* Panel issues recommendations after review of U.S. record
* Says killing of Michael Brown “not an isolated event”
* Decries racial bias of police, pervasive discrimination
* ACLU calls for addressing racial inequality in America
GENEVA, Aug 29 (Reuters) - The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri.
Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record.
"Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation, access to health care and housing," Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman, told a news briefing.
Teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer on Aug. 9, triggering violent protests that rocked Ferguson - a St. Louis suburb - and shone a global spotlight on the state of race relations in America.
"The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities is an ongoing issue of concern and particularly in light of the shooting of Michael Brown," said Amir, an expert from Algeria.
"This is not an isolated event and illustrates a bigger problem in the United States, such as racial bias among law enforcement officials, the lack of proper implementation of rules and regulations governing the use of force, and the inadequacy of training of law enforcement officials."
The panel of 18 independent experts grilled a senior U.S. delegation on Aug. 13 about what they said was persistent racial discrimination against African-Americans and other minorities, including within the criminal justice system.
U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper told the panel that his nation had made “great strides toward eliminating racial discrimination” but conceded that “we have much left to do”.
Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown, has been put on paid leave and is in hiding. A St. Louis County grand jury has begun hearing evidence and the U.S. Justice Department has opened its own investigation.
Police have said Brown struggled with Wilson when shot. But some witnesses say Brown held up his hands and was surrendering when he was shot multiple times in the head and chest.
"STAND YOUR GROUND" LAWS
In its conclusions issued on Friday, the U.N. panel said “Stand Your Ground” Laws, a controversial self-defense statute in 22 U.S. states, should be reviewed to “remove far-reaching immunity and ensure strict adherence to principles of necessity and proportionality when deadly force is used for self-defense”.
Ron Davis, father of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old shot dead in a car in Jacksonville, Florida during an argument over loud rap music in November 2012, attended the Geneva session. Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen killed in Miami, Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer, testified.
The U.N. panel monitors compliance with a treaty ratified by 177 countries including the United States.
"The Committee remains concerned at the practice of racial profiling of racial or ethnic minorities by law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Transportation Security Administration, border enforcement officials and local police," it said, urging investigations.
The experts called for addressing obstacles faced by minorities and indigenous peoples to exercise their right to vote effectively. This was due to restrictive voter identification laws, district gerrymandering and state-level laws that disenfranchise people convicted of felonies, it said.
Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the U.N. recommendations highlighted “shortcomings on racial equality that we are seeing play out today on our streets, at our borders and in the voting booth.
"When it comes to human rights, the United States must practice at home what it preaches abroad," he said.
"We didn’t even know our kids’ names yet," said Deborah Rogers, who teaches English and reading to 7th and 8th graders at the school. "We hadn’t given schedules out yet. But we had to sit down and have a serious conversation on race."
Like the rest of the St. Louis community, including their own teachers, Gateway students had emotional discussions about being black in America, about mistrust of the police, about peaceful demonstration and violent protest. They were asked to write down what they were feeling about Ferguson, with the assurance that no sentiments were out of bounds.
Below are excerpts from the responses penned by a group of 7th and 8th graders at the school.
I’m feeling, I don’t know, like I can’t even say the words I’m feeling because they are curse words. But I’m tired of turning on the news and know[ing] when they say someone has been shot that it’s one of my kind.
I’m mad that a 18 year old died and he was unarmed. I feel scared because people are using violence a lot and policemen are using teargas and rubber bullets. I’m shocked that police are doing this to humans. They just speaking their mind.
People have been treating us blacks wrong for so many years and we have done NOTHING WRONG.
White man kills black guy, paid to leave. Black man kills white guy, PRISON FOR LIFE NO BAIL.
What if one day my brothers are walking down the street and the police try to beat them or even kill [them]?
It hurts to know that a policeman, somebody who is hired and paid to protect me, has shot and killed a young man. This young man Mike Brown had his whole life ahead of him only 18 about to start college in a few days. It hurts me knowing somebody has it in them to kill somebody so easily.
This is more than hurtful it’s shameful, racist, ignorant, and just sad.
I think the protests have been good. What do you expect when something so ignorant happens? … I understand some things like looting and firing up stores seem crazy and uncalled for but if we’re not peacefully getting justice this is what has to be done.
I know and everyone knows that Darren Wilson had no right to shoot Michael Brown. Michael was unarmed and he surrendered. He had his hands up in the air.
I’m mad because showing the footage of Michael Brown stealing from a convenient store was so irelevent and unimportant.
I don’t like that when they put the video out, they were trying to make Michael look bad, look like a criminal.
I feel like the things that are happening in Ferguson are unfair. I thought after Trayvon Martin the killing will stop but it comes back again. What did Mike Brown do for the police officer to kill him?
For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.
The CIA also backed Iowa and creative writing MFA programs in general.
This article kind of buries and doesn’t go into the reasons why they backed abstract expressionism specifically - they quote a former CIA asshole and probably current asshole saying
It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.
but socialist realism was not the only politically left “representational” art going at the time - the article mentions Rockefeller as a big booster of abstract expressionism; it doesn’t mention that he started doing this after he saw the Diego Rivera fresco he commissioned, freaked out, and destroyed it
basically - they saw a.e’ism happening and were like, oh, perfect, no opportunity for overt political statements here, and threw a lot of money at it.
After a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the battles fought in the Middle East are returning to American soil.
Leftover military equipment from Kabul and Baghdad has been brought home, funneled to local police to use seemingly however they see fit.
As a result, American police are shifting from law enforcement to a paramilitary force, outfitted with heavy weaponry and machinery intended to fight terrorists, not unarmed civilians.
The problem here, aside from the obvious anti-democratic transition of law enforcement from those who protect and serve to those who intimidate and terrorize, is that it adds hostility and instigates fear and distrust in the hearts and minds of civilians.
The police are no longer here to protect us. They are here to provoke, antagonize and terrify us.
In a short but powerful segment on Saturday, Melissa Harris-Perry connected the recent police killing of Michael Brown to the deaths of other black men at the hands of police — and to America’s history of injustice towards black people. Harr…
my favorite tidbit about rome is that in the mid-1800s one of the popes didnt like the statues in rome having dicks so he ordered them knocked off. fast forward to the last decade or so and art historians in conjunction with the vatican are trying to erm. restore. the statues. but the dicks were just. kept in a box. so art historians are going around rome, with a box of dicks, trying to match them up to their owner.
If you want to find yourself, you can start by looking for your ego. Your ego is only difficult to find because it is what you use to look for it. If you are looking for your ego, you are seeing it. If you cannot see it, then you are seeing it. You can tell that you are seeing your ego if you are…