U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism,’ says U.N. panel

U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism,’ says U.N. panel

By Ishaan Tharoor –  September 27,2016

Slave shackles on display at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

Slave shackles on display at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

The history of slavery in the United States justifies reparations for African Americans, argues a recent report by a U.N.-affiliated group based in Geneva.

This conclusion was part of a study by the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, a body that reports to the international organization’s High Commissioner on Human Rights. The group of experts, which includes leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, pointing to the continuing link between present injustices and the dark chapters of American history.   

“In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” the report stated. “Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching. [Read more]

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  • guyaneseonline  On September 30, 2016 at 2:13 am

    Serena Williams speaks out against police killings: ‘I won’t be silent’

    In a Facebook post, the tennis champion said she fears her nephew could become the next victim of police brutality against African Americans
    Serena Williams joins a growing movement of black American athletes speaking candidly about racism and police brutality.
    Serena Williams joins a growing movement of black American athletes speaking candidly about racism and police brutality. Photograph: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

    Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco
    @juliacarriew

    Wednesday 28 September 2016 01.32 BST
    Last modified on Wednesday 28 September 2016 01.36 BST

    Serena Williams spoke out against police killings of African Americans in a heartfelt Facebook post, writing: “As Dr Martin Luther King said ‘There comes a time when silence is betrayal’. I won’t be silent.”
    Richard Sherman on anthem protests: ‘People are still missing the point’
    Read more

    The tennis champion, who is arguably the greatest sportsperson ever, wrote that she was in a car being driven by her nephew, who is black, when she saw a police car on the side of the road on Tuesday.

    “I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend,” she wrote, referencing Philando Castile, whose girlfriend broadcast the aftermath of his killing by police on Facebook Live. “I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent. So were all ‘the others’”.

    “Why did I have to think about this in 2016?” she wrote. “Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on – for it’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.”

    Williams is the latest – and perhaps the most high-profile – star to join a growing movement of black American athletes who are speaking candidly about how racism and police brutality affect their lives.

    In late August, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick set off a nationwide firestorm when he declined to stand for the national anthem to protest “a country that oppresses black people and people of color”.

    Kaepernick initially faced virulent backlash from some sports fans and public figures, but many others showed support. More NFL players have joined the silent, pre-game protest, while others have begun speaking out about racism and police brutality during press conferences that usually focus on sports.
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    On Monday, basketball star LeBron James told reporters that he also fears for the lives of his children, saying: “I look at my son being four years removed from driving his own car and being able to leave the house on his own and it’s a scary thought right now to think if my son gets pulled over.”

    Williams has spoken in the past about her experience as a black athlete in an overwhelmingly white sport. In 2015, she ended a 14-year boycott of a tournament in Indian Wells, California, where she had been booed and jeered as a 19-year-old.

    “The undercurrent of racism was painful, confusing and unfair,” she wrote in an essay for Time. “In a game I loved with all my heart, at one of my most cherished tournaments, I suddenly felt unwelcome, alone and afraid.”

    In her Facebook post, however, Williams appeared to promise more vocal activism around racism in policing.

    “I had to take a look at me,” she wrote. “What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters?”

  • Gigi  On October 1, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    We KNOW for a fact that the UN is a puppet of powerful countries. So what we have here is the UN engaging in dog-whistle politics on behalf of its western masters whose interest lay in inciting racial division. One should/could ask why is the UN not only ignoring “slavery and racial terrorism” by other western countries, but against Native populations and minorities including women. However, that’s not the issue the UN is being instructed to promote. Since the west/Europe wants the status quo Hillary to win (many have purchased access to Hillary when she was secretary of state via the Clinton Foundation), and this reporting seeks to highlight Trump’s overt racism by deflecting from Hillary’s now exposed covert racism. One should not be surprised at all by this report.

    Perhaps the UN human rights panel should go one useless step further and put together a CoI to investigate why it does a nonexistent job of reporting on major human rights violations committed against people all over world. And why members of its human rights delegation are elected from countries that are the worst human rights abusers. And if it’s going to speak out against Black violence, it should not be selective in its stories. Perhaps it should start with the barbarisms of cannibalism and child rape that is still a cultural norm in Congo, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ethiopia, CAR, Liberia, Burundi, Rwanda, etc. Aren’t these continuing acts of barbarism a fault of the UN/west in not bringing civilization to Africa. Even Liberia, a country specially created by America and Britain for African Americans to return to their homeland has fallen back in this barbaric practice. Reparations for Liberia, and ALL of Africa too! (fnord)

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