by Syarif Hidayat*
“There is no force in the world more powerful than the example of America.” – BARACK OBAMA, Address to Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009.
“There’s something about the American spirit -– inherent in the American spirit — we don’t hang on to the past. We always move forward…. We are going to leave something better for our children –- not just here in the United States, but all around the world.” – BARACK OBAMA, speech at DNC fundraising reception, Oct. 15, 2009
“The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights––are not simply words written into aging parchment. They are the foundation of liberty and justice in this country, and a light that shines for all who seek freedom, fairness, equality and dignity in the world.” – BARACK OBAMA, speech, May 21, 2009
President Barack Obama also said in remarks at memorial service at Fort Hood, Nov. 10, 2009: “We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes.”
America has long been the self-appointed global leader on human rights and democracy pointing out the shortcomings of others and publishing yearly reports on the violations of human rights by countries in the world except Israel and the USA.
But now the tables have turned upside down! This self-proclaimed World Preacher of Human Rights and Democracy now violates human rights and democracy domestically and internationally.
It seems that the human rights situation in the Home of Uncle Sam-The Renowned World Preacher of Human Rights and Democracy and The World Policeman is getting worse right now…The US Government fears the people power and the American Police seem to have lost its human touch (to serve and protect) with the community!
US police kill African-Americans with impunity
A prominent political commentator says US police officers are brutalizing and killing African-American people with greater impunity. Bruce Dixon, from the Georgia Green Party in Atlanta, said during an interview with Press TV that Killing people, particularly African Americans, has essentially become a trend in the United States. He also strongly criticized the excessive use of force by police to curb the ongoing protest rallies against such killings.
“Brutalizing innocent people, murdering innocent people and the culture of immunity and the impunity enjoyed by police all over the United States are not the problem, but the problem only arises when the citizens get up and object to this behavior,” Dixon said. The remarks come as protesters took to the streets across the United States after a jury decided not to indict a police officer who shot dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.
St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said on Monday night, November 24, 2014, that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not face charges for killing 18-year-old Brown on August 9. Commenting on tricks and riot control techniques, Dixon said the FBI has dispatched hundreds of agents to protest-hit areas in order to spy on peaceful protesters and open cases against them. The fatal shootings of several black people has reopened a fierce national debate in the United States on race and police brutality in dealing with minorities.
Blacks in US face shoot-to-kill policy
Killing people particularly African Americans has essentially become a policy in the United States, says an American commentator. “African Americans have been under attack for hundreds of years by Anglo-Americans who have no regard for international laws or treaties in terms of how they treat us,” said Randy Short, a political commentator from Washington, in an interview with Press TV.
He added that a “shoot-to-kill” policy for African Americans has been promulgated in the United States. The remarks come as a 12-year-old African American boy carrying a replica gun in the state of Ohio was killed when a Cleveland police officer opened fire on him. Cleveland Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said police received a call warning of someone pointing a gun at people outside the Cudell Recreation Center.
Short concluded that African Americans need “self-determination” and “sovereignty,” adding that “the time for whites to dominate blacks with impunity in this country must end.” “We should change the game. They are never going to give to us what we must take for ourselves. We need our freedom. We need our human rights, we need it now.”
Black community leaders have long complained about racial profiling, harassment and improper stops of African American residents by white police officers. The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an African American, on August 9 has reopened a fierce national debate in the United States on race and police brutality in dealing with minorities. The tragic incident also sparked weeks of angry protests in Ferguson and other major cities across the country.
US police officer Darren Wilson is free with ‘clean conscience’
US police officer Darren Wilson has said that he has a “clean conscience” after not being indicted for the killing of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown. “The reason I have a clean conscience is that I know I did my job right,” Wilson told ABC News on Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014. “I don’t think it’s haunting.
It’s always going to be something that happened.” He also said his actions were not motivated by race and there was nothing he could have done to avoid the shooting. On Monday, Nov 24, 2014, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that Wilson would not be indicted and he would not even face charges for the killing.
“As I looked back at him, punches started flying,” Wilson claimed. “He threw the first one and hit me in the left side of my face.” “I just felt the immense power that he had,” he went on to say that Brown “was very large, very powerful man.” “How do I survive,” so “I decide to shoot,” he said.
“I fired a series of shots and paused. I noticed at least one of them hit him. I don’t know where. I saw his body kind of flinch a little,” he added.
The grand jury decision to let Wilson walk free has sparked protests in 90 cities and towns across the United States. The protests continue for the second day as Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered 2,200 National Guard troops to deploy in Ferguson to quell angry protests. Michael Brown parents have “strenuously” objected to the jury’s decision.
Benjamin Crump, the family’s lawyer, said that he had objected to allowing Robert McCulloch handle the case from the beginning of the case and had asked for a special prosecutor who did not have ties to the local police. “We have the local prosecutor who has a symbiotic relationship with the local police and the local police officers… We could foresee what the outcome was going to be and that’s exactly what occurred last night,” said the lawyer.
White supremacy institutionalized’ in US
US media and government sponsorship of the group Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is evidence of institutionalized white supremacy in the US, an activist tells Press TV. The KKK “is sponsored by (US) state and federal government historically because the state and federal government will not disband them; so, that means that state and federal government wants this,” Jahi Issa, a professor and political activist, said in an interview with Press TV from Wilmington on Monday, Nov 17, 2014.
The activist went on to say that the governor of Missouri is not dealing with the threats made by the KKK, which was recently allowed on prime time television to threaten to use violence against protesters in the state. The KKK has threatened protesters in the US city of Ferguson with “lethal force” should the demonstrations there become violent. Protests over the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown continue in cold temperatures across Ferguson and St Louis.
The governor of Missouri on Monday declared a state of emergency and put the National Guard on alert in anticipation of protests that could potentially turn violent. The Ferguson grand jury has been holding secret sessions for nearly three months as it evaluates evidence about the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Brown by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson. The jury’s ruling is due to be announced in mid-to-late November.
Missouri grand jury’s decision ‘a slap in the face to Americans’
The Congressional Black Caucus has slammed a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer who shot dead a black teenager in August, saying the ruling “is a slap in the face to Americans”. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which is an organization representing the African American members of the US Congress, called the decision a “miscarriage of justice” in a written statement issued on Monday night, Nov 24, 2014.
The statement came minutes after St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said that Darren Wilson would not be indicted and that he would not even face charges for killing the 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“It is a slap in the face to Americans nationwide who continue to hope and believe that justice will prevail,” said Representative Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), the CBC’s leader.
“This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions. This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America,” she added.
Meanwhile, Brown’s family said in a statement that the grand jury ruling was “profoundly disappointing”. “While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change,” the Brown family said. “We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.”
The 12-member grand jury, including nine whites and three African Americans, had been meeting in secret for months on whether probable cause existed to bring charges against Wilson. Following the decision, violent protests against racial discrimination and police brutality in the United States broke out across the country. During a press briefing, President Barack Obama urged protesters to be calm and said these protests are “an understandable reaction.”
President Barack Obama also acknowledged that the United States is suffering from racial discrimination. “The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color. Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country.”
Protests held in 90 US cities after grand jury’s decision
The United States has been shaken up by thousands of demonstrators who have taken to the streets in at least 90 cities across the country to protest a grand jury decision on the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown.
The protests erupted on Monday night, Nov 24, 2014 after St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said that white police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted and that he would not even face charges for killing the unarmed African American.
Following the decision, violent protests against racial discrimination and police brutality in the United States broke out across the country. Traffic on three New York bridges were blocked as demonstrators walked on traffic lanes over the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Triboro bridges, the Daily Mail reported. Protesters splattered fake blood on NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton in Times Square as people gathered to denounce the Ferguson grand jury’s decision.
Thousands of people rallied late on Monday, Nov 24, 2014, in cities including Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and in front of the White House in Washington, DC, to protest the grand jury’s failure to punish police brutality and racial discrimination. “Mike Brown is an emblem (of a movement). This country is at its boiling point,” said Ethan Jury, a protester in Philadelphia, where hundreds marched downtown with a contingent of police nearby. “How many people need to die? How many black people need to die?”
According to the Associated Press, most of the disruptive demonstrations were held in St. Louis and Oakland, California. Demonstrators chanted the slogans “hands up, don’t shoot” and “black lives matter.” For weeks, activists had been waiting and planning to demonstrate if Wilson walked free. During a press briefing on Monday night, Barack Obama urged protesters to be calm and said these protests are “an understandable reaction.” He also acknowledged that the US is suffering from racial discrimination.
Russia and China urge US to stop lecturing about human rights
New violent protests triggered by a grand jury decision not to indict a police officer who killed a black teenager in Ferguson have prompted Russia and China to criticize the US for human rights issues and racial discrimination in the country. Russian Foreign Ministry’s human rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov said on Tuesday the protests in Ferguson and other US cities showed serious challenges to the American society and its stability.
“Racial discrimination, racial and ethnic tensions are major challenges to the American democracy, to stability and integrity of the American society,” the Russian envoy said. “We may only hope that US authorities seriously deal with those issues and other serious challenges in the human rights field in their own country and stop what they have been doing all along recently — playing an aggressive mentor lecturing other countries about how to meet human rights standards,” he added.
When asked about the violence over the case in the US, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the case is an internal US affair but no country is perfect regarding human rights. “We can learn from each other in this area,” she said.
A number of US cities have been the scene of violent demonstrations by people who are angry about the grand jury decision. On Monday, Nov 24, 2014, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that white police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted and that he would not even face charges for killing 18-year-old African-American Michael Brown in August. More clashes have broken out between police and protesters in the city of Ferguson.
The governor of Missouri has called for the deployment of more National Guard troops to Ferguson. The riots on Monday caused massive damage in St. Louis County despite a plea for calm from President Barack Obama.
The Saint Louis police chief said at least 18 people were injured and more than 80 people were arrested.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Americans “to refrain from any violence” and “turn this difficult time into a positive moment for change,” according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
US in dire need of systematic change in criminal justice
American political commentator Wilmer Leon believes that the United States is in dire need of a systematic change that could improve democracy in the country. “What is really needed here is a thoughtful process that will bring about systemic change and improve democracy in America,” he said.
Commenting on Ferguson protests, Leon told Press TV on the phone that a grand jury decision not to charge police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown is an “injustice.” “I think that the situation in terms of going to the grand jury and the way that the case was presented to the grand jury set it out so that we would reach this outcome,” he said.
The grand jury declined to indict white police officer Wilson for the fatal shooting of Brown in Ferguson. St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said that Wilson would not be indicted and that he would not even face charges for killing Brown. On August 9, Wilson gunned down 18-year-old Brown, claiming it was an act of self-defense. The decision to let Wilson walk free has sparked protests in 90 cities and towns across the United States.
Meanwhile, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered 2,200 National Guard troops to deploy in Ferguson to quell angry protests. “The standard that a grand jury uses is not the same standard of evidence that a judicial proceeding at a court would use,” said Leon.
“I don’t understand how any group of rational people can look at the fact that a police officer shot an unarmed suspect in bright daylight with his hands above his head and can’t find the minimal amount of requirement in terms of probable cause to send this to a jury. So, I think that the prosecutor set this up to achieve the result that he did,” he added. Several eyewitnesses say Brown held up his arms in surrender before he was shot many times. A report of the official autopsy also suggested that Brown was shot at close range.
The reality is not as good and trustworthy as the voice from the House of the self-styled World Human Rights Preacher in the ‘Dream Land!’ (T/P3/P2)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)
1.International News Agencies