Ferguson and Michael Brown-Microcosms of MSM Hypocrisy

With notable exceptions, President Barack Hussein Obama’s mainstream media studiously, obediently, avoid mention of the race of wanted and suspected criminals even when identifying their race would greatly aid in their apprehension and possibly obviate repeat crimes.

The exceptions invariably include situations in which the criminality has become public knowledge through some source – and almost always when the suspect is white.

The practice of concealing the ethnicity of black suspects pre-dated the Obama administration and was defended by Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern as an effort €to guard against subjecting an entire group of people [blacks] to suspicion€ and to forestall racial unrest.

The MSM’s and Kern’s rationale has been repeatedly shown to be an abject failure as evidenced by the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, riots, looting, and burning in premature overreaction to the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson policeman. If anything, pretending violence among African-Americans isn’t rampant simply fuels more violence by other blacks who may think the media are on their side.

Obama’s media has truly outdone itself with this story, almost outdoing their misrepresentations and outright distortions two years ago involving the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin when they plumbed new depths of journalistic and ethical irresponsibility.

As with Martin, much of the MSM quickly jumped to unfounded conclusions as to Officer Darren Wilson’s guilt as well as concealing details which conflicted with their politically correct political agenda aimed at portraying Brown as the innocent, black victim of endemic, racial prejudice and Wilson as his bigoted, white, merciless executioner.

€”They have in effect tried and convicted the six-year police veteran Wilson of murder while depicting the new high school graduate Brown as as just another unarmed black kid who was targeted only because of his race.

€”They have largely ignored the surveillance videotape showing Brown stealing a box of cigars from a convenience store and intimidating a store clerk who tried to intervene immediately prior to the shooting.

€”They never questioned why Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson contradicted his own account of whether the officer knew or did not know Brown was the primary suspect in the theft and was assigned to investigate that petty crime.

€”They disregarded the newly-discovered video featuring the conversation between two uninvolved witnesses, one of whom contends that the hulking Brown fled a police car and then €doubled back€ and was charging at officers when he was shot.

€”They have given a free pass to the race-baiting New Black Panthers Party who have advocated Wilson’s murder.

€”They have supported the intrusion into a local matter by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his proven racist Department of Justice who will ensure Darren Wilson is railroaded.

However, easily the most horrendous violation of common decency and journalistic integrity committed by Obama’s mainstreamers has been their publication of detailed information on Officer Wilson’s place of residence where he, his wife, and three kids live. In fear for their lives, the family have fled their home and are now in hiding in an undisclosed location, undisclosed only until the media find and them.

For example, CNN broadcast a report Friday including a photo of the Wilson house and its street number, another news outlet featured a video of their Wilson home, others have actually drawn maps to the house, Yahoo News identified both their community and their house, USA Today named their community, and The Washington Post named their street.

Other than the obvious question regarding why Obama’s mainstream media felt compelled to pinpoint the precise location of the officer’s home and directions on how to get there, perhaps the better questions should relate to their intent. Do the MSM want the Black Panthers or someone else to burn the place down? Do they want to exacerbate the already dire situation in Ferguson? Do they want to instigate a race war in America?

No less a personage than basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has predicted such a conflict while failing to indict the mainstreamers for their role in that war. It’s unfortunate that Kareem didn’t cite the true causes of the endless civil unrest among much of our black population – their lack of initiative, their inability to consistently adhere to the law, their failure to secure an education, their value system which ranks making babies out of wedlock as proof of their manhood, etc.

It also would have been more productive and beneficial to everyone had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mentioned the hypocrisy of Obama’s mainstream media in blaming white America for all the problems of black America and compounding that lie by minimizing the extent of black violence in our country.

The Tragic Travesty of Michael Brown’s Death

Isn’t it funny, in the most pathetic sense, that a lone shooting in the little town of Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, can stir up such an upheaval while hundreds of shootings in the metropolis of Chicago, Illinois elicit a great, big yawn?

An unidentified police officer apparently shot and killed 18-year old Michael Brown on Saturday. According to his buddy, Dorian Johnson, he and Brown were innocently strolling home after visiting a convenience store when the cop told them to get onto the sidewalk and off the street.

The pair ignored him and kept on walking which seemed to arouse the cop’s suspicions as to whether they might be up to no good. He dutifully confronted them and Johnson says the officer then fired at them as they were running away and, after the second shot, €He shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air and he started to get down. But the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.€

Johnson adds, €We wasn’t causing harm to nobody. We had no weapons on us at all,€ without clarifying whether they have caused any harm in the past or usually carried €weapons.€

In any event, the tragic incident, reminiscent of Trayvon Martin’s 2012 killing in Florida, resulted in huge demonstrations and a massive outpouring of grief over Brown’s death and a candlelight vigil in his honor, as well as an influx of racial agitators including Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.

As is typical in such cases, widespread looting and burning of Ferguson’s stores and businesses ensued, undoubtedly also carried out in Brown’s honor.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles attributed the latter honorific to a small group who are hurting the community, although 32 of that small group were arrested for crimes ranging from assault to burglary and theft and two officers suffered injuries in the melee despite reports the police mainly stood by in riot gear and looked on before employing tear gas to quell the small group’s mayhem when matters got out of control.

The jury is still out on the circumstances of Brown’s shooting since, unlike the death of 46 year-old black man Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York last month, no one videotaped either what actually happened last Saturday or what preceded and provoked it.

At this juncture, the only certainties are that a police officer of indeterminate race shot and killed Michael Brown, a black man in a 70% black town, and that the consequential grief over his shooting inspired blacks to pay due respects to his memory by rioting and looting.

Right now, the real question, the most pertinent question, is why blacks always seem to feel that violent, criminal reactions are their best recourse following incidents they think reflect white bigotry and discrimination. The Brown killing will eventually be adjudicated but when will black crime and violence in America be addressed?

Both blacks and whites in Chicago, where such events are commonplace, must be wondering the same thing.

U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY, POLICE BRUTALITY, AND UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE: Dedicated to Michael Brown

United Nations

Situated in Manhatten, New York, the United Nations (U.N.) was established on October 24, 1945. In essence, it was created to implement international unity. The primary objective of the UN is to promote international peace, security, and human rights. It is made-up of five basic units: the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Secretariat, and the International Court of Justice.

Convention Against Torture

The Convention Against Torture (CAT) is an international human rights treaty adopted by the U.N. on December 10, 1984. The purpose of the treaty is to promote human rights by preventing cruel and inhumane treatment around the world. The treaty has 156 nations that have signed to abide by the treaty. The countries are referred to as states. The treaty requires states to prevent torture within their borders and forbid the transport of anyone to any country when there is reason to believe they will be tortured. The United States became a party to the treaty in November 1994.

The treaty defines torture under Article 1 as follows:

“For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain
or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”

U.S. Immigration Policy & U.N. Convention Against Torture

While CAT protection is broad, its benefits in the United States are narrow. The former Immigration and Naturalization Service (now USCIS) activated rules to implement the CAT in March 1999, over four years after it became a party to the treaty. The rules created to implement CAT created two types of relief for those seeking CAT protection.

The first is withholding of removal and the second is deferral of removal. In order to be eligible under the U.S. rules, an applicant must show that he or she would be intentionally subjected to pain or suffering, mental or physical, with the consent, instigation, or acquiescence of a person acting in an official government capacity.

The broader definition for protection under CAT under Article 3 reads as follows:

“No State Party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.”

In the U.S., there are basically four types of undocumented immigrants subject to removal: an arriving alien, an illegal alien with a removal order that has been executed and who has returned to the U.S. without inspection, an illegal alien with a removal order that has not been executed, and an illegal alien without a removal order.

In each case, under CAT, an immigrant should be entitled to assert a claim and subjected to a fair and equitable procedure under the international standard set by the treaty. However, the U.S. rule does not conform with the standard set forth in the international standard as to protection or process; in fact, the process does not conform with the standard set forth in the U.S. rules.

The agencies overlooking the U.S. rules implemented pursuant to CAT is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). In essence, these are administrative agencies tasked with overseeing U.S. immigration laws. They have also been given the task of administering U.S. rules under CAT. What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong is that administrative agencies tasked with administering immigration laws should not be interpreting international human rights laws. As tasked, compliance with CAT treaty in the U.S. is scarce.

Typically, an immigrant facing deportation is confronted by an immigration officer and asked about fear. If the inquiry, regardless of how informative, does not satisfy the officer that the immigrant is fearful of returning, in many cases, the immigrant is removed to their country of origin without any oversight as to the process or fairness of the inquiry. This is especially true for arriving immigrants, immigrants caught at a port of entry, immigrants who have prior orders of removal that were executed and who returned. Immigrants with orders of removal that have not been executed are not provided an opportunity to express fear of returning before the removal order is executed.

A motion to reopen with an administrative agency is an option, but oftentimes not viable. A motion to reopen based on new circumstances, including a fear of persecution can be filed but a stay of removal is not automatic and an immigrant can be removed before the motion is adjudicated; therefore, an immigrant with a legitimate claim under CAT can be deported before a decision can be made. Additionally, like the standards set forth in U.S. rules implemented pursuant to CAT, a motion to reopen is often fruitless and not adequate to provide relief under treaty standards.

This process conflicts with current rules. Specifically, 8 USC 1252 states in relevant part:
“..a petition for review filed with an appropriate court of appeals in accordance with This section shall be the sole and exclusive means for judicial review of any causes Or claim under the United Nations Convention Against TortureâEUR¦”

In practice, many immigrants facing imminent persecution do not have the opportunity to pursue claims at the administrative agency level and are denied judicial review because the agencies procedures are often expedited, lack full and fair notice of rights, and coercive. By the time an immigrant becomes aware of his rights, expedited removal has been executed and they are removed before they can seek judicial review. Another roadblock to judicial review, is the unfair process of requiring exhaustion of constitutional claims of any unfair acts that transpired before the agency before they are claimed at the judicial level. In other words, the agency gets to determine whether their own process is constitutional. The question is how can an agency be tasked with determining the fairness of its own processes?

In essence, the U.S. rules for CAT protection as applied to Immigrants does not comply with its obligation under the treaty. Specifically, the U.S. rules have not been adequate in consistently providing immigrants a full and fair opportunity to seek a claim under CAT to prevent return to a nation where they would be persecuted.

Police Brutality in the U.S. and U.N. Convention Against Torture

In addition to Article 3 of the treaty, Articles 2, 4, 5, 6, commit parties to take effective measures to prevent any act of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction. This ensures that torture is a criminal offense, establishing jurisdiction over acts of torture committed by or against a party’s citizens, and establishing universal jurisdiction to try cases of torture where an alleged torturer cannot be extradited.

The United States failure to effectively deal with police brutality against minority citizens and other subjects within its jurisdiction undermines its obligations as a party to the treaty. Since becoming a party to the treaty, the U.S. has consistently failed to meet its obligation under the treaty.

In countless cases like Michael Brown, who was fatally shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer who was not held to answer by a grand jury, we have seen egregious persecution by government officials and the unwillingness or inability to deal with these injustices and protect others from falling victim to the same persecution has become epidemic and systematic and completely out of hand.

Across the country, the U.S. is confronted with acts of police brutality and has consistently failed to adequately investigate and protect its citizens and subjects against torture by persons acting in official capacity. Clearly violating its obligation under the treaty.

Conclusion

The only way to adequately protect immigrants and citizens in the U.S. against violations set forth under CAT is to take all of these matters before the United Nations to fairly and properly review and impose the appropriate sanctions. The U.S. has proven that it is incapable of complying with its obligations under the treaty and continue to violate the rights of primarily minority citizens and immigrants at the hands of government actors, police and immigration officials.

In no other place have immigrants and black and brown people been more persecuted by the government than the U.S. In light of more than three centuries of the most inhumane treatment of a people (chattel slavery and Jim Crow laws), you would think that the U.S. would try to make it right; it has proven that it can’t so it’s time for oversight.

About the Author
Zulu Ali is an attorney, educator, and activist. A former police officer and U.S. marine, he earned a doctorate in law (J.D.) from Trinity Law School; a masters in business (M.B.A.) and administration of justice (M.S.) from University of Phoenix; a liberal arts degree with a concentration in African studies from Regents College through a consortium with Tennessee State University; and police officer certification (P.O.S.T.) from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy.