We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Human Rights and Racial Justice

by Thandisizwe Chimurenga Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 at 9:10 AM
media@idabwellsinstitute.net 213-321-0575

Human Rights are attained and maintained through struggle, organized movement building

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without the thunder or lightning. They want the ocean without the mighty roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and never will.”



Frederick Douglass’ oft-quoted words are as true today as when he uttered them over 150 years ago. During his time, the progress he sought was the end of the scourge of human bondage, with its attendant discrimination and barbarous violence. The vehicles that Douglass used in this struggle – agitation through oration, autobiography, journalism and building alliances – were key in not only sparking debate amongst the larger society, but also in affirming and validating the self-agency of millions of African-Americans who were part of that struggle.



Regardless of the particular phase of the African-American struggle (slavery, Jim Crow, lynching, segregation, police and citizen violence) the overall rubric has been to establish our rights as human beings. In the 1950s and 1960s it was Malcolm X who became the foremost symbol and spokesperson of the call for African-Americans to identify our struggle as one of human rights and to internationalize it.



Malcolm X was by no means the first to make this call but he was the loudest. “So long as the movement remains a fight for civil rights it will remain a domestic issue, but by framing the struggle as a fight for human rights, it will become an international issue, and the movement can bring its complaint against the United States before the United Nations.”



Internationalizing the human rights struggle of African-Americans remains a viable vehicle. All oppressed, exploited, and marginalized peoples and communities in the United States are limited in the full expression of their humanity and the comprehensive exercise of their human rights by a set of overlapping systems which are also interdependent. As such, our oppression is masked. For example, when the US government only considers discrimination to exist where there is a stated intent to exclude, treat unfairly or in any way harm or impair certain populations and sectors of society, it enables the institutionalization of legislation that may not explicitly state that it intended to discriminate, but the outcomes are clearly discriminatory in regards to the treatment of people of color and other marginalized groups.



The U.S. constitution is an imperfect document. Fundamental economic, social, and cultural rights such as the right to food, water, housing, health care, education, and employment are not guaranteed. This is a convenient way to escape culpability but it is also a restricted view: human rights are those rights you have by virtue of being born.; they are not trinkets to be sold or passed out. But as Malcolm X highlighted, one viable avenue by which we can attain and protect our human rights remains internationalizing our struggle and utilizing the United Nations. And one example of a viable vehicle to utilize in this struggle is CERD – the Committee on the Elimination for all forms of Racial Discrimination.

CERD exists as an international body to monitor the Convention on the Elimination for all forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted in Dec. 1965 as a result of the United Nations being “alarmed by manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in some areas of the world and by governmental policies based on racial superiority or hatred, such as policies of apartheid, segregation or separation.” Adopted as an international treaty, the United States signed on to the convention in 1966, but did not ratify it until 1994, less than 20 years ago.

According to Kali Akuno, a longtime community organizer and current co-director of the United States Human Rights Network (USHRN), “Activists within the U.S. must press the US government to fully implement CERD and comply with the international definition and understanding of racial discrimination and its effects by being prepared to engage in organizing and direct action to force the government to meet its obligations under CERD and do all it can to eradicate racial oppression in all its varied forms, but particularly in its institutional and systemic forms.”



Members of the USHRN will be mapping out ways to do exactly that when they hold their National Conference and Membership Meeting during “Human Rights Weekend,” Dec. 9-11, 2011, in Los Angeles, CA.



Dec. 10, 2011, marks the 63rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 and created “to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere” and is characterized as “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations...”.



In the midst of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression of the 1930s; staggering job losses and home foreclosures at record numbers; an incarceration rate that leads the planet; reactionary violence and legislation aimed at women, sexual and ethnic minorities; massive deportations of undocumented immigrants and an “occupation” movement of disgruntled citizens that has managed to strike a deep chord, the USHRN conference is a unique and welcomed opportunity to provide a platform for the next phase of the struggle – moral, physical, or both – that must come in order for human rights for all to be realized.



Join us!



The United States Human Rights Network is an Atlanta, GA-based National Coalition of more than 300 organizations whose founding dates back to 2002. Its primary goal is to increase the visibility of the US human rights movement and link U.S.-based human rights activists with the global human rights movement. Its National Conference and Members Meeting will be held Dec. 9 - 11, 2011, at the Radisson LAX Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. For more information, visit www.ushrnetwork.org

Report this post as:

© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy