Play media Overview of the United States legislative process, as explained by the Library of Congress Inthis committee of representatives prosecuted president Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers.
Out of the inhuman black ghettos of American cities, out of the cotton plantations of the South, comes this record of mass slayings on the basis of race, of lives deliberately warped and distorted by the willful creation of conditions making for premature death, poverty and disease.
It is sometimes incorrectly thought that genocide means the complete and definitive destruction of a race or people. The Civil Rights Congress has prepared and submits this petition to the General Assembly of the United Nations on behalf of the Negro people in the interest of peace and democracy, charging the Government of the United States of America with violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
We believe that in issuing this document we are discharging an historic responsibility to the American people, as well as rendering a service of inestimable value to progressive mankind.
We speak of the American people because millions of white Americans in the ranks of labor and the middle class, and particularly those who live in the southern states and are often contemptuously called poor whites, are themselves suffering to an ever-greater degree from the consequences of the Jim Crow segregation policy of government in its relations with Negro citrines.
We speak of progressive mankind because a policy of discrimination at home must inevitably create racist commodities for export abroad-must inevitably tend toward war. We have not dealt here with the cruel and inhuman policy of this government toward the people of Puerto Rico.
History has shown that the racist theory of government of the U. It is our hope, and we fervently believe that it was the hope and aspiration of every black American whose voice was silenced forever through premature death at the hands of racist-minded hooligans or Klan terrorists, that the truth recorded here will be made known to the world; that it will speak with a tongue of fire loosing an unquenchable moral crusade, the universal response to which will sound the death knell of all racist theories.
We further submit that this Convention on Genocide is, by virtue of our avowed acceptance of the Covenant of the United Nations, an inseparable part of the law of the United States of America.
According to international law, and according to our own law, the Genocide Convention, as well as the provisions of the United Nations Charter, supersedes, negates and displaces all discriminatory racist law on the books of the United States and the several states.
The Hitler crimes, of awful magnitude, beginning as they did against the heroic Jewish people, finally drenched the world in blood, and left a record of maimed and tortured bodies, and devastated areas such as mankind had never seen before.
Jackson, who now sits upon the United States Supreme Court bench, described this holocaust to the world in the powerful language with which he opened the Nuremberg trials of the Nazi leaders.
Every word he voiced against the monstrous Nazi beast applies with equal weight, we believe, to those who are guilty of the crimes herein set forth. Here we present the documented crimes of federal, state and municipal governments in the United States of America, the dominant nation in the United Nations, against 15, of its own nationals—the Negro people of the United States.
These crimes are of the gravest concern to mankind. The General Assembly of the United Nations, by reason of the United Nations Charter and the Genocide Convention, itself is invested with power to receive this indictment and act on it.
The proof of this face is its action upon the similar complaint of the Government of India against South Africa. We call upon the United Nations to act and to call the government of the United States to account. We believe that the test of the basic goals of a foreign policy is inherent in the manner in which a government treats its own nationals and is not to be found in the lofty platitudes that pervade so many treaties or constitutions.
The essence lies not in the form, but rather, in the substance. The Civil Rights Congress is a defender of constitutional liberties, human rights, and of peace. It is the implacable enemy of every creed, philosophy, social system or way of life that denies democratic rights or one iota of human dignity to any human being because of color, creed, nationality or political belief.
We ask all men and women of good will to unite to realize the objective set forth in the summary and prayer concluding this petition. We believe that this program can go far toward ending the threat of a third world war.
Bit may we add as a final note that the Negro people desire equality of opportunity in this land where their contributions to the economic. Political and social developments have been of splendid proportions and in quality second to none. They will accept nothing less, and continued efforts to force them into the category of second-class citizens through force and violence, through segregation, racist law and an institutionalized oppression, can only end in disaster for those responsible.
Respectfully submitted by the Civil Rights Congress as a service to the peoples of the world, and particularly to the lovers of peace and democracy in the United States of America William L.
The responsibility of being the first in history to charge the government of the United States of America with the crime of genocide is not one your petitioners take lightly.
Genocide Leads to Fascism and to War If our duty is unpleasant it is historically necessary both for the welfare of the American people and for the peace of the world. We petition as American patriots, sufficiently anxious to save our countrymen and all mankind from the horrors of war to shoulder a task as painful as it is important.
The wrongs of which we complain are so much the expression of predatory American reaction and its government that civilization cannot ignore them nor risk their continuance without courting its own destruction. We agree with those members of the General Assembly who declared that genocide is a matter of world concern because its practice imperils world safety.
But if the responsibility of your petitioners is great, it is dwarfed by the responsibility of those guilty of the crime we charge. Seldom in human annals has so iniquitous a conspiracy been so gilded with the trappings of respectability.
Never have so many individuals been so ruthlessly destroyed amid many tributes to the sacredness of the individual. The distinctive trait of this genocide is a cant that mouths aphorisms of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence even as it kills.
The genocide of which we complain is as much a fact as gravity. The whole world knows of it. In one form or another it has been practiced for more than three hundred years although never with such sinister implications for the welfare and peace of the world as at present.
Its very familiarity disguises its horror. It is a crime so embedded in law, so explained away by specious rationale, so hidden by talk of liberty, that even the conscience of the tender minded is sometimes dulled.
Yet the conscience of mankind cannot be beguiled from its duty by the pious phrases and the deadly legal euphemisms with which its perpetrators seek to transform their guilt into high moral purpose. Killing Members of the Group Your petitioners will prove that the crime of which we complain is in fact genocide within the terms and meaning of the United Nations Convention providing for the prevention and punishment of this crime.quotes from Christopher Hitchens: 'Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god.
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