Republicans Shame America as U.N. Human Rights Committee Condemns US Treatment of the Poor

UN Human Rights Commission

Cruelty and inhumanity can best be defined as willfully causing pain and suffering to others and feeling no concern about it because the type of person creating hardship is motivated by malice toward other human beings. For most Americans, the idea of being labeled cruel and inhumane would be a humiliating accusation unless they are Republicans who have supported some of the most cruel and inhumane policies targeting poor and middle class Americans. Whether they are losing the pensions they paid into, struggle feeding and housing their families on poverty wages, or face certain death due to lack of medical care, tens-of-millions of Americans know for a fact that when Republicans are allowed to control government spending, America is cruel and inhumane to its own citizens. As of last Thursday, the entire world knows America is cruel, inhumane, and degrading to its poor because the United Nations Human Rights Committee condemned the wealthiest nation in the history of the world for mistreating its poor that is common knowledge in America.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee (HRC) condemned (Section 19) the “very exceptional” United States last week for criminalizing homelessness they called “cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment” and a violation of America’s obligation to adhere to international human rights treaties. The HRC conducted a review of America’s compliance with a treaty on human rights ratified in 1992 and called on the government to take corrective action to be in compliance. The Chairman of the committee, Sir Nigel Rodley, stated at the end of the review that “I’m just simply baffled by the idea that people can be without shelter in a country, and then be treated as criminals for being without shelter. The idea of criminalizing people who don’t have shelter is something that I think many of my colleagues might find as difficult as I do to even begin to comprehend.” Obviously, Sir Nigel has not spent much time in and around America, or paid any attention to Republicans’ crusade to incorporate cruel and inhumane into their permanent party platform as their distinguishing brand.

The HRC probably conducted its review on the plight of the homeless due to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) submitting a report about Republican cruelty due to the cruel and inhumane death of a mentally ill homeless Veteran last month in a New York jail. The homeless Veteran was escaping the bitter cold by taking refuge in a stairwell in a Harlem public housing project that got him arrested, arraigned, and a $2,500 bail he could never post. The 56-year old Veteran, Jerome Murdough, was sent to Riker’s Island jail where he was left unattended and, according to a prison official; “he basically baked to death” in his cell. The executive director of the NLCHP, Maria Foscarinis, said in a statement that “We welcome the (U.N.) Committee’s Concluding Observations and call on our government to take swift action to solve homelessness with homes, not jails and prisons.” Like the U.N.’s Sir Nigel, Foscarinis must never get out much or has not paid any attention to Republicans’ cruel and inhumane austerity measures responsible for the growing number of homeless Americans; many, many of them returning Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans who cannot find decent jobs.

In 2012 alone, Republican policies were responsible for keeping well over 640,000 American citizens without housing and their precious sequester will increase those pathetic numbers for nine more years. In Paul Ryan’s cruel and inhumane Path to Prosperity austerity budget released yesterday, those numbers will explode as domestic spending is set to take barbaric cuts to fund incredibly incomprehensible tax cuts for the rich and corporations Republicans claim will help the poor and middle class like they have since their man-god Ronald Reagan was president. Ryan and Senator Patty Murray just worked out a two-year budget the President signed into law, but as this column warned last December, Republicans were dissatisfied they had not wreaked enough havoc with Draconian austerity measures targeting the poor, seniors, children, Veterans, and the middle class. In Ryan’s latest budget obscenity, the wealthy elite and corporations are slated to get a 14.9% tax cut Republicans claim will “create jobs, grow our economy, and put more money back into people’s pockets.” Republicans are still selling the absurd concept that giving the richest 1% more money from 99% of population is going to put more money back into 99% of the population’s pockets.

One thing giving the rich greater tax cuts is not going to do is help the homeless find good jobs that pay them enough to afford permanent shelter or increase housing assistance funding for those earning poverty wages. Ryan’s budget is wrought with devastating domestic spending cuts that, if anything like the Republican sequester, will bring an abrupt end to assistance finding shelter for minimum wage full-time workers who cannot afford fair-market rent for an apartment anywhere in the U.S. according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The homeless Veteran who “basically baked to death” in a New York jail is one of 62,000 (13% of homeless Americans) homeless veterans who put their lives on the line for their country that men like compassionate conservative Paul Ryan calls “takers” and proposed a barbaric budget that will send more Americans, and Veterans, on the streets because they cannot find work, more than minimum wage jobs, affordable housing, or assistance finding shelter because funding has been slashed by Republicans.

America is supposed to be a world leader in human rights and regularly condemns violators as monsters and despots, but when the U.N. Human Rights Commission rightly condemned this cruel and inhumane nation for mistreating its own poor citizens, they exposed this country as anything but a human rights leader. Republicans driving America’s human rights violations began their crusade thirty years ago when their primary motivation became shrinking the government to prevent it from assisting people in need through no fault of their own. It is impossible to believe that even one locality will decriminalize homelessness, or petition their state or federal government representatives to appropriate funding for homeless shelters or expand access to housing assistance regardless the entire world now comprehends America is cruel and inhumane to its poor and not only because of homelessness.

Over the past five years leading up to today Republicans intend on increasing their assault on domestic programs despite the cost in Americans’ lives or condemnation of the world’s leading human rights watchdog. Republicans are not humiliated at the United Nations’ condemnation and it is highly likely that, like their racist supporters in the Southern United States, they consider being labeled “cruel, inhumane, and degrading to the poor” as a badge of honor and what it means to be a “real American.” There is nothing as really American as citizens in the richest country in the history of the world to be without a job, decent healthcare, or housing while Republicans kill jobs, affordable healthcare, and housing assistance to fund tax cuts for the rich. The U.N. condemnation makes official what tens-of-millions of poor Americans have known all along; real America with Republicans holding the nation’s purse strings is cruel and inhumane to every American who is not a member of the wealthy elite; not just the homeless.




14 Replies to “Republicans Shame America as U.N. Human Rights Committee Condemns US Treatment of the Poor”

  1. But they called themselves Christians. I know we don’t control the media narrative but for once I wish Progressive Christians instead of saying my good friend would throw their bovine excrement back in their hypocritical faces

  2. I’ll warrant that when this report is read by the GOTP that they will insist nay Demand that it is the Democrats/Progressives/Liberals that are the real reason for this dubious honor. They claim to be the party of “responsibility” yet they never have the courage to accept any. The GOTP is quite frankly a heinous group of pond scum who wear suits.

  3. Take a look at Albuquerque last week. A homeless mentally disabled guy sleeping in the mountains was shot down in the back like a dog. They shot him with bean bags, tasered him, sicked a dog on him and finally as he was turning around shot him in the back.

  4. The US is going to go the way of Brazil where armies of cops mow down homeless in the streets. Where acres and acres of shanties surround a small dot of cities.
    If we don’t stop them now, there will be no stopping the steep decline of the US, toppled over by a top heavy government run by 0001%

    By the way in Rome, France and Russia the .0001% were sacked by the 99.999%

    Rome was sacked because they hired an all foreign army then cheated them on their pay.

    A dreary scenario but the rich have never been all that good at planning their own long term survival.

    Thus passes the world’s glory

  5. And truthfully, this does not have any impact on the Teabaggers conscience what so ever. They will carry on as usual. What a pathetic group of human beings.

  6. The problem is that neither politicide nor stratacide is barred by any treaty, and though the far more liberal Court of the Warren and even Burger days called status crime unmajority on titutional, that concept is swiftly being eroded. Neither political party affiliation nor economic class membership has ever enjoyed heightened scrutiny, and if the resulting disenfranchisement of groups normally entitled to strict scrutiny/ heightened protection is ruled to have a casual, rather than causal, relationship to economic or political discrimination, this Court is likely to weaken or nullify those protections as well.

    By ruling that money is speech, this Court has effectually said those with the most money are entitled to the most speech. We are, I submit, on the very edge of a cliff. The majority on this Court is on the side of those who want to give us a shove.

  7. Republicans are doing just what they said they would. The people who voted for them should be tried for treason, not the republicans.

  8. “Republican’s are doing just what they said they would do” Truer words have not been spoken. Yes the people who voted for them should be tried for treason and more. There is no shame in the rethugs or teabaggers. When the World Human Rights commission calls our nation out on it’s hard core treatment of the poor..and.. there is no outcry from leaders in this party…we have almost reached the end of our time..being heartless, selfish, cruel and just plain mean, WE are far from being any form of a Christian nation. One day..we will be judged.

  9. ” The majority on this court is on the side of those who want to give us a shove” and that line is long, anxious and drooling over who will be first.

  10. Too bad the MSM wouldn’t expose this. I don’t think the majority of Americans want what is going on in this country but are unaware what is really happening.

  11. Another slap in the face. First, the US Council of Catholic Bishops condemns the Ryan budget 2 years ago for the way it treats the poor. NOW, the UN Human Rights Committee, which the US was a former leading member, condemns the country ( read Teapublicans) for its treatment of the poor!

    What is most frightening is that so MANY Joe Americas actually believe the constant lying from the right!!

    They would do well to ask: What have the Teapublicans done for the middle/working classes except crap on them????

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