If you asked the average Black person about the state of racism in America, you’ll likely be greeted with boos, hisses, eye rolls, and four-letter words due to the disproportionate number of Black men and women in jail, attacks on our right to vote, widening economic disparities between the races, and rampant police brutality. All of this is under an the administration of the first Black president of the United States. Oh, White supremacy, you sure do know how to put people in their place. And contrary to what the likes of Bill O’Reilly believe, the problems facing Blacks in this country are not rooted in our purported cultural mores…or Beyoncé.
Yet, despite the clear signs of turmoil within our own home, this country continues to operate as if it is morally superior to the rest of the world.
Other countries across the globe have pointed out America’s hypocrisy, but thanks the United Nations, there is a more thorough and fact-based assessment of it. Recently, the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination concluded its 85th Session, and among their seven state reports, one focused on the United States.
Among the aforementioned problems, the report also criticized the United States for racial segregation in education; racial profiling; unequal access to legal aide; criminalizing the homeless, who are disproportionally minority; Stand Your Ground laws, which disproportionally affects racial and ethnic minorities; and discrimination in housing.
And on and on the list went, including a noted “lack of a national human rights institution” and “absence of a national action plan to combat racial discrimination.”
That’s not surprising given so many elected officials are more interested in enacting legislation that perpetuates racial discrimination as opposed to combating it. GOP, are you with me?
In a press conference focused on the report, CERD committee Vice Chairman Noureddine Amir also touched on the death of Michael Brown to address the problem of how discrimination affects select populations of this country.
“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. 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 and law enforcement officials.”
Meanwhile, Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil Liberties Union said in the wake of the report:
“When it comes to human rights, the United States must practice at home what it preaches abroad.”
It would be nice if “must” were a option. Unfortunately, the United States only pays mind to the UN when a given position aligns with their point of view and fuels their agenda. Still, it does say something when a UN report highlights how problematic racism continues to be in this country. I’m not hopeful about this report meaning anything in terms of a great shift in the grand scheme of things, though I do hope the chorus of America’s critics grow louder. If we are to truly be the great representer of Democracy, it’s about time this country leads by example in far more sincere fashion.