Many African Americans know the effects of racism quite well. They also know that it is painful to experience. What they may not know is that the racism endured by blacks in America constitutes an international human rights violation. The United Nations and other governing bodies around the world have accused The United States government of countless atrocities toward people of color, going all the way back toward slavery.
Even today, police shootings of African Americans, many of them unarmed, have led to increased international concern. Also on the radar screen is the weak educational system served to black children, high black poverty/unemployment, and masses of black people being put in prison on a regular basis.
The parents of Michael Brown are the most recent to go to the United Nations to appeal for help in the shooting death of their son. They testified before the UN in Geneva, saying that they want more information and have been denied the very basics of justice.
“We need answers and we need action,” said Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden. “And we have to bring it to the U.N. so they can expose it to the rest of the world — what’s going on in small-town Ferguson,” she said.
McSpadden was speaking to the UN Committe against Torture at the time, and they were listening. Michael Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr. says that this is “a situation where I’m surprised we haven’t even lost our mind yet over this. But we’re being strong. Hopefully, justice will prevail.”
Meanwhile, in St. Louis, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced that thousands of officers from city and county law enforcement agencies and the state Highway Patrol would be on hand, as would National Guard troops, when a verdict is reached by a local grand jury in the case of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot to death unarmed, 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
Wilson shot the teen six times during a confrontation in the street. The shooting ignited widespread rioting and violence in the predominantly African-American suburb. The Ferguson Police Department, which is largely white, was highly criticized by residents, politicians and civil rights activists as being heavy-handed and unnecessarily violent in dealing with rioters.