Do We Care How the Rest of the World Views America?

As we ponder the issue of racism in America and the effect it might have on this year’s general elections, a Reuters news item, which was circulated today by Newsmax, caught my eye. The report announced that a United Nations investigator would visit the United States to check out racism in the electoral process.

The report added that “some” in America regard the UN investigation as “interference.” I suppose “some” see no reason for the mighty United States to answer to the rest of the world. Wasn’t it Solomon who said that pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall?

Undeterred by the fact that the United States is not bound by UN human rights conventions, the international body has been looking into the impact of racist trends in this country. Here’s an excerpt from the Reuters news item:

“A U.N. panel which examined the U.S. record on racial discrimination last March urged the United States to halt racial profiling of Americans of Arab, Muslim and South Asian descent and to ensure immigrants and non-nationals are not mistreated.

“It also said America should impose a moratorium on the death penalty and stop sentencing young offenders to life in prison until it can root out racial bias from its justice system.

“Racial minorities were more likely than whites to be sentenced to death or to life without parole as juveniles, according to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It monitors compliance with an international treaty which Washington ratified in 1994.

“U.S. officials told the body, made up of 18 independent experts, that they were combating hate crimes such as displays of hangman’s nooses and police brutality against minorities.

“Some 800 racially motivated incidents against people perceived to be Arab, Muslim, Sikh or South Asian had been investigated since the September 11 attacks, they said at the time.”

However, there’s a bright spot. Substantial progress has been made over the years in addressing disparities in housing, education, employment and health care, according to a U.S. report.