From being victims of police killings to facing barriers to educational and health equity, African Americans are facing “systemic racial discrimination” and deserve reparatory justice, a United Nations working group said Friday.
Having just completed an 11-day mission with visits to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Jackson, Miss., Chicago and New York City, the five-member Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent say they are “extremely concerned about the human rights situation of African Americans.”
The statement comes from their preliminary findings after hearing from state and federal officials, as well as individuals and civil society organizations.
“Despite substantial changes since the end of the enforcement of Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights of African Americans today,” said human rights expert and working group head Mireille Fanon Mendes France.
“The persistent gap in almost all the human development indicators, such as life expectancy, income and wealth, level of education, housing, employment and labour, and even food security, among African Americans and the rest of the US population, reflects the level of structural discrimination that creates de facto barriers for people of African descent to fully exercise their human rights,” Mendes France’s statement continues.
Among the numerous problems noted in the findings is “the alarming levels of police brutality and excessive use of lethal force by law enforcement officials committed with impunity,” citing the killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and Laquan McDonald, as well as others.
“Contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of the racial terror lynching of the past. Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” their statement reads.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT