Another brutal report by the United Nation's Human Rights Committee ignored
The U.N. dings America for its use of torture, drones and more
The United Nations sent a letter to Mayor Kevin Johnson a couple years ago condemning how his city “criminalized” its homeless population. The U.N. also blasted Sacramento for not providing people who live on the streets and along the riverbank with clean water and toilet facilities. A visitor from the U.N. called this city’s treatment of homeless persons “unacceptable, an affront to human dignity and a violation of human rights that may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
It was as awful a review as a city could get from a major international organization. Yet the media gave this U.N. smackdown zero attention, and City Hall didn't even blink.
It comes as no surprise, then, that another brutal report by the U.N.'s Human Rights Committee released last month also gained scant notice, both here and nationwide. This new report includes broader observations about U.S. human-rights violations. It's an embarrassing list of failures.
The U.N. dings America for its use of torture, racial disparity in the criminal-justice system and racial profiling, the death penalty, drones, not addressing gun violence, permitting excessive force by law enforcement, the detention of immigrants, ignoring domestic violence in minority communities, the criminalization of ethnic youth and students, solitary confinement in prisons, Guantánamo Bay, National Security Agency surveillance, its warped approach to juvenile justice, the suppression of voters, police harassment of homeless persons, and on and on.
I realize that it's easy to ignore these transgressions. There's baseball and beer, shopping and TV, music and movies, friends and Facebook. But our fantastic distractions are ultimately a gilded shame.
The U.N. committee has asked the United States to address its report by March 2019. Will we blink?