Right-wing racism is taking its toll on America. Nowhere else is that more plain, than in Ferguson, Missouri.
On August 14, 2014, Amnesty International deployed a team of twelve human rights monitors to Ferguson, Missouri. This marks the first time in U.S. history that an international human rights organization has been deployed to deal with a human rights situation on American soil.
According to Steven W. Hawkins, director of Amnesty International US, the monitors will gather testimony, seek meetings with local officials and offer support to the local community. Delegates will also be training local activists in methods of non-violent protest.
Hawkins also sent a letter to the Ferguson Police Department, on behalf of Amnesty International. The letter expressed the organization’s deep concern over the shooting of Michael Brown as well as the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against crowds of protesters who gathered following his death. Hawkins criticized the local police force for failing to address the shooting of Michael Brown in a timely and appropriate manner.
“Where use of force by the police has resulted in injury or death, a prompt, thorough, independent, and impartial investigation into the incident must be conducted.”
Hawkins said in the letter, dated August 13, 2014. He went on to say:
“Investigations should conform to the UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. Furthermore, all officers responsible for abuses should be adequately disciplined, and, where appropriate, prosecuted.”
Here’s more on Amnesty International’s decision to send human rights monitors to Ferguson, Missouri, and an interview with Steven Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA, and Amy Goodman from Democracy Now.
What does Ferguson, and the rest of the country, need now?
International human rights monitors seems like a good start. There needs to be accountability in Ferguson, not just for Michael Brown’s shooter, but for every police officer who engaged in excessive force, abuse of power and unnecessary violence against those who were gathered to protest his death.
Michael Brown deserves justice. So do the hundreds of peaceful protesters and media representatives who have been brutally assaulted by police in Ferguson, in violation of their constitutional rights. Yet across the country right wing lawmakers and media personalities are defending the obvious human and civil rights violations, even as they are being carried out by the city’s militarized police force.
The entire world is watching as these events unfold. When the United States, which was once a leader in the fight for equality, becomes a hotbed of racial tension and civil unrest, it’s time to reevaluate what’s best for the country.
It’s clear that what’s best for America is not the racist, sexist, misogynistic followers of the tea party, who constantly incite fear and stir up hate.
It’s not the ‘white patriot’ voices of right wing fanatics like Bill O’Reilly’s and Rush Limbaugh who are going to help calm racial tensions in Ferguson, or anywhere else in the country.
It’s certainly not the gun toting, war mongering, violence loving teabaggers , who are going to help bring peace to the country.
What we need is to elect leaders who will stand for peace, justice and equality, who will promote togetherness, instead of separation and segregation. What we need are representatives who will represent all of the people, not just a select few, that look and think like them.
What we need most of all is leaders who will work toward transparency and accountability for all public officials. The last thing we need now is more of the same dishonesty and distraction that we’ve been seeing from republicans and tea partiers across the country, for the past six years.
Featured photo: Salon via Twitter.