United States: UN Expert Says Concrete Actions Needed To ‘Lay Racism To Rest’

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UN-appointed independent human rights experts commended the United States on Friday for adopting the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, but asked about measures being taken to address gun violence in the country.

After the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) reviewed the US’ racial justice record, the UN human rights office issued a statement in which CERD Expert and Country Rapporteur Faith Dikeledi Pansy Tlakula recounted her observation that the country’s firearm homicide rate had increased, especially amongst black men and in impoverished communities.

While acknowledging the measures that had been taken to address gun violence, Ms. Tlakula had wondered what was being done to address its “disparate impact” on racial and ethnic minorities as well as indigenous peoples.

Lacking federal coordination

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Amidst a significant rise in hate crimes against ethnic minorities, the Committee had welcomed recent US legislation, such as the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, but questioned why the country has yet to institutionalize a coordinating mechanism, like a national human rights institution.

Ms. Tlakula said that the Committee had repeatedly expressed concern over its lack of such a mechanism, and asked what measures had been adopted to create a permanent and effective coordinating mechanism at the federal level.

The Committee had noted that the US was aware of its recommendations on establishing a national human rights institute and that it would take them under consideration to the extent that they could be enforced under the presidency of Joe Biden.

Police reform

The Committee had also pointed out that the country was ensuring accountability surrounding the use of force, noting that the Department of Homeland Security had enforced strict standards of conduct for police officers.

Moreover, a department-wide use of force policy, which stressed respect for human life, was released in 2018, and updated in 2021.

And police training has been provided in de-escalation, use of force, and border fence patrols.

The US Office of Civil Rights and Liberties also investigated cases of excessive use of force and tracked these through an online dashboard, with over 600 such incidents logged so far this year.

Recommendation implementation

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Tlakula had told the Committee that uncomfortable conversations and concrete measures and actions were necessary “to lay the scourge of racism to rest”.

She had also expressed hope that the country would continue to hold consultations with civil society, maintaining that they would lead to progress in implementing the Committee’s recommendations.

US delegation responds

The US Ambassador to the Human Rights Council and head of the delegation, Michèle Taylor, had acknowledged that the US needed to do better on eliminating racial discrimination, and was “deeply committed” to using all levers at its disposal to do so.

The US State Department’s Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice and delegation co-leader, Desirée Cormier Smith, had said that the country shared the Committee’s vision for sustained efforts to eliminate racial discrimination.

She also expressed sadness that ethnic and racial minority groups still needed to fight for the freedoms enjoyed by the white population.

Source: UN News. Headline photo: © UNSPLASH/Clay Banks

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

11 COMMENTS

  1. @My Perspective, I have a problem with neither white or black people. Like I was telling someone a few days ago, there are times when a white person will give you an opportunity that a black like you will not. Especially European whites. Fact is most white Americans are racist. I think it is actually their culture especially when they grew up in certain parts of the country. In terms of people’s preference in skin colour or even race when dating, I also do not have an issue with that. Some people prefer lighter skinned people and some prefer dark skinned. But we are talking here about institutional racism. Which is what the article is discussing. People who suffer discrimination and a poorer quality of life simply because of their race. And sadly most blacks have seen it happen so much that it has led to self hate, which has manifested itself in the form of colorism and deliberately looking for relationships outside of their race.

  2. Racism will always be used to fight down people or suppress people. It will be use the same way one don’t like you because you’re fat, you’re too short, or chubby you’re too ugly or too loud or the way you are styling your hair, be with kinky or dread locks. People will use race as a preference as well. We are already discriminating when we are interviewing people for jobs. We are also getting involved with people outside our own race. What would you call this? So what if someone prefers a brown skinned over dark skinned. We cannot escape racism. Once you do not hate people enough to hurt or harm them because of their colour I believe we can have preference over race. Racism is there for life, do not let anyone fool you. We are too hypocritical.

  3. @The Unknown, we have a problem of colorism in St. Lucia. And it’s more a case where light skinned think they are better than dark skinned people. There is even a radio talk show host who when presented with certain scenarios in relationships, he will ask whether the woman is a shabin or a darkie. He once said a man prefers the darkie because of the vacuum. Like I told some young people who were discussing their skin tone a few months ago, colorism justifies racism.

    • Garfield you are on another level. Lol. I think it is okay to have preference but I disagree with you when you said light shinned feels that they are better than dark skinned. I believe dark skinned people are sometimes intimidated by light skinned people. You will not hear people call out darkie girl but dark people especially men will call out light skinned people by the complexion (shabin). But what is on focus here is hatred towards one’s race be it Indian, Black, European, Chinese, Latin etc.

  4. Racism will never go away. We even have racism in our politics and we are not a white country. It’s black skinned fighting light skinned and Indian people in this little Caribbean country of St Lucia.

  5. Name the USA as the number one country in the world for racism and hate crime. Let’s see if you have the balls. Some people just narrates shit. To prove they deserve to be on the job

    • I agree….I dare ask the UN to name USA as the most racist country in the world! Infact, the UN can even conduct a study to rank countries …let’s see if they have the balls to put USA in the top 3. Yol just talking the talk!

  6. @Poule Foo skin bleaching cream won’t help. According to Jim Crow law, once you have one drop of black blood, in their books you’re black.

  7. Okay, Mary! Your turn to teach your mentors a thing or two. Don’t forget to apply skin bleaching cream before you arrive there.

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