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UN Condemns U.S. Police Brutality, Calls For 'Stand Your Ground' Review


* 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.


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.

(via randomactsofchaos)

"Realistic list of things to bring to MoHome, part II:
1. Composition notebooks because the mall is far away and the campus store is an alternate universe where $7 is a reasonable price for one.
2. Dry shampoo. You’ll find out why over finals week.
3. A neck brace because at some point you’re gonna strain your neck pretty badly from all of the double takes you’ll make. Everyone on campus is THAT cute."

- CosMoHo Tip #44 (via cosmoho-tips)


Michelle Hurst, an accomplished actress best known for her role as Miss Claudette on Orange is the New Black, was back at Mount Holyoke for her 40th Reunion as a member of the Class of 1974!
While you wait for the season 2 premiere on June 6, here’s her 1974 yearbook picture.







Next level trust.

Love that show so much

Friendship and Relationship goals


(Source: wenchyfloozymoo, via justech0)


11 ways to solve rape better than nail polish

The more we depend on women to prevent rape, the easier it is to blame them when it happens to them. Here’s a look at the well-documented ways we can actually stop rape. Maybe it’s time we invest a little more time and resources into implementing them before we send gallons of nail polish to colleges across the country.

Read the full list | Follow micdotcom

(via randomactsofchaos)

Laverne Cox stanning for Beyoncé at the VMAs

(Source: beyonseh, via rj4gui4r)




Daily Show correspondent Michael Che tries to find a safe place to report from.

Shots fired


(via randomactsofchaos)


so um. i got this shirt for $10 today

Saw this at an event today.  This shirt is desire

"I’m Sorry Son" by Andy Marlette

dave should’ve colored those decoys in

Happy birthday to our dearly beloved Frances Perkins!  She was born on this day in 1880.
Formal portrait of Frances Perkins taken in 1902, the year she graduated from Mount Holyoke College :: Archives and Special Collections Digital Images

Minimum wage, no child labor, and a 40-hour work week
The Fair Labor Standards Act became effective on October 24, 1938.  After a long Congressional battle, the Act established a minimum wage of 25 cents, prohibited child labor, and capped the maximum work week at 44 hours.  
Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins fought for the Act to be passed despite strong opposition that such labor regulations would be unconstitutional.  Six years earlier, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had nominated her for the position, making her the first woman to serve on the U.S. Cabinet.  Perkins accepted the position on the condition that she could pursue fair labor initiatives. 
Perkins had long been an advocate for workers rights; as an undergraduate she visited factories, interviewed workers and took notes on their wages, hours, and working conditions and learned the cold-hard facts of industrial life.  A pivotal event in her life was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that occurred in New York City on March 25, 1911.  Frances Perkins was 30 years old at the time and happened to stumble upon the horrific scene. The factory employed hundreds of workers, mostly young and impoverished women. As a result of poor safety regulations, such as faulty fire escapes and locked doors, the workers could not escape the scorching fire. One by one desperate women jumped to their deaths from the upper floors of the factory. 146 workers died that day. Perkins immediately took action and sought ways to prevent future workplace tragedies.  
Frances Perkins would have been famous simply by being the first woman to serve in a president’s cabinet; however the work of Frances Perkins lives on in our unemployment insurance, minimum wage, shorter work week and federal laws regulating child labor and worker’s safety.
Photo: Fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Manhattan, NY. 
source: The FDR Library and The Department of Labor