March 18, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Now, on Friday March 21, there will be a rally at 4:30 PM in the Ralph J Bunche Park across the street from the UN. The rally is part of a global call to put anti-racism on the political agenda, ”Fight Racism Now: Action Speaks Louder than Words”. On the same day there will be rallies around the same call in 14 countries across the world – from Buenos Aires in the south to, New York in the west, Cyprus in the east and Stockholm, Sweden, in the north.

The campaign originated in Sweden where, as elsewhere in Europe, ultra-nationalism and neo-fascism has been on the rise in recent years. Across Europe, including Sweden, there is today extensive racial discrimination, for example, in the job and housing markets. And politicians are doing little to nothing to fight it. Across the Americas we see similar patterns of racial discrimination and lack of political initiative. If the two most discriminated groups in Europe tend to be Roma and Black Africans, across the Americas they tend to be Indigenous people and People of African Descent.

It is high time that the US moves past its “post-racial” deadlock. The racial wealth and income gap in the United States has consistently grown over the last 50 years, and dramatically increased during the most recent recession. Nationally, the African American employment gap is still 2 times that of whites, that nearly in nearly 1 in 5 Latinos and African American’s are underemployed and that in South Dakota more than 30% of Native Americans are unemployed. Indigenous peoples face some of the highest rates of poverty in our country, much of which is directly attributable to reservation poverty. Schools with 90 percent or more students of color spend a full $733 less per pupil per year and African American students remain more segregated now than 40 years ago. Though people of color make up only 30% of the U.S. population they are nearly 60% of our incarcerated population. One in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. People of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14% of regular drug users but are 37% of those arrested for drug offenses and are more likely to be both arrested and convicted than their white counterparts. The list goes on.

At http://fightracismnow.org/us/ the public can read and sign a list of political demands for the US. Among the demands is that the US strengthen its commitment to the UN International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). The campaign in the US is a collaboration between Occupy Racism, Occu-Evolve, InterOccupy, Black Life Matters United, Professor Vernellia Randall, the Anti-racist Alliance, WESPAC Foundation and Fight Racism Now(FRN) in Sweden. For more information please contact Robin Benton at antiracismtv@gmail.com, Sumumba Sobukwe at sumumba@mail.com or Michael McEachrane at michael@fightracismnow.org.

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