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*Roxie and George Leatherman, Sr.

Paternal Grandparents of

Dr. Pearl Olive Leatherman Mitchell

Ethnic Indian Country

Racism and Discrimination Permeates The Hemisphere

And Certain Indian Tribes Suffer Its Ill-Effects

Racism In Indian Country

As the preeminent focus of America’s Leaders appears trained upon attaining military supremacy over other Nations and their resources, Congressional Representatives give the impression that they are unconcerned about protecting the Constitution, or harnessing plenary powers to write laws and enactments to protect the people, appearing more absorbed by partisan power struggles than the nation’s civilized order of checks and balances, which has been turned upside down.

American Judges and U.S. Courts appear to have ventured far a-field from their primary mandate to protect the rights of all persons endowed with such rights. Modern Court decisions continue trending towards overt domestic racial intolerance and callous treatment of Ethnic Black Indians and Freedmen. Anarchy reigns, as America becomes mired in a Millennium Dark Age of Quiet Disregard and rebuking efforts at achieving E-racism (Eliminating Racism) within it’s sphere of influence and legal-geographical domain.

Promoting Racial Tolerance, Elimination of Racism and achieving Equality Standards are important positive deviations from the racism of yester year, as outgrowths and social gains arising from the turbulent 1960‘s U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Abandoning the ethical and principal correctness of this movement marks a radical departure from American adherence to Morality, Human Rights, Civil Rights, Treaties and Treaty Rights as Supreme Law of the Land, the Rule of Law, Freedom, Equality and Democracy.

Contradicting present U.S. Intolerance are World Courts, who seem to have entered a Millennium Renaissance of sorts, marked by progressive landmark decisions favoring Nations of Indigenous Peoples historically destroyed by Imperial, Colonial Conquering Powers.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has taken the lead in aiding humanity to take the right course in the Millennium Renaissance. It was the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that issued a landmark decision on October 7, 2005, affirming the human right to nationality as the gateway to the equal enjoyment of all rights as civic members of a state. The Court’s ruling in Dilcia Yean and Violeta Bosico v. Dominican Republic marks the first time that an international human rights tribunal has unequivocally upheld the international prohibition on racial discrimination in access to nationality.

Although the case was brought by girls of Haitian descent born on Dominican territory, who were denied Dominican nationality in contravention of the country’s constitution.

The Inter-American Court concluded that the Dominican Republic’s discriminatory application of nationality and birth registration laws and regulations rendered the girls of Haitian descent stateless and unable to access other critical rights, including the right to recognition of juridical personality, the right to a name, and the right to equal protection before the law (all enshrined in the American Convention and numerous other international human rights instruments).

The Inter-American Court Observed That:

*Nationality is the legal bond that guarantees individuals the full enjoyment of all human rights as a member of the political community.

*Although states maintain the sovereign right to regulate nationality, states discretion must be limited by international human rights standards that protect individuals against arbitrary state actions. States are particularly limited in their discretion to grant nationality by their obligations to guarantee equal protection

Before the law and to prevent, avoid and reduce statelessness.

*In granting nationality, states must abstain from producing and enforcing regulations that are discriminatory on their face or that have discriminatory effects on different groups within a population.

*States have an obligation to avoid adopting legislation or engaging in practices with respect to the granting of nationality whose application would lead to an increase in the number of stateless persons. Statelessness makes impossible the recognition of a juridical personality and the enjoyment of civil and political rights and produces a condition of extreme vulnerability.

*States cannot base the denial of nationality to children on the immigration status of their parents.

*The proof required by governments to establish that an individual was born on a state’s territory must be reasonable and cannot present an obstacle to the right to nationality.

*The Justice Initiative submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Inter-American Court in this case, arguing that racial discrimination in access to nationality is a violation of human rights and asking the Court to uphold the international prohibition on racial discrimination in access to nationality. The Court’s binding decision came after seven years of litigation by the Association of Women of Haitian Descent (MUDHA(, the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL).

Since Racial Discrimination in access to nationality is a global problem, which even affects Ethnic Black Indians and Freedmen in the Americas, this ruling is an important contribution to international jurisprudence on non-discrimination and the right to nationality.

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