UN experts say US owes blacks reparations for slavery
CARICOM’s call for Reparations from Britain and Europe for Slavery and Native genocide got a boost this week after a United Nations (UN) panel of experts United Nations experts said the United States should give African Americans reparations for slavery.
In the heat of a US presidential election campaign in which racial rhetoric is growing louder, the Geneva-based UN Working Group on People of African Descent warned that the USA had not yet confronted its legacy of “racial terrorism” and that Americans of African descent were facing a “human rights crisis”.
The UN Working Group said in a statement to the press in Geneva last week that this “human rights crisis” in the US “has largely been fuelled by impunity for police officers who have killed a series of black men — many of them unarmed – across the country in recent months.”
The group said in a September 27 statement that those killings “and the trauma they create, are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynchings,” in the report, which was presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday.
Addressing the deeper causes of America’s racial tensions, the experts voiced concern over the unresolved “legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality”.
“There has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” the report said.
Working group chairman Ricardo A Sunga told reporters in Geneva that the panel believed several models of reparations could work in the US context, including “elements of apology” and a form of “debt relief” to the descendants of enslaved people.
The UN working group visited the several US states in January before producing their final report, which is expected to be widely welcomed by CARICOM, which is itself pursuing Reparations from Britain and other EU member-states that benefitted from Slavery in the Caribbean.
The US Congressional Black Caucus has been liaising with the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) with a view to adopting the CARICOM template to officially demand Reparations on Capitol Hill in Washington.
CRC Chairman Sir Hilary Beckles also last year addressed the British House of Commons, ahead of his exchange with the US Black Caucus regarding their Reparations plans for Americans of African Descent.
Sir Hilary more recently visited Africa to explain the CARICOM Reparations approach, meeting with officials of The Gambia and the African Union (AU).
The UN Working Group’s Report is expected to be welcomed by the CARICOM Secretariat, the CRC and National Reparations Committees (NRCs) in 12 CARICOM member-states.