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UN concerns of U.S. police brutality

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 12-03-2014 | in Freedom, Critical Thinking, Democracy, Race, Government,

The United Nations’ anti-torture panel reported concerns with United States domestic policy with a high incidence of police brutality and shooting—especially against unarmed “African-Americans” and Latinos. Other concerns were growing militarization of policing activities, racial profiling and harsh conditions in many prisons. The panel expressed those concerns during its investigation of U.S. compliance with 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.

In perfect timing, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani proved the basis of the panels concerns with remarks that tried to justify the need for brutal domestic policy based on racial profiling.  He said on national television the police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson was the exception that does not exemplify a larger national problem. He said people should be protesting the bigger problem that “93 percent of blacks are killed by other blacks.” Giuliani and many other Americans ask, “What about the poor black child that is killed by the other black child? Why aren’t you protesting that?” They make this deceitfully indirect appeal to racism believing wrongly that it cancels charges of police brutality based on racial profiling.  

The American Declaration of Independence and United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognize “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. In the Constitution, the American people ceded limited authority to government to protect the general welfare. Only someone ignorant of those facts would ask flippantly why the people do not express the same concern for the killing of one child by another they do for police killings.

Americans have special concerns about police fatal shootings of civilians, because police officers kill in the name and authority of the people and not as individuals. To whom would the people protest over the killing of one person by another since they did not grant this power to the killer?

In addition, Giuliani defended police policy during his administration of stopping and frisking people based on skin color and “Latino” ethnicity to “save them from killing one another.”

City of New York’s stop-and-frisk policy under Giuliani was a mugging by police officers of five million people—mostly Black-race-labeled or Latino labeled—with nine out of ten eventually walking away without arrest or a ticket according to official findings. This police policy of treating people as a racial stereotype violated UDHR—Article 6 “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Article 7 All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.  Article 9  No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. 

The same as other muggings, the frisking by police were armed assaults to advance goals of the mugger. They used force to invade the privacy of victims’ possessions and body with accompanying threat of physical harm to all that resisted. The only difference is that government does not classify those type police muggings as crimes. The victims do not have remedy for the indignity they endured, nor protection from repetition.

The 10-member UN panel recommended that all instances of police brutality and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers are investigated promptly, effectively and impartially by an independent mechanism with no institutional or hierarchical connection between the investigators and the alleged perpetrators.  The fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland, Ohio police officer meets the standard for investigation.

Deputy Chief Edward Tomba explained, this is an obviously tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We have got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do.  This mischaracterization of events is why the people need to conduct an independent investigation of all fatal police shootings. Police reports and video focuses attention on the three to sixty seconds preceding the fatal shooting and the potential threat to officers. However, this event and police responsibility began on the public member’s report to government authority about someone waving a gun in a public park.  

Police officers had the duty to conduct a proper investigation that included consideration the report could be false. It may involve a child that viewed the officers as trusted individuals he may approach with a toy. It may involve a non-hearing person unable to hear commands and who may make hand movements in communication. It may involve a mentally ill or intoxicated person that lacked the ability to respond immediately to police commands. Or, it may be someone with criminal intent who may surrender if given time to consider the choices.  

Nobody reported anyone in imminent danger. Therefore, responding police officers should have kept a safe distance from the suspect for safety and with backup in place to prevent a potentially dangerous person from escaping. They should have delayed closer contact until they had more information about the suspect, the nature of his weapon and his intentions  The two police officers rejected this cautious and responsible approach that provided the best potential for a fatality-free resolution. Instead, they moved close to the suspect and unnecessarily placed themselves in danger. They created the crisis situation leaving only the option of an immediate compliant response to their verbal commands by the person or a fatal shooting.  



President Obama's Immigration Executive Order is logically flawed.

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 11-26-2014 | in Economics, Human Relations, Race, Government,

President Barack Obama's  order not to deport foreigners living here illegally is an amnesty program. Obama reported to the nation, "If you have been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you are willing to pay your fair share of taxes you will be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation." He claims this protection from deportation is not amnesty.

I mistrust any personal, business or government communication that deceives by omission, distorts definitions, misstates fact, or appeals to emotions. Obama uses those devices to disguise the weak basis for issuing the immigration executive order.

Obama refers to "undocumented Immigrants" in his speech to suggest that he issued the executive order to address the concerns of immigrants affected by a broken immigration system. However, "undocumented immigrant"  is a contradiction of logic that refers to a fantasy character without legal status.    

People, foreign nationals, are not immigrants in America except by documents of a proper sponsor's application for an immigration visa on their behalf, and with the foreign national receiving an approved petition.  "Undocumented" is someone lacking proper immigration or working papers. Therefore, undocumented describes a foreign national living illegally in America. But "undocumented immigrant" is the logical contradiction of someone lacking proper immigration papers having approved documentation of immigration.   

Obama claimed, "My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship."

Obama repeats common assertions of the 19th, 20th, 21st centuries that erroneously generalize to all Americans the immigration policy experienced by European nationals. Disrespectfully they ignore the different experiences and paths to citizenship of other Americans.   

I am a natural-born citizen of the United States of America and so were my parents and grandparents. My ancestors did not desire nor petition America for immigrant status. Instead, savage people kidnapped them from their African homes and communities and delivered them to equally savage American property owners. Those property owners claimed ownership of my ancestors' bodies and labeled them slaves although they lacked the justification of monetary debt or moral obligation my ancestors owed them. They forced my ancestors to work alongside European nationals that had obligated themselves as indentured servants to pay the costs of travel here as immigrants. No matter a common humanity, those property owners constructed a "white-race-label" for European nationals with presumptions of human rights endowed by the Christian god, and path of immigration to American citizenship. In contrast, they constructed a black-race-label for African kidnapped victims without the presumption of human equality, or option for immigration. Eventually, Amendments 13 and 14 to the U.S. Constitution established citizenship for my ancestors and their descendants the same as other persons born here.  

Obama also claims falsely that for more than 200 years America had a tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world. History contradicts this claim. Instead, American domestic policy and immigration law reflected the rampant prejudice and jingoism of race, ethnicity and religion.

America's founders approved a Constitution granting full citizenship and right to vote only to property-owning white-race-labeled males. The Naturalization Act of 1790 specified that "any alien, being a free white person," could apply for citizenship, so long as he or she lived in the United States for at least two years." It excluded indentured servants, free black-race labeled people and slaves.

The Chinese Exclusion Acts / Immigration Exclusion Act (1882) prohibited citizenship for Chinese immigrants. Other immigration laws including those of 1917, 1924 and 1934 excluded immigrants from China, Japan, India and the Philippines as members of an Oriental race now categorized racially Asian-American. Laws during this period also excluded immigration from Africa. Perhaps many people wrongly conclude that immigration laws prior to 1965 qualified all white-race-labeled Europeans for immigration. But immigration laws during those periods also restricted immigration to America of Jews and Catholics from Central and Eastern Europe.  

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and subsequent law set out a more inclusive immigration policy and path to American citizenship with less exclusion based on constructions of human-race difference. Nevertheless, from misunderstanding of history or intention to deceive, Obama asserted a false 200-year American tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world that he suggested was a precedent for amnesty provisions in his executive order. But, the logical and historical fallacies he relies on are better evidence why he should not have sole authority to impose changes to immigration policy. 

 Obama's executive order protects from deportation a foreign national that lived illegally in the United States for more than five years and has an American born child. But, it does not protect a foreign national that lived here illegally four years eleven months and has an American born child. Nor does it protect a foreign national living here illegally for more than five years who does not have an American born child.

I do not see a fair, practical or uniform basis for this standard such as protecting interests of all American born children; treating all people the same that lived here illegally more than five years; or treating all people the same that came here illegally before this notice. This is why those arbitrary standards for deciding amnesty generate more unfairness and disrespect for law than it cures and why general amnesty is impractical.

The belief that more people lead to a richer society for all members is a capitalist assertion that encourages acceptance of immigration. However, the economic principle that a commodity's value decreases with abundance should warn workers about the hazards of unregulated immigration. Business owners encourage immigration that brings in more workers that increase production and wealth in society. Then, they treat the abundance of labor as a commodity of lesser value that justifies paying workers lower wages. Therefore, high immigration rates and more people do increase wealth in society but only for capitalist investors. Nevertheless, appeals to prejudice and jingoism of race, ethnicity and religion among salaried workers encourages them to deny the fact of a common humanity and that renders them unable to  to recognize and protect their common economic interests. 


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