No: 14387| Tuesday, August 25, 2020| 12:56 PM| Visit: 658

A number of Iranian scholars in a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet Jeria elaborated on cruelty and discrimination against black people in the United States and different kinds of social discriminations in this country as well.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
 
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Your Excellencies:
We thank you for your ceaseless efforts to bring about peace and tranquility to the world and for your struggles against social discrimination. We would like to bring Your Excellencies kind attention towards a few points regarding oppression and social discrimination as well as all types of social discrimination against black citizens in the United States of America:
Today, despite the progress and advancement of science and knowledge as well as access to more effective routes to a healthy, just and better quality life, we are witness to a more widespread domineering world system and deepening of the wounds and exacerbation of the pain of oppression, social discrimination and racist divisions based on the interests of a particular group against the interests of all nations across the word. The murder and harassment of black Americans is not an exceptional case, rather it stems from a social racist mentality according to which a small group enjoys a very high status, but the rest are not entitled to lowest degree of civil rights.
The bullying approach of “You’re either with us, or you will die” or the approach of “You’re either with us, or against us” took shape during the formation of a country called the United States of America that began with a war against the real owners of that territory, i.e. the native Americans.
The exceptionalist approach was once again reread by former President, George W. Bush, in the concluding years of the twentieth century. In the course of the establishment of the new American system, history bears testimony to widespread genocides and deterritorialization as well as systematic social discrimination against the real owner of America. Those who were considered a kind of “others or aliens”, included the native Americans, black Americans and somehow the entire nonwhite community, who are the referents of the discriminated communities. 

Discrimination and injustice against black Americans is widespread and diverse. As a result, depravation and discrimination is systematic in many sectors. Some examples of these discriminations are given below:
 
  • A black man in the U.S. has an estimated 1 in 1000 chance of being killed by police2.5 times the odds for a white man.[1]
  • In 2017 alone, Native Americans, Latinos, and African Americans were two, three, and four times, respectively, more likely than their white counterparts to report experiencing racial discrimination when trying to vote or participate in politics.[2]
  • In 2017, according to National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 45 percent of the students attending public schools meant for very poor students were black children, while only 8 percent of them were white children. 
  • According to a UN report on the Racial Disparities in the U.S. Criminal Justice System,[3] African Americans are more likely than white Americans to be arrested; once arrested, they are more likely to be convicted; and once convicted, they are more likely to experience lengthy prison sentences. AfricanAmerican adults are 5.9 times as likely to be incarcerated than whites and Hispanics are 3.1 times as likely. Although African Americans and Latinos comprise 29% of the U.S. population, they make up 57% [more than half] of the U.S. prison population.[4]
  • In 2016, the rate of new HIV cases per 100,000 population age 13 and over was worse for Blacks compared with Whites (52.9 compared with 6.0, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention [NCHHSTP], Division of HIV/AIDS [DHAP], National HIV/AIDS Surveillance System [NHSS]) (Appendix A, Graph 45). In 2015, the rate of HIV infection deaths per 100,000 population was worse for Blacks compared with Whites (7.9 compared with 1.1, CDC, NVSSMortality) (Appendix A, Graph 46) (NHQD Report, 2017: 28).[5] According to CDC research, in 2017, Blacks accounted for 13% of the nation’s population and represented 43% of all new HIV cases (NHQD Report, 2018: 72).[6]
  • Overall, actual American death rates from COVID19 data, collected by APM RESEARCH LAB STAFF and released on AUGUST 5, 2020, shows that 1 in 1,250 Black Americans has died (or 80.4 deaths per 100,000), while, 1 in 2,800 White Americans has died (or 35.9 deaths per 100,000).[7]
  • In 2017–18, about 79 percent of public school teachers were White and 7 percent were Black (NCES).[8] In 2017–18, about 78 percent of public school principals were White and only 11 percent were Black (NCES).[9]

In the light of the bitter experience of wars, assassinations and widespread pogroms, one of whose victims are the African people, causing the massacre of more than one million innocent people and slavery that culminated in the torture and persecution of honorable people as well as the death of more than hundred million people during the two world wars, one would expect a more rational, just and humane era. Regretfully, the exceptionalist mentality of a small, but powerful and rich American group, is the source of widespread oppressions, sanctions and historical falsifications as well as trampling upon human rights and evaluation of human values based on wealth, ethnicity, geographical situation and religion.
The American hegemonic system lacks the mentality of conscience-strickenness and apologizing for its behaviors, and, basically considers apology an stigma for itself. Today, former President Barak Obama is considered an unpatriotic person by some powerful sectors in the United States, because of admitting the 'Worst Mistake' of His Presidency. It should be borne in mind that the ethnic systems that always consider themselves to be righteous, will fall the prey to a mistake, stemming from selfishness and egoism.
A majority of the American and European peoples are certainly are in the campaign against social discrimination. The protests against oppression, harassment and murder of black Americans as well as the removal of slavery symbols point out to the wakeful conscience of the American and European peoples just like the protests in other parts of the world.
It is not any more acceptable that a human community be considered superior or inferior based on color of skin, race, ethnicity, nationality or gender. The Holy Quran addressing the entire humankind expressively states that the main criteria for nobility or honor of human beings are morality, self-restraint, and carefulness (in discharging one’s duty), which lead to correction of behavior, good deed, observation of human rights and respect for others instead of otherization, spread of contempt and distortion of the facts. May Your Excellencies kindly pay attention to the following amazing divine message: “O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with God is the one among you most careful (of his/her duty); surely God is All-knowing, All-aware” (49: 13).
If the intellectual community does not react to the murder, discrimination and harassment of black Americans today, these diabolic behaviors will continue in a larger scale and we will be witness to catastrophes in a larger scale, and, this catastrophe will engulf the individual and social lives of all of us.
The history of the United States has been and still is replete with widespread unjust crimes and atrocities. In the twenty-first century, we have witnessed violent behaviors and inhumane assassinations committed by the U.S., including the assassination of the free-spirited personality and symbol of fight against terrorism, General Qasem Suleimani. Meanwhile, it must be borne in mind that according to the common teachings of all the divine religions, “Whoever slays a person for reasons other than legal retaliation or for stopping corruption in the land, it is as though he slew all men” (5: 32). In fact, with indifference to such atrocities, we will witness the spread of oppression to the entire world. Justice and injustice do not have any geography: Where we witness justice it is valuable and where we come across injustice it is contemptuous.
The difficulty of fight against oppression and corruption is an undeniable fact. In conclusion, it is pertinent to humbly and sincerely bring a few points to the kind notice of black American community, the oppressed people, the thinkers as well as the scientific and social elites of the world:
  1. We, sincerely, friendly, empathically and sympathetically would like to bring to the kind notice of black Americans and all black people and oppressed people of the world that we are with you and stand by your side, and, in one sense we are all black and we see ourselves in your shoes and condemn all sorts of racial, ethnic, geographical, national and religious discriminations that are against human rights and are some examples of keeping away from the divine values. The Generous God is the Creator of all of us and has defined human being’s honor in his/her ability to do good to others and be beneficent to others in the society and at the same time oppression of others is among the worst sins.
  2. The scientists, intellectuals and religious scholars across the world are requested to rely on their intellectual, scientific and innovative capacities to find out systematic ways to solve the problems of oppression, domineering system and racial discrimination and also to offer insightful ways to establish some institutions that are legally capable of deterring oppression, discrimination and inequality.
  3. The artists community, media persons, and all those who are able to represent the healthy and sublime culture, are requested to take the initiative of artistic creations in line with the promotion of the just and anti-oppression, racism-free culture, i.e. the culture of friendship and peaceful coexistence so that the unjust counter-values are not turned into accepted norms and values and just examples are introduced to the public.
Without an iota of doubt, through efforts and reflection of all peoples and scientific and cultural elites of the world, rationality will win over selfishness, knowledge will defeat ignorance and justice will overcome oppression, and, we will be having a world full of peace and tranquility.
His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations and Her Excellency Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, are kindly requested to insightfully utilize the global capacity to help end social discrimination and basically the racist mentality, particularly discrimination against black Americans, and take the necessary measures for setting up a “Committee for Investigating the Widespread Social Discrimination in the United States”, especially against black Americans.
It goes without saying that Your Excellencies’ efforts will prepare the grounds for social tranquility and security for the entire people of the world.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Signatories:

Mr. Mohammad Reza Aref
  • Professor, Sharif University of Technology
  • Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Mr. Saied Reza Ameli
  • Professor, the University of Tehran
  • Secretary, Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Mr. Fereidun Azizi
  • Professor, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
  • Member of the State Scientific Research Council
Mr. Alireza Esmaili
  • Faculty Member, the Academy of Art of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Caretaker of the Academy of Art of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Mr. Mohammad Reza Ganjali
  • Professor, the University of Tehran
  • Among Thomson Reuters 2014 top 20 Iranian scientists      
Mr. Mehdi Golshani
  • Professor, Sharif University of Technology
  • Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Distinguished Physicist
Mr. Gholamali Hadad Adel
  • Associate Professor, the University of Tehran
  • Chairman of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Distinguished Philosopher
Mr. Seyed Alireza Marandi
  • Professor, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
  • Chairman of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Distinguished Physician
Mr. Mohammad Reza Mokhber Dezfuli
  • Professor, the University of Tehran
  • Distinguished Veterinarian
  • Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Mr. Saeed Sohrabpour
  • Professor, Faculty of Mechanics, Sharif University of Technology
  • Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Mr. Mohammad Mehdi Tehranchi
  • Professor, Shahid Beheshti University
  • President of the Islamic Azad University
 
[1] https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793, accessed on August 16, 2020.
[5] 2017 NATIONAL HEALTHCARE QUALITYAND DISPARITIES REPORT, p. 28, https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/research/findings/nhqrdr/2017nhqdr.pdf.
[6] 2018 NATIONAL HEALTHCARE QUALITYAND DISPARITIES REPORT, p. 72, https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/research/findings/nhqrdr/2018qdr.pdf.
[8] NCES, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_clr.asp, accessed on August 15, 2020.
[9] NCES, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_clr.asp, accessed on August 15, 2020.
 

 

Sccr Logo

Quick Access

Contacts

No 309,Palastine Ave.,Tehran,Iran

(+9821) 66468271 - 5