The U.S. Record on Racial Discrimination is on the Whole World’s Agenda

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united_nations3x2As the United Nations this week debated America’s record on race, one name was on everyone’s minds: Michael Brown. Not only Americans have been riveted this week by the tragic killing of the unarmed teenager, the subsequent protests, and the militarized response of law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo.This week, in Geneva, Switzerland, the U.N. committee that oversees compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination placed the U.S. record under the spotlight. For the full story, go to: https://www.aclu.org/blog/human-rights-racial-justice/us-record-racial-discrimination-whole-worlds-agenda
The U.S. Record on Racial Discrimination is on the Whole World’s Agenda
08/15/2014
By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:18pm
As the United Nations this week debated America’s record on race, one name was on everyone’s minds: Michael Brown. Not only Americans have been riveted this week by the tragic killing of the unarmed teenager, the subsequent protests, and the militarized response of law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo.
The events in the overwhelmingly black suburb of St. Louis came as the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reviewed U.S. compliance with the world’s leading anti-discrimination legal instrument, which the United States ratified 20 years. The gap between the rights guaranteed by our Constitution on one hand, and the reality of persistent racism that continues to plague our society on the other, could not have been made more relevant by current events.
That gap is just as stark when viewed from the lens of international human rights law. This week, in Geneva, Switzerland, the U.N. committee that oversees compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination placed the U.S. record under the spotlight. Committee members, along with leading human rights and race discrimination experts from all over the world, heard from high-level representatives of the U.S. government in a large delegation as well as from advocates and victims of human rights abuses.