food security, among African Americans and the rest of
the US population, reflects the level of structural discrimination that
creates de facto barriers for people of African descent to fully exercise
their human rights," Mendes France's statement continues.

Among the numerous problems noted in the findings is "the alarming levels
of police brutality and excessive use of lethal force by law enforcement
officials committed with impunity," citing the killings of Eric Garner,
Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Laquan McDonald,
as well as others.

"Contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of
the racial terror lynching of the past. Impunity for state violence has
resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a
matter of urgency," their statement reads.

Beyond other policing/incarceration racial disparities, including zero
tolerance policies in schools that contribute to the school-to-prison
pipeline, the group slams "the criminalization of poverty which
disproportionately affects African Americans," and calls out cities like
Ferguson, Mo. where jails are often
<http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/02/10/lawsuits-launched-target-missouri-debtors-prisons-scheme%20>
"debtors' prisons."

Their list goes on to note discriminatory voter ID laws; states' rejection
of Medicaid expansion, which serves as just one way in which African
Americans' realization of the right to health is thwarted; the existence of
"food deserts" in many African American communities; schools' insufficient
covering of the period of enslavement and the "root causes of racial
inequality and injustice... [thereby] contribut[ing] to the structural
invisibility of African-Americans"; the housing crisis, high rates of
homelessness and gentrification; the high unemployment rate of African
Americans; and the environmental justice denied African Americans by highly
polluting industries often disproportionately being placed in their
communities.

The statement did applaud some steps taken to reduce racial inequalities,
like the recent banning
<http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/01/26/affront-our-humanity-obama-bans-solitary-children>
the use of solitary confinement for juveniles and low-level offenders in
U.S. federal jails, the White House Initiative
<http://sites.ed.gov/whieeaa/executive-order/%20> on Educational Excellence
for African Americans aimed at "improving educational outcomes for African
Americans of all ages," and the abolition by several states of the death
penalty.

For its recommendations, the group reiterates their calls from 2010 after
their last visit to the country, including the need to establish a national
human rights commission, for Congress to swiftly pass pending criminal
justice reform bills including the End Racial Profiling Act, and the need
for a national ban on the death penalty. It also states:

There is a profound need to acknowledge that the transatlantic slave trade
was a crime against humanity and among the major sources and manifestations
of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and
that Africans and people of African descent were victims of these acts and
continue to be victims of their consequences. Past injustices and crimes
against African Americans need to be addressed with reparatory justice

The group will deliver its final report to the United Nations Human Rights
Council in September.




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