U.N. to Confront United States on Persistent Racial Discrimination

Imagine the government taking away your two children in a hearing that lasts less than 60 seconds.

Madonna Pappan and her husband, members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, don’t have to imagine it, because it happened to them. And they’re not alone: An American Indian child in South Dakota is 11 times more likely to be sent to foster care than a non-Indian child.

Imagine receiving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for serving as a go-between in the sale of two small $5 bags of marijuana. That’s exactly what happened to Fate Vincent Winslow, an African American homeless man who says that he accepted the offer of an undercover police officer for a $5 commission in order to earn some money to get something to eat. Mr. Winslow is now serving a life sentence, without the possibility of parole, in Louisiana for this and his other prior non-violent crimes. In that state, African Americans are serving life without parole sentences for nonviolent crimes at approximately 23 times the rate of whites. Nationwide, an estimated 65.4 percent of the prisoners serving such sentences are African American.

These are but two examples of the widespread racial disparities that continue to exist in the United States, and which result in serious and pervasive human rights violations in a wide range of areas, from racial profiling to voting rights.

Next month, the U.S. record on eliminating racial discrimination will fall under international scrutiny. On August 13 and 15 in Geneva, the United States will undergo a review of its compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the most important anti-discrimination legal instrument in the world, which the United States ratified in 1994.

At the review, a high level U.S. government delegation will officially present a report submitted by the United States in June 2013 on its ICERD compliance, and answer questions on progress made and challenges remaining towards implementation of the treaty. Following this examination, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will issue a report on its findings, identifying major areas of concern and incorporating recommendations on how the U.S. government might better implement the treaty.

To help inform the review, the ACLU submitted a report today to the U.N. committee, highlighting several examples of pervasive and institutionalized discrimination in the United States. It addresses the following issues:

While the U.S. report acknowledges that racial discrimination persists, it fails to provide a full picture of the state of discrimination and inequality. Nor does it address the pressing need for a national plan of action to end all forms of racial discrimination, the likes of which many other countries have already created.

It’s been 50 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and 20 since the ratification of the ICERD. In many respects, we’ve come a long way. But we’re not finished. Let’s hope the Obama administration views the upcoming review as an opportunity to move us forward.

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Jonathan E. Hin...

These r issues 4 Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Mitch McConnell R. -Ky.

Anonymous

I know this might sound ridiculous but what proof is there that these statics are due to discrimination and not that 65% of crimes commited are by black people. I am sure there is some discrimination involved in this but the UN is not going to do anything about this. Also, there are way too many variables involved to make accurate readings on these things such as the amount of officers that patrol a given area. But if your going to say that caucasian and african american cultures and communities are exactly the same then your out of your mind or have not been exposed to both of them.

Anonymous

They should have refused all the pilgrims, German and French people entry when they tried to set foot on Plymouth Rock in the 17th century.
Then everyone would know what this crap of shoving out foreigner in Texas, Arizona and California feels like.
You can sit there and stupidly think you were never a "total foreigner" but you were and I wish they would have refused us entry. These days, that's what apparently most of us deserve. Especially the cotton pickin' LAW makers, ALL of whose ancestors came over on a boat.

Anonymous

Dear ACLU

​I have created a theory that the government refuses to address concerning racial profiling, called theory of "Matching the Color of Skin". Together we can defeat racial profiling world wide, by,
​Changing the color of the uniform of the judges and the color of the court room--based on my theory of setting a pre-racial mind set in the judge and jury. My theory that authorities and judges in the early stages of criminal justice were put in uniforms of very dark color–simple minded people with simple minded psychology, to assist the authorities and judges in having a pre-racial state of mind of “matching the color of skin” (White Brown or Black) with defendants of African American or African heritage, to make them feel more mentally satisfied in prosecuting them. Given the fact that most of the justice and authorities were white males in the early development of criminal justice systems--some being very racist, might have found more reason in pushing their racism onto others, without them knowing it. Thus providing those in authority to feel more just in seeking criminal punishment on those whose skin color matched their clothing in court and in the field (White Brown or Black). There are more prisons in America than in any other country and we have more minorities and African Americans in prison than white individuals. The other reason for this theory was based on my awareness of the authorities (police) having black or dark colored cars and clothes, in the early stages of criminal justice as well as in the modern system, sheriff’s having brown colored cars and clothes as well as judges having the black capes working in brown court rooms. The chances of this, and having the largest prison system with more minorities and African Americans, is a little to quaint. When you add in minimum education, this could be problematic. All evidence to the contrary. Example: would be the beating of Mr. Rodney King. If the police that pulled up to Mr. King would have pulled up in a Barbie Car and wearing a pink Leotard with a pink gun, would the police have used the unnecessary abuse tactics they did? This theory put in place would eliminate all colors that match the color of any color of skin (White Brown or Black).​

​Take care
-robbie hoffman
Luxemburg Wisconsin

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