Waves of protests and anger are currently sweeping over America. Specifically, the protests erupted in 170 American cities. They erupted over the past few days in the wake of a decision issued by the grand jury to acquit a white police officer in the shooting of a black boy in Ferguson. The authorities in the state pre-empted the verdict, and days before it was issued, they announced a state of emergency, and spread National Guard forces as a precaution in the event of potential reactions. It looked like the authorities of the state expected the outcome of the verdict and were able to foresee that it would be an unfair verdict, which would definitely lead to an explosion of protests. The protests erupted not only against the verdict of acquittal of the white officer, but also against all kinds of discrimination in America, with all its hideous dimensions. The slogans the protesters raised in these American cities sum up the reasons that sparked this anger and protest.
The protesters raised slogans such as “Discrimination kills,” “No justice no peace,” “Stop brutality of racist police,” and “Black lives matter,” etc.
One of the protesters chanted:
“I came to see the realization of justice, but as we can see now, things have become different. Justice falls now.”*
Thus, the protests erupted to denounce discrimination in America and the suppression suffered by blacks, and to denounce the absence of justice and the brutality and racism of the police.
It is important to reflect on how the American administration and the security authorities addressed these protests.
First of all, the security and national guard forces didn’t hesitate in deterring the protesters, especially at times when such protests turned into violence, fires and vandalism of public property. More than once, U.S. President Obama took it upon himself to address the people and to clearly determine the posture toward these protests. Obama said two things, firmly and clearly:
The first thing was that “the acts of violence and vandalism are unacceptable and unforgivable under any pretext.”
He condemned "burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk,” and said, “there's no excuse for it, no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts.” He added: “I have no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities.”
The second thing is that the decision of the grand jury must be accepted as it is built on the law, and should be respected. He added, “We are a nation built on the rule of law and so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make.” One should note here of course that this position, which Obama and the American authorities took, is precisely the same position denied in the world’s other countries. America doesn’t stop defending acts of violence in other countries and blatant intervention in the judiciaries in Bahrain and other Arab countries.
The significant development of what America is witnessing is the posture announced by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad. Prince Zeid urged the United States to investigate the accuracy of the charges of racism pressed against the American police in the backdrop of renewed tensions in the city of Ferguson, and said that U.N. committees and American organizations, more than once, discussed the presence of “institutionalized discrimination” in the United States. He added that he is deeply concerned with the disproportionate number of young African-Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African-Americans in U.S. prisons and the disproportionate number of African-Americans on death row.
This is a significant position, which should be added to High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad’s record of good deeds. For the first time, the U.N. places America in an indictment cell because of its racism and the suppression of black citizens, urging investigation of its racist practices and black rights provocations. Perhaps this international stance and the protests, including what they managed to unveil, will prompt America to stop its blatant interventions in the world’s affairs, and stop its all-talk eagerness about human rights in other countries.