Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Event 6/1: Congressional Black Caucus Institute, ACLU and SPLC side event during the 2nd session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent
On Thursday June 1, 2023, at 6:15pm ET, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center are jointly hosting a side event during the 2nd session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent. The U.S. has long promoted human rights abroad, but largely fails to incorporate its own international human rights commitments into domestic law or policy. This side event will explore why and how NHRIs are essential to fulfillment of human rights of people of African Descent, obstacles caused by the lack of a U.S. NHRI, and best options for the U.S. to move toward joining its allies and UN member peers in creating an NHRI.
To join this side event via zoom, register at https://splcenter-org.zoom.us/j/6105889743.
May 31, 2023 in Discrimination, Race, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
U.S. Anti-Black Immigration Policies are The Afterlife of Slavery
By: Gabrielle Thomas1 and Denisse Córdova Montes
In 1808, the U.S. abolished the transatlantic slave trade, but today, the semiotics of the slave ship continues through forced movements and separations of migrants and refugees. Slave codes sustained through immigration laws and policies of both political parties endlessly reignite the generational trauma of forced removal. At a thematic hearing at the 186th Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), the Human Rights Clinic at University of Miami School of Law (HRC), alongside Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), RFK Human Rights (RFK), and University of Pennsylvania Transnational Legal Clinic (UPenn TLC), provided testimony of systemic racism committed by ICE officials against Haitian immigrants. At the hearing, we argued that the U.S. government’s treatment of Black migrants is discriminatory and in violation of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The U.S. government responded with an evasive claim of racially equitable practices within their immigration system.
Black Immigrants Face a Double Jeopardy of Being Both Black and Immigrants
The U.S. government’s lack of transparency about its racist practices, despite public and frequent documentation of the disproportionate negative treatment of Black immigrants, remains of the upmost concern. Black immigrants face a double jeopardy of being both Black and immigrant. They are stopped, questioned, arrested, and deported at disproportionate and higher rates. Black persons, more generally, are five times more likely to be stopped without cause than a white person. The racism of the militarized criminal justice system spills over into their immigration system creating a prison-to-deportation pipeline. In our hearing with the IACHR, Daniel Tse of HBA and RFK highlighted that, “though [Black migrants] are less than 6% of the undocumented population, they make up more than 20% of the immigrant population facing detention and deportation on criminal grounds.” Furthermore, “76% of [Black migrants] are deported because of contact with the police and the criminal legal system.”
Haitian Immigrants Face Heightened Discrimination in the Immigration System and are Deported to Conditions Tantamount to Torture
Haitian migrants, in particular, face heightened police harassment, heightened state monitoring, heightened unjust immigration enforcement, and harsher prosecution. Once arrested and put into ICE custody, Haitian migrants must pay higher bonds for release than other migrants in detention. These migrants also serve longer sentences in ICE custody and face a heightened risk of deportation. For black migrants, speaking out results in retaliatory violence from ICE officers and retaliatory transfers to distant facilities and unfamiliar lands.
Recently, our clinic documented conditions tantamount to torture in Haitian prisons, where recently deported individuals were detained upon arrival in Haiti. Once deported to Haiti, migrants were detained indefinitely, inflicted with severe pain and suffering, and faced heightened persecution, extortion, and harassment for being and sounding “American”. Many of these Haitians know no other home than America where their family reside. James – a man previously deported to Haiti – faced crippling discrimination as a “deep” – slang for deported individual – and encountered violations of his rights to work, health, family, food, and security while encountering gang kidnapping and brutality. Despite the horrors James faced, when questioned about the conditions he endured after deportation, James expressed his need to simply see his children. Before the U.S. deported James, he provided for his two daughters and remained a devoted father. He stressed that one of his daughters turns sixteen this year, but “they took [my] kids away,” and he is down in Haiti struggling
The U.S. Has a Long History of Anti-Black U.S. Immigration Policies
Forced movement and separation of Black migrants did not start with Trump era politics nor did they cease with the emancipation proclamation. The practice of ruthlessly ejecting Black persons from the U.S. started before the Civil War. Since the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1807, the U.S. has implemented anti-black immigration policies to prevent the unfavorable freed Black persons from coming into this country. The liberation of Haitians from French occupation nearly two thousand miles away, fueled Thomas Jefferson to pass a bill in 1803, prohibiting any “Negro and mulatto” migrants. During this total ban on Black migrants in the country, in the 1857 Dred Scott Dred Scott v. Sanford case, Mr. Scott and Mrs. Scott argued that after their perilous journey from chattel slavery to safety, they have a right to stay free and citizens. This 11-year struggle reaffirmed 1803 race-based restrictions on migration ending with the Supreme Court ruling that Mr. and Mrs. Scott, were not citizens and as, “a negro, whose ancestors were imported into [the U.S.], and sold as slaves, whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen and therefore did not have standing to sue in federal court.”
Forced Movement and Separation of Black Families Should Come to an End
The widespread emancipation of Black peoples throughout the Americas in the late nineteenth century further ignited racist and xenophobic sentiments. The Calvin Coolidge Administration implemented the Immigration Act of 1924 which turned away Black migrants with a nationality-based quota system that favored European countries. The U.S. executive branch continued to implement excessive anti-Black immigration policies under the Carter, Reagan, H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations.
Today, the disproportionate treatment of Haitian migrants continues. Like the Immigration Act of 1924 with nationality-based quota system that preferred European countries, the Biden administration expelled nearly 20,000 Haitians the same year he extended protections to as many as 180,000 Ukrainian migrants. In 2021, confirming that U.S. border policies still operate to create a racial double-standard, the U.S. government decided to exempt Ukrainians from the Title 42 Policy that led to Homeland Security riding on horses into crowds of Haitian refugees with whips on December 6, 2021 exhibiting modern-day “Slave Patrol”.
The afterlife of the slave ship lives in policies that dehumanize Black migrants by disproportionately persecuting them and knowingly sending them to their torture and death. Newly obtained documents revealed that high-ranking ICE officials directly involved in the mass deportation of Black migrants felt disdain for Africa, disregard for Black migrants, and hostility towards immigrant rights activists. Who gets to be human in crisis? All migrants have a right to be treated with dignity. The disproportionate treatment of Black migrants and Haitians must come to an end and the U.S. should stop deportations to Haiti.
1Gabrielle Thomas is a rising 3L student at the University of Miami School of Law. She served as a Human Rights Clinic law intern as a 2L.
May 30, 2023 in Discrimination, IACHR, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, May 8, 2023
UN Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice in the Context of Law Enforcement ends visit to U.S.
The UN Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement ended a 12-day visit to the United States of America on May 5, 2023, calling on the U.S. Government to boost efforts to promote accountability for past and future violations.
During the visit (April 24 to May 5, 2023), the Mechanism visited Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City and met with representatives of civil society and victims, as well as federal, State and local officials including from law enforcement, city administrations, judicial actors, police unions and affinity groups.
In it's press release dated May 5, 2023, the Mechanism stated that it was
pleased to learn about various promising initiatives, including at the State level, that authorities have developed to combat racial discrimination affecting people of African descent. However, the Mechanism feels an urgency, and a moral responsibility, to echo the harrowing pain of victims and their resounding calls for accountability and support, which it heard throughout its journey.
"We saw some promising initiatives centering the voices of victims and survivors, as well as law enforcement initiatives that could be replicated throughout the United States. We welcome the reparatory measures taken so far, including executive orders signed in 2021 and 2022, as well as individual reparation initiatives by way of civilian settlement for damages,” said Tracie Keesee, an expert member of the Mechanism. “But we strongly believe that more robust action, including on part of federal authorities, is needed to result in strong accountability measures for past and future violations.”
“This includes boosting oversight mechanisms with compelling power; the allocation of appropriate resources; and the provision of robust and holistic reparation, support and rehabilitation to victims, including access to justice and health, including mental health services,” Keesee said.
For more, visit https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/05/usa-whole-government-leadership-needed-address-legacy-slavery-and-redefine.
The Mechanism has shared its preliminary findings with the government and will draft a full report to be published in the coming months and presented to the Human Rights Council at its 54th session (September-October 2023).
May 8, 2023 in Criminal Justice, Police, Race, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)
Sunday, April 2, 2023
Event 4/6: AJIL Speaks: Race and International Law
On April 6, 2023, at 12:00pm EST, join the American Journal of International Law (AJIL) for a webinar on race and international law.
International law has historically perpetuated racist practices by providing the legal architecture for slavery and the slave trade; colonialism; the theft of art or other objects; the relegation of many people of color to the economic, cultural, and social periphery; and in other ways. Many of these structures have formally been abolished and much progress has been made. But the legacy of racism in international law continues. This legacy might, for example, be seen in the marginalization of Africa in the international legal system, the relative lack of attention to race in international human rights and economic law discourses, and in the frames for addressing climate change. In this webinar, panelists will discuss race and international law in a historical and contemporary perspective, while looking forward to consider the changes that might be made. They will focus, among other topics, the representation of historically disenfranchised groups in international law and the prospects for reparations for past and ongoing harms.
The distinguished panelists will be Antony Anghie of the University of Utah College of Law, Aslı Ü. Bâli of Yale Law School, and Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò of Georgetown University’s African Studies Program. The program will be moderated by Monica Hakimi, AJIL Co-Editor-in-Chief, of Columbia Law School.
Register for the program here.
April 2, 2023 in Events, Global Human Rights, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Friday, March 10, 2023
Event 3/16: Decolonizing Refugee Law
On Thursday March 16, 2023, from 3:00 – 4:30 PM EST, Cornell Law School, Global Strategic Litigation Council for Refugee Rights, and the Refugee Solidarity Network, will present a virtual panel on Decolonizing Refugee law. Register here.
The legal protection of the rights of refugees and other migrants is inscribed within imperial and colonial legacies. This virtual event will consider decolonial practices and the protection of refugees with a focus on positive practices for refugee protection in South and Southeast Asia. Speakers will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for realizing human rights posed by colonial-era laws and legal work in countries which are neither parties to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees nor its 1967 Protocol. The event will open with framing remarks by Professor E. Tendayi Achiume, reflecting on these themes as well as decolonization itself as a frame for critique. The event will then proceed as a discussion of examples of legal advocacy work promoting refugee rights under contemporary applications of colonial-era laws, such as the Foreigners Act (1946) in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and open to a broader discussion of practical strategies for litigation and other legal advocacy in the context of such legacy legal frameworks.
- Tendayi Achiume, Alice Miñana Professsor of Law, UCLA Law and former UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
- Roshni Shanker, Executive Director, Migration & Asylum Project
- Umer Gilani, Advocate and Partner, The Law and Policy Chambers
- Zaid Hydari (co-facilitator), Executive Director, Refugee Solidarity Network
- Ian M. Kysel (co-facilitator), Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
Please note: additional speakers may be confirmed in due course.
March 10, 2023 in Global Human Rights, Race, Refugees | Permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, February 13, 2023
UN experts call for new approaches to policing in the United States following deaths of Keenan Anderson and Tyre Nichols
On Friday, February 10, 2023, experts from the United Nations expressed grave concern over the January 3, 2023, death of Keenan Anderson at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department and the death of Tyre Nichols on January 10, 2023, three days after he was beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee.
“The brutal deaths of Keenan Anderson and Tyre Nichols are more reminders of the urgency to act,” said Yvonne Mokgoro, Chairperson of the UN International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the context of Law Enforcement.
The experts have sought detailed information on both the Anderson and Nichols incidents from the Government of the United States, on the ongoing investigations and regulations applicable to the use of less-lethal weapons vis-à-vis applicable human rights standards.
In both cases, the experts stressed that the force used appears to have violated international norms protecting the right to life and prohibiting torture or other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. It is also not in line with standards set out under the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
A full press statement regarding the Committee’s findings can be found here.
February 13, 2023 in Criminal Justice, Discrimination, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
New Article:The End of California’s Anti-Asian Alien Land Law: A Case Study in Reparations and Transitional Justice
Gabriel “Jack” Chin and Anna Ratner, The End of California’s Anti-Asian Alien Land Law: A Case Study in Reparations and Transitional Justice, 20 Asian American Law Journal 17 (2022). Abstract below.
For nearly a century, California law embodied a rabid anti-Asian policy, which included school segregation, discriminatory law enforcement, a prohibition on marriage with Whites, denial of voting rights, and imposition of many other hardships. The Alien Land Law was a California innovation, copied in over a dozen other states. The Alien Land Law, targeting Japanese but applying to Chinese, Koreans, South Asians, and others, denied the right to own land to noncitizens who were racially ineligible to naturalize, that is, who were not White or Black. After World War II, California’s policy abruptly reversed. Years before Brown v. Board of Education, California courts became leaders in ending Jim Crow. In 1951, the California legislature voluntarily voted to pay reparations to people whose land had been escheated under the Alien Land Law. This article describes the enactment and effect of the reparations laws. It also describes the surprisingly benevolent treatment by courts of lawsuits undoing the secret trusts and other arrangements for land ownership intended to evade the Alien Land Law. But ultimately, the Alien Land Law precedent may be melancholy. California has not paid reparations to other groups who also have conclusive claims of mistreatment. Reparations in part were driven by geopolitical concerns arising from the Cold War and the hot war in Korea. In addition, anti-Asian immigration policy had succeeded in halting Japanese and other Asian immigration to the United States. Accordingly, one explanation for this remarkable act was that there was room for generosity to a handful of landowners with no concern that the overall racial arrangement might be compromised.
February 8, 2023 in Books and articles, Immigrants, Race, Refugees | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Event 2/23: Webinar on The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Reparations to Africa
On February 23, 2023, from 11:00AM to 12:30PM EST, join the American Society of International Law for a webinar panel which will address three main topics: 1) reparations for the injustice against enslaved Africans and their generations; 2) reparations for Africans traumatized by the effects of slavery; and 3) the process of healing between Africans affected by slavery around the globe. The distinguished panelists will be Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Mario Nisbett, Crystena Parker-Shandal, and Carl Patrick Burrowes. The moderator will be Matiangai Sirleaf.
The webinar is free and open to all, but participants must have an ASIL account in order to register. The link to do so can be found here.
February 2, 2023 in Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Clearing the Fog: The Importance of Pay Transparency in Remedying Wage Discrimination
By Michael Nunn, 2L at Brooklyn Law School
Historic biases against women and people of color have repeatedly been shown to contribute to long-term economic instability. Despite laws such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act’s broad retroactive remedies, pay inequality persists in American society. Significantly, our federal framework fails to fully address employees’ limited access to pay information and their limited ability to negotiate. This is troublesome considering that, to prove discrimination, the laws also place the onus of information-gathering and negotiation on employees, who typically lack the means to avoid under-compensation resulting from historical discrimination.
Usually, those subject to pay discrimination are unaware they are being paid unfairly or fear backlash. As a result, salary negotiations are statistically unfavorable to women and, in particular, people of color: for example, Black and Hispanic women in the U.S. are estimated to achieve parity with white men’s salaries only by 2133 and 2220 (respectively). Recognizing the difficulty in accessing information that shows pay discrimination, pay secrecy among employers is a common denominator in the persistence of the wage gap. Since 2016, as many as a dozen states and localities have either established pay transparency laws, with recent legislation in New York, California, Washington, Colorado, and Connecticut that demand responsibility from employers.
California’s pay transparency law, effective January 1, 2023, now requires employers to include salary ranges in all job advertisements. Additionally, large employers must now submit annual pay data reports disclosing the median and mean hourly rates within each listing by race, ethnicity, and sex. It further provides a private right of action for individuals who file a complaint within a year of learning of employer violations. These provisions make California’s one of the most demanding and progressive pay transparency laws to date.
Similarly, since November 1, 2022, New York City’s pay transparency law requires employers to disclose salary minimums and maximums for all job advertisements based on a “good faith” belief of what they would pay a successful applicant. The New York State legislature recently passed similar legislation, signed in December, and taking effect later this year.
A common motivation among jurisdictions passing such legislation is to make discrimination more identifiable for employees and employers. If given upfront access to comparative salary data as a reference, employees may identify instances of pay discrimination earlier in the hiring process. Moreover, these laws push employers to actively evaluate the validity of their pay practices, as they stand to lose out on talent if their payscales are incongruous with market-rate salaries for similar positions.
Concurrently, the European Union reached a similar conclusion as it, too, struggles to enforce equal pay laws, with a persistent gender wage gap of about 13% (compared to about 17% in the U.S.). In a 2020 report, the European Commission found a significant issue hindering access to justice is “the establishment of a prima facie case of pay discrimination,” with lack of pay transparency as the main obstacle to addressing gender inequality. In response, the Commission issued an equal pay directive in 2021 focused on increasing access to justice and pay transparency for employees. On December 15, 2022, the European Parliament and the Council on the Directive reached agreement on implementing rules.
In practice, the benefits of transparency are readily observed. In unionized workplaces, where pay transparency practices are the most common, the wage gap is significantly smaller than in nonunionized workplaces. Studies have shown that union representation reduces women’s wage gap by “nearly 40% compared to the wage gap experienced by non-union women.” This benefit is attributable to the “transparency and equality provided in union contracts,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. Such benefits had been observed in Europe, where EU member states that implemented pay transparency laws found that workforce participation and retention improved, and women’s career progression strengthened.
In a notable fashion, pay transparency laws have begun cropping up in states across the U.S. Although non-compliance concerns have invariably arisen since the pay transparency laws have gone into effect, many believe these laws will be the most effective in dispersing the fog of confidentiality that enshrouds wage discrimination.
January 31, 2023 in Race, Women's Rights, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, January 26, 2023
New Article: Commission on Recognition and Reconstruction for the United States: Inspirational or Illusory?
Penelope Andrews, A Commission on Recognition and Reconstruction for the United States: Inspirational or Illusory?, 66 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev 359 (2022). Abstract below.
In this article I suggest that President Joe Biden issue an executive order to establish a Commission on Recognition and Reconstruction (CRR) to comprehensively confront the ongoing challenges to racial justice. I envisage the CRR as an adjunct to, and not a replacement for, the several measures currently being undertaken in law and policy to address these challenges. I imagine the CRR providing a national focus on the many ways that public and private institutions have responded to this current moment of racial distress, while also highlighting the obstacles and omissions toward the attainment of racial justice. The proposed CRR would then establish goals to be measurable in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
January 26, 2023 in Books and articles, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
New Article: Foreword: Centering Intersectionality in Human Rights Discourse
Johanna Bond, Foreword: Centering Intersectionality in Human Rights Discourse, 79 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 953 (2022). Abstract below.
In the last decade, intersectionality theory has gained traction as a lens through which to analyze international human rights issues. Intersectionality theory is the notion that multiple systems of oppression intersect in peoples’ lives and are mutually constitutive, meaning that when, for example, race and gender intersect, the experience of discrimination goes beyond the formulaic addition of race discrimination and gender discrimination to produce a unique, intersectional experience of discrimination. The understanding that intersecting systems of oppression affect different groups differently is central to intersectionality theory. As such, the theory invites us to think about inter-group differences (i.e., differences between women and men) and intra-group differences (i.e., differences in the experiences of discrimination and rights violations between white women and women of color).
January 17, 2023 in Books and articles, Gender, Race, Women's Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Event 1/27: Temple's Inaugural Professor Henry J. Richardson III Lecture on Racial Justice by Gay McDougall
On January 27, 2023, from 3:00PM to 6:00PM EST, join Temple University Beasley School of Law’s Institute for International Law and Public Policy, the Blacks of the American Society of International Law, the Temple Law School Black Law Students’ Association, the Temple Law International Law Society, and the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal for the Inaugural Professor Henry J. Richardson III Lecture, presented in honor of the life work of Professor Henry J. Richardson III, who has for decades pursued racial justice in international law in his scholarship, teaching, and mentorship.
The speaker will be Professor Gay McDougall, a globally acclaimed expert on international human rights law who currently serves as an independent expert on the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In December 2022, Professor McDougall was the first recipient of the AALS International Human Rights Section's Nelson Mandela Award.
The event will feature brief opening remarks, including remarks by Professor Richardson, a lecture by Professor McDougall followed by a question-and-answer session, and a reception. This event will take place in person at Temple’s Shusterman Hall as well as over Zoom.
The link to register for this free event can be found here.
January 12, 2023 in CERD, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Event 12/6: Prof. Tendayi Achiume Speaks in Honor of Human Rights Day
On December 6, 2022, from 12-1pm ET, please join Northeastern University School of Law, the Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers’ Network and Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) for an event featuring speaker Professor Tendayi Achiume. Professor Achiume will reflect on her time a U.N. Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. This event will be sure to provide a lot of insights for U.S. advocates on working with Special Rapporteurs.
Register for the virtual event here.
November 22, 2022 in Race, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Event 11/10: University of Miami Symposium on Food, Housing, and Racial Justice in the United States.
On November 10, 2022, the Human Rights Clinic and Program at the University of Miami School of Law, in collaboration with the Human Rights Society at the University of Miami School of Law, the National Right to Food Community of Practice, West Virginia University Center for Resilient Communities, and WhyHunger, present a Symposium on Food, Housing, and Racial Justice in the United States.
Deep reflection, innovative thinking, and joint strategizing with regards to hunger and food equity that put the needs and interests of communities of color at the center is urgent. The event will focus on human rights and racialized approaches to addressing hunger and related economic and social rights violations.
Drawing on efforts from Miami to cities and states around the U.S., the event will discuss:
- Food insecurity
- Food system governance
- Access to land and housing
- Role of local, state, and federal governments
- Implementation of United Nations’ recommendations
This event will take place in person and will be available virtually from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST, at the University of Miami School of Law. To register, visit here.
November 1, 2022 in Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Event 11/1: Can the United Nations Solve Racism? Symposium on the Global Anti-Racism Architecture of the UN
On Tuesday, November 1, 2022, from 5:30 – 7:30pm EST, join Fordham University School of Law’s Center on Race, Law, & Justice and Leitner Center for International Law and Justice for a discussion and reflection on the United Nations General Assembly’s session addressing racial discrimination, which will take place the day before. This event will be moderated by Gay McDougall, and the distinguished panelists include E. Tendayi Achiume, Gaynell Curry, Dominique Day, Justin Hansford, Justice Yvonne Mogkoro, and Verene Shepherd. The panelists will discuss anti-racism mechanisms of the UN and reflect on the new anti-racism architecture of the UN human rights system. Attendance for the event is available both in-person in Fordham Law’s McNally Amphitheater and online via Zoom Webinar.
To register for this event, click here.
October 18, 2022 in Discrimination, Global Human Rights, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Sunday, July 3, 2022
Protest Through Singing This Fourth of July
by Prof. Margaret Drew, UMass Law School
Independence day has been significant primarily for the powerful minority group. White Men.
BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women, and religiously oppressed and those oppressed by religion are waiting for their time. Should these populations want a day that is meaningful for them, it may be that they will need to create their own. Freedom Day would celebrate when the government and those with power and privilege leave women and others alone to control their own destinies.
Freedom from oppressors is all that is asked. That day will come. United we will succeed. Don't miss the opportunity to write, revisit or recreate protest songs.
You may be interested in listening to both an interview on protest songs and songs being written or re-written after the Dobbs decision.
You may have heard Reina Del Cid's protest to the tune of My Country Tis of Thee. An earlier version by W.E.B. Du Bois may be found here.
And for an indigenous protest song written during the 1960s listen to Buffy St. Marie. This is her anthem to decolonization, updated in 2017.
July 3, 2022 in Equality, Gender Oppression, Indigenous People, Margaret Drew, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Sunday, June 27, 2021
New Article: Transnational Racial (In)Justice in Liberal Democratic Empire
E. Tendayi Achiume, Transnational Racial (In)Justice in Liberal Democratic Empire, 134 Harv. L. Rev. F. 378 (2021). Introduction excerpt below.
"On June 17, 2020, Philonise Floyd addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations’ paramount human rights body, demanding justice for the murder of his brother and the many other Black people who have been subject to the regime of racial extrajudicial killings endemic in the United States. His testimony was part of a remarkable “Urgent Debate” — an emergency special session of the Human Rights Council reserved for extreme human rights situations. We might think of this Urgent Debate as marking a pivotal global moment in the transnational racial justice uprising that coalesced under the banner “Black Lives Matter” during the northern hemisphere summer of 2020. This Urgent Debate was unprecedented for a number of reasons. It was the first triggered by a human rights situation in a, if not the, global hegemon of our time, the United States. It was also the first and only to date concerning a human rights crisis in a country widely considered a liberal democratic paragon, for which the global human rights receivership processes, implicitly associated with U.N. intervention, could not possibly be intended or appropriate, at least from the perspective of other liberal democratic countries and observers. And finally, it was the first and only explicitly framed as concerning systemic racial injustice and anti-Black racism in a First World nation-state."
June 27, 2021 in Books and articles, Discrimination, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on guilty verdict in George Floyd case
Geneva, 21 April 2021
“This is a momentous verdict. It is also a testament to the courage and perseverance of George Floyd’s family and many others in calling for justice. As the jury recognised, the evidence in this case was crystal clear. Any other result would have been a travesty of justice.
But for countless other victims of African descent and their families, in the United States and throughout the world, the fight for justice goes on. The battle to get cases of excessive force or killings by police before the courts, let alone win them, is far from over.
Impunity for crimes and human rights violations by law enforcement officers must end, and we need to see robust measures to prevent further arbitrary killings. As we have painfully witnessed in recent days and weeks, reforms to policing departments across the US continue to be insufficient to stop people of African descent from being killed. It is time to move on from talk of reform to truly rethinking policing as currently practised in the US and elsewhere.
This case has also helped reveal, perhaps more clearly than ever before, how much remains to be done to reverse the tide of systemic racism that permeates the lives of people of African descent. We need to move to whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches that dismantle systemic racism.
I recognize that in the US important steps are being put in place with that end in mind. These efforts must accelerate and expand, and must not be diluted when the public focus moves elsewhere.
Now is also the time to critically examine the context in which George Floyd’s killing took place by revisiting the past, and examining its toxic traces in today’s society. The redesign of our future can only be through the full and equal participation of people of African descent, and in ways which transform their interactions with law enforcement, and, more broadly, in all aspects of their lives.
The entrenched legacy of discriminatory policies and systems, including the legacies of enslavement and transatlantic trade and the impact of colonialism, must be decisively uprooted in order to achieve racial justice and equality. If they are not, the verdict in this case will just be a passing moment when the stars aligned for justice, rather than a true turning point.”
Link to statement here.
April 21, 2021 in Criminal Justice, Discrimination, Lauren Bartlett, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, September 7, 2020
Critical Race Theory and White Privilege Trainings No More
In an advancing his racial hate agenda, the President has ordered that critical race trainings be de-funded along with any trainings on White privilege. In a memo, government employees were told:
"All agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on 'critical race theory,' 'white privilege,' or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil."
Of course, neither training promotes the United States or any ethnicity as "evil". Yet the President called the trainings "divisive, anti-American propaganda".
Federal employees "should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions."
Jeffrey Toobin has warned that if Trump is re-elected the second term will make these past four years look like constitutional compliance. Scary to think what the substitute trainings will include.
September 7, 2020 in Margaret Drew, Race | Permalink | Comments (1)
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Redeeming the Soul of Our Nation
Congressman John Lewis' funeral was held on July 30th. The Congressman left a powerful letter to the nation to be published by the New York Times. While many eulogized Mr. Lewis at his funeral, Mr. Lewis himself remains the most eloquent about his life and his goals.
Mr. Lewis was an extraordinary man by all measure. And in his letter he left us instructions for carrying on. In part, Mr. Lewis' instructs us: "Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart, and stand up for what you truly believe." We urge you to read the entire letter.
Though I am gone, I urge you to
answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.
Though I am gone, I urge you to
answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.
July 30, 2020 in Civil Rights, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)