Thursday, October 06, 2022

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Article Index

 Appendix B: Excerpts from the White Privilege Shadow Report

Introduction

A. OVERVIEW OF PROBLEMS WITH THE INITIAL US CERD REPORT

4. The government report ignored the CERD framework ....

5. The government failed to undertake an adequate assessment of policies and practices as outlined by the Convention. Furthermore, it limited what examination it did undertake to the federal or national level.

7. The report makes several misleading claims including:

a. The government claims that it has met its obligations outlined in Article

7. There has been no government public education campaign on these issues ....

b. Throughout the document, the government describes the role of courts to limit and proscribe policies that address racial discrimination as if courts operate independently, away from government influence and outside of the framework of law and public debate ....

c. ... [T]here are a number of laws that are inconsistent with U.S. obligations under the CERD and further, that government action has played a primary role in “creating or perpetuating racial discrimination.”

8. Throughout the U.S. report, the government has attempted to rationalize what is actually policy-based discrimination (e.g., its failure to address disparate racial impact in public education, health and more) as a result of legal conditions beyond its control (decisions made by “independent” courts) and even the purview of the CERD ....

B. SUMMARY OF ISSUES IN US NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE CONVENTION RAISED IN THIS REPORT

9. The US government has not undertaken any “effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies” (Article II (1)(c) ....

10. The US government has not undertaken “special and concrete measures to ensure the adequate development and protection of certain racial groups” (Article II) (2) despite a preponderance of evidence of racism from both non-governmental organizations and government agencies ....

 11. The US Government has not acted in compliance with provisions in Article 5 to prohibit and eliminate discrimination in such areas as equal treatment before the law; right to housing, public health, medical care and other social services; and equal access to public services ....

12. The US government does not assure “effective protection and remedies” or “adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered” (Article 6) ....

13. The US government has not undertaken “effective measures particularly in the fields of teaching, education, culture and information, with a view to combating prejudices.” ...

Welfare Policy

KEY FINDINGS

The U.S. policy in this arena is inconsistent with several provisions of the CERD, particularly much of Article 2 and Article 5.

Welfare policy in the U.S. has always been highly racialized and this affects equal access to services. Given the pervasiveness of employment discrimination in the U.S., current policy trends to tie access to social services to employment have only exacerbated racial bias and discrimination in these programs.

Discrimination in social services is heightened for those with limited proficiency in English ....

RECOMMENDATIONS

· The government should allocate more resources to effective data collection by race and ethnicity and effective regulation and monitoring in order to track discriminatory effects of these policies. These data need to be analyzed for their discriminatory effects, rather than the intent driving the changes in policy ....

· Clear federal standards for equal treatment and access should be established with special attention to racial discrimination and addressing the needs of those who have limited proficiency in English (reading and speaking).

· Addressing discrimination and bias will require that the U.S. [undergo] ... serious revisions in policy and practice at all levels of government ....

 Education Policy

KEY FINDINGS

Several issues of CERD non-compliance were identified including unequal access to education and in the case of discipline policy, extreme discrimination with regard to equal treatment under the law.

Schools are incredibly segregated with whites the least likely to attend school with other racial groups. White privilege is institutionalized in education in a myriad of ways including unequal funding and support and bias in curriculum and testing.

Increasing policing of students of color has meant greater law enforcement involvement, which has resulted in racially disproportionate suspensions, expulsions and referrals to the criminal justice system.

Public policy toward predominantly minority primary and secondary schools discourage integration and facilitate isolation and inequity. Policies toward predominantly minority post secondary institutions are characterized by aggressive mandates guaranteeing expanded access for whites. Predominantly white institutions of higher learning are under no such mandates for assuring access to racial minorities.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

Design Racial Equity Plans at the school, district, state, and national levels that include annually quantifiable goals.

Schools must act immediately to correct the uneven application of the most severe disciplinary actions, including suspension and expulsion.

End academic tracking and open the way for all students to participate in a challenging curriculum, including advanced classes.

Develop policies that guarantee the equitable distribution of resources that take into account the critical role of quality public education as one remedy for past discrimination.

Institute more accurate and sensitive standards for measuring student progress and college aptitude and discontinue the use of biased and ineffective standardized tests.

At the post secondary level, affirmative action programs and other special measures should be established to increase the number of minorities completing college and graduate school.

 Exclusionary Land Use Practices

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Exclusionary land use practices create a number of harms that unjustifiably impede the rights of people of color in the United States to housing (Art. 5.e.iii), work (Art. 5.e.i.), and education (Art. 5.e.v.).

Federal legislation should be enacted that clearly defines racial discrimination in all relevant anti-discrimination statutes and should be amended to explicitly include policies and actions with unjustifiable disparate impacts on people of color.

Federal legislation should be enacted that places an affirmative duty on states to ensure that their zoning and other land use powers are not being used in manners inconsistent with the mandates of the Fair Housing Act, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and other relevant international standards. This should include the requirement that public authorities undertake a Fair Housing Impact Assessment process prior to actions with significant housing implications.

The Government should undertake a comprehensive federal review of the presence of racial discrimination in land use practices in place throughout the United States.

 

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