Wildly overstepping its bounds while revealing a profound ignorance or disdain for America’s constitutional system of government, the United Nations demanded on September 3 that the Obama administration “nullify” Florida’s popular “stand your ground” law. Of course, the president cannot “nullify” anything, let alone state law — and especially not on meaningless orders from the UN.
However, the increasingly out-of-control global bureaucracy claimed in a press release that the U.S. government was “required” to obey its mandates. Unsurprisingly, though, critics promptly ridiculed and lambasted the UN across the Internet, taking apart its bogus claims and once again calling for American withdrawal from the scandal-plagued “dictators club.”
In the press release, the group of self-styled UN “independent experts” began by calling on the Obama administration to finalize its “review” in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. Of course, Zimmerman was cleared of all charges by a jury of his peers earlier this year as experts said the prosecution was out of line even bringing the half-baked case to trial.
Thanks largely to deceptive media reporting and agitation by professional race mongers and the Justice Department, however, the self-defense killing attracted global attention last year. Among the many bizarre and ignorant reactions were demands in the case from the dictator-dominated UN “Human Rights Council” that were blasted by critics as outrageously inappropriate — even silly.
Now, though, the planetary entity has gone even further, purporting to demand obedience from the American people even on state self-defense laws. “States are required to take effective measures to review governmental, national and local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists” (emphasis added), claimed Mutuma Ruteere, the UN “Special Rapporteur on Racism.”
In UN speak, “states” are national governments, which the UN presumes have unlimited power to defy constitutional restrictions in submission to global bureaucrats. However, in America, as the UN almost certainly knows by now, nullification refers to actions by state governments aimed at stopping unconstitutional usurpations of power by federal authorities. Across the country, dozens of states have nullified lawless federal statutes, and the trend is accelerating quickly.
Apparently, the UN has not been following the Zimmerman-Martin case very closely either. For one, jurors already ruled that the killing was justified. Secondly, there was not even a shred of evidence presented by any source that Zimmerman, a Hispanic with a long track record of support for blacks, could in any way be thought of as a racist. There is also the fact that the defense did not even cite Florida’s “stand your ground” protections during the trial, mostly because Zimmerman had no way to flee even if he had wanted to.
Finally, studies about the popular law cited in countless media reports revealed that blacks rely on Florida’s “stand your ground” protections far more often than whites as a proportion of the population. Blacks in Florida are also successful using that defense at a higher rate than whites, according to data compiled by researchers. The majority of those killed in Florida “stand your ground” cases, meanwhile, have been white, too.
The UN, seemingly living in some sort of parallel universe where facts are irrelevant, suggested that the state’s protections for self-defense rights are somehow “discrimination” against blacks. “We call upon the U.S. Government to examine its laws that could have discriminatory impact on African Americans, and to ensure that such laws are in full compliance with the country’s international legal obligations and relevant standards,” said UN “human rights expert” Verene Shepherd, chief of the so-called “UN Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent.”
Stand your ground, of course, is a state law that has been adopted in some two dozen states so far. Despite the demands by the self-styled UN “human rights expert,” the federal government does not have any laws to “examine” for “compliance” with “international legal obligations.” That is mostly because the Constitution gives no power to Washington, D.C., to regulate or restrict self-defense rights, so it was not immediately clear which of “its laws” the U.S. government was called on to “examine.” It appears as though Shepherd must have been confused or ignorant about the American system of government, or alternatively, openly disdainful of it.
“The Trayvon Martin case has highlighted the importance of the need to review those existing laws and policies that can have a discriminatory effect on the basis of race, as African Americans become more vulnerable to such discrimination,” Shepherd continued. She also cited various UN agreements including the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” the “International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” and “many other international human rights law treaties;” inaccurately suggesting that they confer some sort of extra-constitutional powers on the federal government to meddle in state affairs and restrict individual rights.
As The New American and countless constitutional experts have explained on numerous occasions, UN agreements and international treaties cannot be used to expand federal powers beyond those outlined in the Constitution. That absurd myth has been debunked since America’s founding, in fact. “I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty-making power as boundless,” noted Thomas Jefferson in 1803. “If it is, then we have no Constitution.”
More recently, the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark 1957 Reid v. Covert case that Washington, D.C., could never expand its lawful powers just by signing and ratifying an international treaty. In its ruling, the high court found that “no agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution.”
Still, this is hardly the first time self-styled planetary “authorities” have demanded that the U.S. federal government violate the Constitution to enforce UN schemes. Even in the Trayvon Martin case — as local, state, and federal investigations were ongoing — UN “High Commissioner for Human Rights” Navi Pillay demanded an investigation and questioned Florida’s self-defense laws.
"As High Commissioner for Human Rights, I call for an immediate investigation," she told reporters, seemingly unaware that three probes were already well underway to determine the facts in the case. "Justice must be done for the victim.” Despite her bold statements, Pillay, a South African, was without question speaking without knowing the facts in the case.
“It's not just this individual case. It calls into question the delivery of justice in all situations like this,” she continued. Painting herself as the planet’s “human rights” enforcer, she also questioned the law and expressed “shock” that Zimmerman had not been arrested. “I will be awaiting an investigation and prosecution and trial and of course reparations for the victims concerned," she added forcefully, apparently misunderstanding the nature and scope of her job.
Critics promptly made a mockery of her statements and stepped up calls for the U.S. government to defund and withdraw from the almost comical global entity. As analysts noted, in America, the U.S. and state constitutions recognize that everyone has the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of their peers. Americans also cherish their unalienable right to keep and bear arms — also protected by the Constitution — despite UN pressure to infringe upon it.
Ironically, the misnamed UN “Human Rights Council” purporting to be concerned about the United States is composed of more than a few ruthless Islamist and Communist dictatorships that are notorious around the world for viciously abusing the rights of the people they enslave. Among the tyrannical regimes represented on the dubious entity are those ruling over Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, and China — some of the most despotic on Earth.
The UN’s priorities were almost incredible. As millions of North Koreans wasted away in concentration camps while the UN gave the dictator sensitive technology, as Chinese women were forced to suffer UN-assisted abortions for defying the communist regime’s “one-child policy,” and as UN troops were being accused of sex crimes around the world, the global body was busy attacking the unalienable human rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
Separately, the UN was also occupied lashing out at Canadian authorities for relatively low taxes and allegedly failing to provide enough welfare. Because many women still stay home to care for their children, Switzerland was also in UN “Human Rights” crosshairs for supposedly not having enough “gender equality.”
As the UN itself explains in its “Declaration of Human Rights,” it believes “rights” are "granted" by governments, not the Creator as explained in the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The global entity also claims “rights” can be limited “by law” — essentially redefining rights as revocable, government-granted privileges. “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations,” the declaration also states.
In recent years, UN efforts to restrict the rights, votes, and sovereignty of Americans have become increasingly threatening and outlandish. Late last year, for example, The New American reported that UN “International Narcotics Control Board” (INCB) boss Raymond Yans demanded Obama quash state sovereignty and the will of voters by overturning the repeal of marijuana prohibition in Colorado and Washington State, which nullified unconstitutional UN mandates and federal statutes.
“These developments are in violation of the international drug control treaties, and pose a great threat to public health and the well-being of society far beyond those states,” Yans alleged, again putting the UN’s ignorance or disdain for America’s system of government on full display for the world to see. Last week, the Obama administration defied the UN demands and said it would not challenge the state measures repealing prohibition, for now — possibly for fear of losing the battle. But the UN is not done yet.
As The New American has also documented extensively, the planetary entity is quietly but quickly working to transform itself into a global government. From so-called “sustainable development” and Agenda 21 to absurd “human rights” demands and perpetually expanding bureaucracies, the UN has made substantial progress — and it is accelerating. Analysts say the best way to stop the scheme in its tracks would be to get the United States out of the UN and cut off all funding immediately.
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at