On Tuesday, U.N.-affiliated human rights experts urged the United States to give African-Americans reparations for slavery, AFP reports.
The recommendation is based on a report by the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which it presented on Monday to the U.N.’s High Commissioner on Human Rights, reports The Washington Post:
“In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” the report stated. “Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching.”
Citing the past year’s spate of police officers killing unarmed African American men, the panel warned against “impunity for state violence,” which has created, in its words, a “human rights crisis” that “must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
The panel drew its recommendations, which are nonbinding and unlikely to influence Washington, after a fact-finding mission in the United States in January. At the time, it hailed the strides taken to make the American criminal justice system more equitable but pointed to the corrosive legacy of the past.
The working group’s chairman, Ricardo A. Sunga, suggested several possible reparations models to reporters that could work in the United States, which would include “a formal apology, health initiatives, educational opportunities … psychological rehabilitation, technology transfer and financial support, and debt cancellation,” according to the AFP.
There’s a link between the injustice related to recent police shootings of unarmed Black men and the unresolved legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, the group said.
“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” the report stated.
In January, the experts toured several major American cities – including New York City, Chicago, and Baltimore – on a fact-finding mission and concluded that African-Americans face a “human rights crisis.”
Sunga also weighed in on the tone and racial tensions fueled by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
AFP said Sunga pointed indirectly to “hate speech…xenophobia (and) Afrophobia,” coming out of the Trump camp, saying it’s all very troubling.