Jack Wolfsohn | Writer
America #1! We cannot be beat!
Nonsensical, preposterous, and laughable claims aside, we kinda sorta maybe ended up in some hot water.
In late October, an international panel of law scholars, human rights activists, and community leaders came together in New York City to try the US on multiple accounts for crimes against humanity, using international criminal law on genocide as a basis for their analysis. Their conviction? Guilty.
First, the tribunal highlighted the extreme race disparity in police killings, particularly for black victims who were neither attacking nor holding a weapon. According to a Harvard study, black Americans are 3.23 times as likely to be killed by police than white people. That’s an inexcusably gruesome statistic. Moreover, the disparity is not even across the US, and in the city of Chicago, black people are 650% more likely to be killed than white people.
“It would make some sense if white people were getting killed 3.23x more than black people by cops because there’s more white people,” junior Ryan Savoie said.
The fact that a racial minority group that’s only around 20% of the white population is getting killed any more than 0.5x is a clear example of the racism in America that can only be considered a crime against humanity.
Secondly, the tribunal pointed out the legal reconstitution of slavery, also known as incarceration. Another race-related topic, it regards the use of the court system and American laws as an extremely effective means to incarcerate as many black, brown, and indigenous people as possible. Additionally, there exists a highway from school to prison that was created by various “radicalized policies and programs” set up by the US government.
“Around half of all prisoners are in prison for nonviolent crime, and most are there for drugs,” junior Kian Jadbabaei said.
Black nonviolent drug offenders are 13 times more likely than similar white offenders to be sent to prison. Also, drugs like powdered cocaine are valued around $100 for one gram and crack cocaine (stereotypically created, sold, and used by black people) is valued around $60. One would think their possession charges would be the same. However, possession of 5 grams of crack used to receive a mandatory minimum of 5 years in federal prison, but to receive a minimum of 5 years in prison for possession of powdered cocaine, a person would need to be in possession of 500 grams.
This was only true before 2010 and changed when Obama decreased the 100-to-1 gram rate of possession of crack to powdered cocaine to 18-to-1. The federal law still punishes crack charges harsher than powdered cocaine charges, but just less now.
There are thousands more cases that support the reasons that the US has been found guilty of crimes against humanity. The issues of racist police brutality and drug-related prison sentencing disparities are only two of many crimes that the US has been continually committing for generations. The International tribunal also cited environmental racism, public health inequalities, and torture of prisoners of war. If you’re interested in more of America’s crimes, discover some more truths about our nations history and current inequalities here.