NEWS Participation in politics, religion, education, and other aspects of American minority rights discrimination￼ July 29, 2022July 28, 2022 Joseph Henry 0 Comments Contents1. Back ground2. The right of minorities in US to engage in politics3. Minority linguistic rights and access to education4. US Criminal Justice Administration and Justice Access5. Incitement and Racial Violence in the USA6. The Rights of Religious Minorities under the Law of USA7. The situation in United States’ overseas territories8. Social inequality and prejudice towards minorities9. Conclusions and recommendations10. REFFERANCE 1. Back groundThe right and chance to vote through universal and equal suffrage are actively and steadily being destroyed. This is especially true for minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics, and indigenous peoples. There is a systematic deprivation of voting rights for those who are poor, members of minorities, and other marginalized groups. Millions of Americans, disproportionately minorities, are either denied the chance or the right to participate in national elections. The number of states enacting legislation making it more difficult for Americans to vote increased dramatically in 2021 [1, 2]. Many of the comments presented to the Special Rapporteur underlined that what is involved is the diluting of minorities’ voting strength. Minority voters were disproportionately affected by the measures identified by the Special Rapporteur, even though none specifically mentioned race, language, or religion. Poor minority voters may have little free time to exercise their right to vote on working days because they may have multiple part-time jobs. They might not have access to any form of transportation to a polling place. Many obstacles minorities face in exercising their right to vote are discriminatory and therefore discriminatory, and clear violations of one of the pillars of international human rights law. The U.N. Special Rapporteur was encouraged by the Biden administration’s commitment to better protecting every American’s right to voting through federal voting laws like the Freedom to Vote and John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act [3, 4].In areas with high concentrations of poverty, minority students are more frequently enrolled in public schools and consequently get less resources and educational chances. Some states allow local property taxes to be used to tether public school district budgets. The Special Rapporteur believes that there should be national standards for the funding of all public schools. Despite Louisiana’s French agency, CODOFIL efforts and the passing in more recent years of several laws to protect the state’s French language and culture, further measures for their preservation, revitalization, and promotion are needed. This could include temporary special measures in order to promote the use of French in smaller communities [5-7]. The use of indigenous and minority children’s native languages as the medium of teaching in schools is obviously and directly related to student accomplishment and performance, community and school pride, and educational opportunity. The indigenous Chamorro language is in a vulnerable position in Guam as a result of past governmental discrimination and repressive laws and policies [8, 9].Inequality in sentencing and imprisonment rates for minorities in the US criminal justice system were brought to the Special Rapporteur’s attention. Despite making up just around 13 and 18 percent of the US population, respectively, of the jail population, African Americans and Hispanics make about one third of each group. The poorest members of society are the only ones who are impacted by the accumulation of so-called “fines and fees,” who pay the great bulk of such penalties. Minorities, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, are disproportionately affected by the cash bail system. Ending the practices of racial profiling is essential to ending such practices [10, 11].The Special Rapporteur was made aware that the FBI has officially classified hate crimes as a top national danger, resulting in increased funding for both prevention and investigation. Most reported hate crimes were motivated by bias against one’s race, ethnicity, or religion. They disproportionately targeted minorities, accounting for perhaps more than 70% of all hate crimes nationwide. The Department of Justice has improved language access through translations and initiatives to guarantee culturally competent material on its website civilrights.gov. The fact that minorities are the most common targets of hate speech on social media is frequently ignored. The shooting spree took place against the backdrop of rising anti-Asian sentiment in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some social media sites’ algorithms reinforce bigotry, discrimination, and false information. The government must follow other democracies like Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in enacting legislation against hate and crime on social networks. It must make the deletion procedure of hate speech and crime postings simpler and more transparent [12, 13].Domestic law does not always effectively guard against discrimination based on religion or belief, as is forbidden by international human rights treaties. After 9/11, the Patriot Act had a severe effect on minorities, notably Muslims and persons of Arab or South Asian heritage. Guidelines on profiling have been released by the Department of Justice, but neither they nor the border are covered by them. The US Supreme Court has ruled that companies and other legal entities have the same “freedom of religion or belief” as individuals under US law. This means they can assert their right to the same rights as individuals. But such a strategy is incompatible with international human rights legislation [14, 15].The majority of people who live in the overseas territories are members of linguistic, religious, and ethnolinguistic minorities. But they are also acknowledged as indigenous peoples with rights related to self-determination. There are different categories of rights-holders in international law in overseas territories which may overlap but are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico lacks equal rights to political representation and participation. Puerto Rico’s political rights deficit is exacerbated by its budgetary imbalance. Anachronistic legal and political traditions from a time when non-White minority were mostly treated as second-class citizens still exist [16, 17]Minorities are frequently disproportionately exposed to major environmental risks and contaminants, such as those that affect drinking water aquifers. Strong testimonials in Guam and Vieques, Puerto Rico, highlighted the unequal health, level of living, educational performance, and social repercussions. The most polluting industrial facilities are more likely to be located in underprivileged and underrepresented areas, especially those where people of African origin reside. The Special Rapporteur was especially moved by the use of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a case study in this respect. For over 60 years, the US military utilized the island as a live-munitions target range. “They bombed us, they made us ill, and they left us,” as it was succinctly stated in a town meeting [18, 19].2. The right of minorities in US to engage in politics Every citizen “shall have the right and the possibility, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 [such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin] and without unreasonable restrictions to vote and to be elected at legitimately announced [20, 21].In the US, there is insufficient effective protection for this fundamental human right. Despite the Civil Rights Acts of 1960 and 1964, as well as the 1965 Voting Rights Act, enforcement of the 14th and 15th Amendments of the US Constitution, which forbid various types of voting discrimination, has continued and remains controversial [22, 23]. Until 2013, when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Shelby v. Holder that one section of the law (section 4b) could no longer be applied in accordance with the Constitution, rendering another (section 5) essentially inapplicable, no government at any level was allowed to enact policies that denied citizens the equal right to vote on the basis of race. States having a track record of racial discrimination could thus no longer implement laws [24-26].During the Special Rapporteur’s assignment, it also became evident that the right and chance to vote through universal and equal suffrage are actively and steadily being destroyed. This is especially true for minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics, and indigenous peoples. This is not a historically new phenomenon, and other UN independent experts have already acknowledged it, such as in 2017: As a result of their behavior frequently being intentionally targeted for prosecution, black Americans are disproportionately affected by the overt disenfranchisement of large numbers of felons in the US [27-29]. Additionally, it’s common for those who have paid their obligation to society to be prohibited from exercising their right to vote again until all penalties and costs are settled. Then there is covert disenfranchisement, which includes the blatant manipulation of polling station locations; the relocating of DMVs to make it more difficult for certain groups to obtain IDs; the dramatic gerrymandering of electoral districts to favor particular groups of voters; the imposition of artificial and unnecessary voter ID requirements; and the general escalation of barriers to voting, especially for those without resources. The end effect is a systematic deprivation of voting rights for those who are poor, members of minorities, and other marginalized groups [30, 31].The intensity of what my friend described as the erosion of democracy has accelerated over the past four years. Millions of Americans, disproportionately minorities, are either denied the chance or the right to participate in national elections because of the state-specific restrictions that can be enacted by each individual state in the union [32-34]. The repercussions of restricting permissible voting aid or disenfranchising those with specific sorts of criminal records or associated debts, demanding rigorous IDs, rigging polling places, or other actions are evident, tangible, and significant: Despite record turnout, black, Hispanic, and Asian minority participation in the 2020 general election remained drastically uneven; while 70.9 percent of white voters voted, only 58.4 percent of these minorities did. The number of states enacting legislation making it more difficult for Americans to vote increased dramatically in 2021, with at least 19 states implementing 33 such measures [3, 35, 36].The most infamous example of this is the Texas omnibus legislation, which disproportionately impacts minorities, including Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics. Additionally, it forbids 24-hour and drive-through voting, making it more difficult for people who face language access barriers, mostly minorities, to get assistance in casting their ballots. These restrictions also limit election workers’ ability to prevent harassment by partisan poll watchers who disproportionately target minorities [37, 38]. Election workers in Texas are now prohibited from sending absentee ballot applications to voters who haven’t requested them. As a result, it seems as though Texas’ voting system—and, regrettably, that in an increasing number of other states—is biased against minorities. According to court documents filed in a lawsuit shortly before the Special Rapporteur’s mission, the two congressional seats created as a result of this population growth have a majority white population makeup, despite minorities making up about 95% of the growth in Texas’ population in the 2020 census, of which more than half was Hispanic. Many of the comments presented to the Special Rapporteur underlined that such instances of what is known as “gerrymandering” in the United States are on the rise in the nation and that what is involved is the diluting of minorities’ voting strength. In states with independent redistricting panels, like California, there doesn’t appear to be any such interference with minorities’ right to vote [39-41].There are countless instances of policies being implemented that make voting more challenging or have the same effect. Even though none of the identified measures specifically mentioned race, language, or religion, minorities—particularly African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics—were disproportionately and severely impacted in their exercise of the right to vote. However, the connections are surprisingly obvious: poorer minority voters may have little free time to exercise their right to vote on working days because they may have multiple part-time jobs, choose not to work during “office hours,” or choose not to do so because their polling place may be crowded. They might not have access to any form of transportation to a polling place. Establishing electoral districts that “dilute” the concentration of minority voters by limiting the number of drop-off boxes, restricting voting by mail, only allowing voting during a limited number of hours, or placing polling places far from public transportation or in neighborhoods with a high minority population [42-44]. It must be emphasized that the cumulative effect of all of these actions, as well as the submissions and testimony gathered by the Special Rapporteur, all pointed to the passage of 33 laws by 19 states in 2021 that would make voting disproportionately difficult for minorities. The Special Rapporteur has not been given any convincing proof of any serious election fraud or unlawful voting that would call into question the “integrity” of the electoral process and justify steps that would probably deny the right to vote to many Americans. Even though there was no evidence of such problems in the recent 2020 national elections, it appears that the majority of restrictive measures are only implemented because there is a “perception” that encouraging and making the right to vote exercise too accessible may encourage fraud and must therefore be discouraged. The conclusion of the Special Rapporteur is that many of the obstacles minorities face in the exercise of the right and opportunity to vote by universal and equal suffrage are unreasonable and therefore discriminatory, and clear violations of one of the pillars of international human rights law, and the phenomenon – and undermining of democracy – is increasing. Human rights, and especially the equal right to vote, are moving backwards for minorities in the United States [45-47].Positively, the Special Rapporteur was encouraged by the Biden administration’s commitment to better protecting every American’s right to vote through federal voting laws like the Freedom to Vote and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, as well as other pieces of legislation like the for the People Act, which contained voting rights protection. By establishing national voting standards and strengthening legal safeguards against discriminatory voting laws and policies, the latter would make it easier for all individuals to exercise their fundamental and equal right to vote. To be more precise, it would establish minimal national requirements for voting by mail and declare Election Day a federal holiday. It would reinstate the necessity for states to request federal consent before making any modifications to their voting procedures that would disadvantage minority votes. However, the combined measure was not approved by the US Senate at the time this article was being written. Thus, millions of minorities’ ability to vote is severely restricted and becoming increasingly vulnerable [48-50].Minorities do not have the same full and equal rights that other people do in terms of political representation and involvement. Millions of residents in the US territories—many of whom are also members of minorities and some of whom are people in a colonial context—are not allowed to cast ballots in presidential elections. The members of the minority in the US House of Representatives are not allowed to participate in floor votes, and they are not represented in the US Senate. American Samoans are now not regarded as citizens but rather as “nationals,” with even fewer rights, as stated in Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in terms of the ability to vote, political representation, and participation. The numerous historical circumstances, as well as the varied levels of autonomy and status, including those of individuals with the right to self-determination, which contributed to the exclusion of predominantly minorities and peoples from foreign territories, cannot be covered in depth in this study. However, the Special Rapporteur is of the opinion that the anti-discrimination provisions of international human rights law, as well as the rights to universal and equal voting rights and to participate in the governance of the state through freely chosen representatives, are not fully implemented in the antiquated vestiges of the nation’s colonial past, which persist through the political emancipation of the populations in these territories [51-53].3. Minority linguistic rights and access to education In areas with high concentrations of poverty, minority students are more frequently enrolled in public schools and consequently get less resources and educational chances. All too frequently, they are connected to less educational options. More importantly, several states allow local property taxes to be used to tether public school district budgets. The main conclusion is still that public schools in wealthy towns get greater local support, even though it is a bit of an oversimplification since per-student spending do not always reflect community income. According to reports, federal spending is insufficient to offset this difference. In some areas of the United States, there is also substantial financial assistance, tax breaks, and other transfers for private education, a field in which minorities are frequently underrepresented. Several groups noted that this might be considered a form of structural discrimination, analogous to the diverting of public funds away from public education, which would underfund the public school system, underpay public teachers, and have a disproportionately negative impact on primarily minority students [5, 54, 55].In order to overcome the essentially systemic and discriminatory effects of locally based funding schemes for public education, the Special Rapporteur believes that there should be national standards for the funding of all public schools. The 2021 American Rescue Plan, which increases opportunities for students in need, such as those from low-income backgrounds and minorities, as well as federal funding through Title I, Part A (Title I), are just a few of the commendable initiatives made under the Biden administration to more directly and equitably address these funding inequalities [56, 57].While some states, like California, have implemented bilingual education programs, particularly for their sizable Hispanic population and some of the larger, more concentrated minority communities, the outcomes for these have been overwhelmingly positive. This is not necessarily the case for linguistic minorities in other parts of the country. For instance, the Cajun (also known as “Cadiens” or “Acadiens”) minority, which once made up a sizeable portion of the population in Louisiana and some of its neighboring states, has seen its culture and language (French) threatened by legislation and policies, primarily after 1916, through active prohibitions of the use of their language in schools until almost the late 20th century. As with indigenous and Spanish languages, the French Cajun language is part of the rich cultural and linguistic heritage of the country. Despite Louisiana’s French agency, CODOFIL efforts and the passing in more recent years of several laws to protect the state’s French language and culture, further measures for their preservation, revitalization, and promotion, including in innovative programs in education and elsewhere to’renormalize’ and strengthen the use and position of the French language in Louisiana, This could include temporary special measures in order to promote the use of French in smaller communities and resources to renew exchanges with kindred Acadian educational and other institutions [58-60].While some states, like California, have implemented bilingual education programs, particularly for their sizable Hispanic population and some of the larger, more concentrated minority communities, the outcomes for these have been overwhelmingly positive. This is not necessarily the case for linguistic minorities in other parts of the country. For instance, the Cajun (also known as “Cadiens” or “Acadiens”) minority, which once made up a sizeable portion of the population in Louisiana and some of its neighboring states, has seen its culture and language (French) threatened by legislation and policies, primarily after 1916, through active prohibitions of the use of their language in schools until almost the late 20th century. As with indigenous and Spanish languages, the French Cajun language is part of the rich cultural and linguistic heritage of the country. Despite Louisiana’s French agency, CODOFIL efforts and the passing in more recent years of several laws to protect the state’s French language and culture, further measures for their preservation, revitalization, and promotion, including in innovative programs in education and elsewhere to “renormalize” and strengthen the use and position of the French language in Louisiana, This could include temporary special measures in order to promote the use of French in smaller communities and resources to renew exchanges with kindred Acadian educational and other institutions.After the United States imposed an English-only regime that lasted until very recently, the Chamorro language in Guam and other islands was added to the UNESCO list of endangered languages. The use of Chamorro as a language of instruction is still quite restricted, despite the remarkable shift in views toward the language in recent years. The scholastic performance of Chamorro children as well as how they view their identity, language, and culture continue to suffer as a result of this. There is enough proof that the use of indigenous and minority children’s native languages as the medium of teaching in schools is obviously and directly related to student accomplishment and performance, community and school pride, and educational opportunity. The indigenous Chamorro language is in a vulnerable position in Guam as a result of past governmental discrimination, repressive laws and policies, and similar circumstances to those involving indigenous languages and French in Louisiana. This situation has to be rectified and normalized [58, 59, 61].The Native American Languages Act, in the Special Rapporteur’s opinion, should be broadened to explicitly cover indigenous languages spoken in overseas territories like Guam and to provide support for long-term revitalization efforts for these languages [62, 63]. People who use sign languages to communicate, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, family members, and others, are linguistic minorities since they are utilizing full-fledged languages. Many deaf children are unable to acquire sign language at an early age, which raises concerns about language deprivation and the absence of national legal recognition of American Sign Language (ASL) as a full-fledged language. Institutions like Gallaudet University, the first university in the world for the deaf, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and a number of schools for the deaf are supported by federal legislation and programs like the Education of the Deaf Act. The position of ASL in the nation, however, varies greatly and is not always uniform, and sign language is not always used in school. ASL is frequently only acknowledged as a “foreign language” in order to be accepted for college or university credit. Contrary to what is usually believed to be the ideal strategy for educating deaf and hard of hearing children, teaching in sign language is not always favored and in certain places is not actively employed as a medium of education [64-66].4. US Criminal Justice Administration and Justice AccessThe Special Rapporteur applauds the Biden administration of the United States for recognizing the need for and taking significant action in the area of justice, including the reopening by the Attorney General of an Office for Access to Justice and other initiatives, such as to strengthen legal aid in the nation [67, 68].Inequalities in sentencing and imprisonment rates for minorities in the US criminal justice system were nonetheless brought to the Special Rapporteur’s attention. The ‘War on Drugs’ from the 1970s and the implementation of mandatory minimum sentences and zero tolerance policies in some state legislation have had the consequence of disproportionately criminalizing broad swathes of minority people. Despite making up just around 13 and 18 percent of the US population, respectively, respectively, of the jail population, African Americans and Hispanics make about one third of each group. This has led to a vicious cycle of exclusion and obstacles for those with criminal backgrounds to later find jobs and be included in society, such as getting access to decent housing, social programs, and credit. Ultimately, due of felony or even misdemeanor convictions and related consequences, millions of people—overwhelmingly minorities—are essentially denied political representation and the ability to vote [69, 70].According to the Special Rapporteur, minorities are disproportionately victims of marginalization and criminalization that traps them in a cycle of generational poverty. This is due to a criminal justice system that is structurally designed to favor and pardon the wealthy while punishing the poor, especially minorities of color. One of his coworkers made the observation that “the criminal justice system is actually a system for keeping the poor in poverty while producing income to sustain not only the justice system but several other initiatives… The poorest members of society are the only ones who are impacted by the accumulation of so-called “fines and fees,” who pay the great bulk of such penalties, which make even little transgressions extremely costly [71, 72].One further point that may be made is that the poorest people in society who are stuck in this cycle of poverty are generally members of underrepresented groups like African Americans and Hispanics. Nearly 500,000 individuals are detained each day throughout the nation because they cannot pay bail even if they have not been found guilty of a crime. Minorities, particularly Blacks and Hispanics, are disproportionately affected by the cash bail system; during the past 15 years, this has increased by more than a factor of two [55, 73-75].Due to more current high occurrences, there is a major worry over police deaths of African Americans and acts of violence and brutality towards them. But what is ignored is how systematic the mediatized incidents’ revelations are. According to the data that is currently available, African American males are nearly three times more likely than white men to be killed by police, and Hispanic men are nearly twice as likely. In addition to other measures that must be more systematically implemented to de-escalate confrontational approaches toward specific minorities, ending the practices of racial profiling that are still common, independent and effective oversight of law enforcement is essential to ending such practices [76, 77].5. Incitement and Racial Violence in the USA At the federal level and in the majority of states, there exist laws against hate crimes that forbid violence and threats motivated by racial, ethnic, religious, or national origin. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act, which were described as part of a “new spectrum of measures” to address hate crimes and occurrences, are only a couple of the recent government initiatives that the Special Rapporteur was told about. Additionally, he was made aware that the FBI has officially classified hate crimes as a top national danger, resulting in increased funding for both prevention and investigation [78-80].Whatever defines a hate crime, however, is not standardized. Regarding hate speech, despite the fact that the First Amendment protects free speech, authorities reportedly take action when such utterances result in discrimination or violence. Any promotion of national, racial, or religious hate that constitutes an incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence should be outlawed by law, according to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 20(2) [81, 82].Hate crime statistics are gathered by the FBI, however reporting is optional. The FBI depends on local law enforcement agencies to gather and submit this data, but it doesn’t require them to do so, so many of them don’t. Of the 15,000 that do, about 88 percent stated, for instance, that they had no hate crimes in a year. Public agencies substantially underreport hate crimes and instances of hate speech, and minority themselves may be reluctant to do the same. Some communities’ residents might not trust law enforcement, have trouble communicating with them in their native tongue, or be undocumented and fearful of doing so. This indicates that the number of reports is probably significantly undercounted. According to reports, Jews and Muslims are the minorities most regularly targeted by religious hate crimes and hate speech, while African Americans are the minority most harmed by these incidents. Overall, according to underreported FBI data, hate crimes in 2020 reached their highest level in more than a decade. Most reported hate crimes were motivated by bias against one’s race, ethnicity, or religion, and they disproportionately targeted minorities, accounting for perhaps more than 70% of all hate crimes nationwide [83-85].The Biden Administration is aware that not enough hate crimes are reported. To make it simpler to report hate crimes, the Department of Justice has improved language access through translations and initiatives to guarantee culturally competent material on its website civilrights.justice.gov . The fact that minorities are the most common targets of hate speech on social media is frequently ignored. The severity of crossing misogynous and racist hate speech, which makes minority women more susceptible to some of the most violent and destructive types of hate speech on social media, is also a cause for worry. The 16 March 2021 shooting spree at spas and massage parlors in the Atlanta metropolitan area, which left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women, has been linked to the idea that hate speech on social media also contributes to harm in the real world. This has been made clear by the fact that the shooting spree took place against the backdrop of rising anti-Asian sentiment in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic [87-89].The nation as a whole is experiencing a surge in anti-Semitism, anti-Asian rhetoric, Islamophobia, pejorative insults towards Hispanic, Arab, and other minority populations, as well as anti-immigration xenophobia, sometimes at record levels. With xenophobia, scapegoating, and scare tactics mostly directed at minorities, they look to be causing actual societal harm and cleavages in the nation. Some social media sites’ algorithms dig rabbit holes that reinforce bigotry, discrimination, and false information. While no one denied that social media platforms provided opportunities for individuals to interact, share, and engage in good ways, many criticized the destructive and inaccurate information. One representative for a minority group made the point that some of these platforms’ economic models encourage hate speech, undermine democracy, and split up nations [90, 91].Numerous minority and human rights organizations expressed the opinion that social media platform owners were failing to adequately address this risky and growing trend and that more immediate action was required to impose, if necessary, additional responsibilities and liabilities for the actual harm and, in some cases, violence and abuse caused by hate speech. The government must follow other democracies like Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in enacting legislation against hate and crime on social networks, to make the deletion procedure of hate speech and crime postings simpler and more transparent, in order to protect the right to freedom of expression and combat the detrimental effects of hate speech and hate crimes propagated or facilitated by social media platforms and assign the social network provider blame for the damage done [55, 92, 93]. 6. The Rights of Religious Minorities under the Law of USAFederal and state laws both guarantee religious freedom, and while federal legislation like the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act provides protection for religious or belief minorities in some contexts, domestic law does not always effectively guard against discrimination based on religion or belief, as is forbidden by international human rights treaties. While Title VII and the Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination based on religion in employment and housing, respectively, no federal law explicitly outlaws discrimination on the basis of religion or belief or, for that matter, language, two of the most significant forms of human characteristics under which discriminatory practices and policies frequently occur and have an adverse effect on minorities [94-97].Additionally, in response to the events of September 11, 2001, the US government at the time passed the Patriot Act, which had a severe effect on minorities, notably Muslims and persons of Arab or South Asian heritage. This apparently had a chilling impact on Muslim behavior, with many of them attending mosque less regularly or not at all. The sensation of chilling has never really subsided. The 2017 Muslim Ban, which the previous government may have violated international human rights, also unfairly affected and targeted Muslims in the United States, as well as Arab and South Asian Americans. The Department of Homeland Security’s acknowledgement that white supremacists and extreme right-wing terrorists pose the biggest domestic terrorism danger in the country, namely targeting communities of color and those based on religion or ethnicity, is a positive development [98-100].White nationalist violence and the significance of upholding civil rights are both addressed in the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, yet concerns still exist. Guidelines on profiling have been released by the Department of Justice, although neither they nor the border are covered by them. This indicates that religious and racial profiling, frequently directed towards Muslims and Hispanics, is still permitted in certain locations [101, 102].In the United States, discrimination based on religion or beliefs also affects humanists, atheists, and non-theists because of what is known as “Christian prejudice or favoritism,” which appears to go against the state’s declared secularism. This includes restrictions on the right to political participation due to high electability barriers as well as discrimination in schools through school-led prayers, which it has been reported still occurs in some public schools despite constitutional, statutory, and judicial requirements that school officials acting in their official capacity not lead prayers or otherwise coerce or compel students to pray. Pro-religious prejudice is allegedly strongly ingrained, and seven state constitutions continue to contain unlawful restrictions on the election of non-religious people to public office. Additionally, there have been documented instances of religious minorities being denied access to public services by private suppliers. In one recent instance, a state-funded adoption agency turned down a Jewish couple’s request for training services from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services because they weren’t Christians. According to legislation passed in Tennessee in 2020, faith-based organizations are permitted to refuse adoptions to the “extent permitted by federal law” if they are in conflict with their “religious or moral convictions or values.” The fact that in the United States, only discrimination based on race, color, or national origin is expressly prohibited by federal law in programs or activities funded by the government complicates the problem of obvious religious discrimination. Last but not least, since the US Supreme Court ruled in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia in 2021, companies and other legal entities are now able to assert their right to the same “freedom of religion or belief” as individuals under US law. Due to the fact that freedom of religion or belief is a personal right that only applies to individuals and not companies, such a strategy is incompatible with international human rights legislation [103-105].7. The situation in United States’ overseas territoriesThe majority of people who live in the territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are members of linguistic, religious, and ethnolinguistic minorities, despite the fact that they are also acknowledged as indigenous peoples with rights related to self-determination. According to Chapter XI of the UN Charter, which is defined as “areas whose inhabitants have not yet acquired a complete degree of self-government,” these regions are also recognized as non-self-governing territories. The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization concluded in 1972 that there was a “colonial connection” between the United States and Puerto Rico, despite the fact that these two territories were once listed as not having self-government. To be clear, there are different categories of rights-holders in international law in overseas territories which may overlap but are not necessarily exclusive: indigenous peoples; colonial peoples in the ‘non-self-governing context’, and national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. An indigenous people not in a colonial context would have a distinct legal status to an indigenous people of a territory under Chapter XI. Many individuals who are members of an indigenous people could also, in addition to any status other status as a people, be in some contexts members of a linguistic or religious minority. These are separate legal categories that are not mutually exclusive and are not necessarily harmful to one another. The collective rights that indigenous peoples and people living under colonial rule may enjoy under international law are unaffected by the individual human rights of minorities. The people who live in overseas territories and other non-self-governing areas are independent, distinct peoples with the right to self-determination, while some of them may also be minorities in terms of their language, religion, or culture [106-108].One of the main issues raised with the Special Rapporteur during his visit to Guam was the US military’s authority over almost one-third of the island, and allegations that military operations had seriously contaminated the soil and drinking water. Over an aquafer, which supplies 90% of Guam’s water, a shooting range complex is being built. Military development is also occurring on ancestral grounds that contain historic graveyards. These sites are not protected to the same extent as other native sites, such as Native American sites on US territory [108, 109].Locals frequently feel their rights and interests are subordinate to those of mainland people since federal laws preempt local laws in Guam and other territories. They are not eligible to vote in presidential elections and are not represented in Congress by any representatives. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the decision in 2019. A lower court had banned a referendum that would have allowed the Americans who colonized the island and their descendants to decide on their status and the island’s destiny. The plebiscite act, according to the Ninth Circuit, violated the 15th Amendment by misrepresenting race based on ancestry. Many believe they are second-class citizens who are incapable of properly presenting and defending their interests [110, 111].Similarly, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico lacks equal rights to political representation and participation. Puerto Rico’s political rights deficit is exacerbated by its budgetary imbalance. Due to the territory’s perilous fiscal situation, the Financial Oversight and Management Board, which Congress imposed on Puerto Rico as part of PROMESA, eventually has genuine legal and political authority. Without taking any evident human rights concerns into account in the Board’s decisions, the severe austerity measures forced on Puerto Rican territory authorities and the whole population have resulted in enormous cutbacks and decreases in sectors like public education and public health. It is difficult to disagree with the claims made by many Puerto Ricans who were present at meetings in San Juan and Vieques that the people of Puerto Rico are being controlled by a colonial-style foreign power to their detriment. They claim that they are not adequately represented at the national level and lack the capacity to govern themselves as a non-self-governing territory in the international sense [112, 113].Although the present administration is to be congratulated for enacting executive orders that strive to address some of these complaints, few of the allegations of discriminatory treatment have been substantially altered by any of them. Anachronistic legal and political traditions from a time when non-White minority were mostly treated as second-class citizens still exist. The Special Rapporteur believes that in order to fully respect the identity, traditions, and unique characteristics of these territories and their communities, as well as their rights as non-self-governing territories and their human rights as recognized by international human rights instruments, a new federal approach is required [114, 115]. 8. Social inequality and prejudice towards minorities Minorities are frequently disproportionately exposed to major environmental risks and contaminants, such as those that affect drinking water aquifers, Strong testimonials in Guam and Vieques, Puerto Rico, in particular, highlighted the unequal health, level of living, educational performance, and social repercussions. Other specific processes have also been brought forward with strong proof of minorities “in underprivileged places with dangerous settings (e.g., next to industrial toxins, power plants, flood zones, etc.) and without access to social and commercial amenities. The most polluting industrial facilities, in a variety of industries ranging from farming and mining to manufacturing, are more likely to be located in underprivileged and underrepresented areas, especially those where people of African origin reside. and Flint, Michigan’s lead-tainted water.” Minority communities and the inhabitants of U.S. territories like Guam and Puerto Rico, as well as poorer minority rural areas on the mainland, may be disproportionately exposed to chemical or other pollutants, inadequately served by municipal sewage systems, or the sites of long-term military toxic ammunition and poisons disposal. The municipal water supply in Flint, Michigan, where minorities are concentrated, or other highly contaminated sites known as Superfund sites like those in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and Guam, do not appear to be sufficiently prioritized for cleanup as they should be, in an effective or expedited manner, despite the serious health consequences [18, 19].In particular, minority populations have disproportionately higher rates of cancer and other diseases, more kids with learning disabilities or developmental issues, and shorter life expectancies. It is impossible to dispute that White areas often receive superior service from government agents, and that more effective safeguards against pollution, well-maintained sanitary systems, and water supply protection are more likely to be in place [116, 117].The Special Rapporteur was especially moved by the use of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a case study in this respect. For over 60 years, the US military utilized the island as a live-munitions target range. Internal Navy records show that, on average, bombardments took place 180 days a year. Since 1972, the US military has utilized high-level depleted uranium bombs and ammunition. Due to Vieques’ employment as a testing site for weapons and a venue for military drills, other types of pollution (heavy metals, etc.) occur. The outcome is simply that “They bombed us, they made us ill, and they left us,” as it was succinctly stated in a town meeting due to the lack of any apparent cleaning to date. They could care less [118, 119].Despite the Navy ceasing these drills and leaving Vieques in 2003, the effects on generations of people’s health are still being felt. In 2001, the government of Vieques received some of these occupied lands back. Other federal and non-federal organizations, including the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust and the Department of Interior, received other portions of them [120, 121].The hospital in Vieques, which was harmed by Hurricane Maria, was still unrepaired as of 20 November 2021. Despite the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA(FEMA) approval on 21 January 2020 of $39.5 million to assist reconstruct the hospital, the populace must travel to the main island, which is not always an easy process. In Guam, there was a general consensus that the extremely hazardous trash left behind by the US military presence would not have gone unattended for as long if it occurred to members of the nation’s majority on the mainland [122, 123].9. Conclusions and recommendationsUniversal and equal suffrage are actively and progressively being eroded, as is the right and opportunity to vote. Minorities, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and indigenous peoples, are most affected by this. People who are impoverished, members of minorities, and other oppressed groups are often denied the right to vote. The Biden administration’s dedication to better defending every American’s right to vote inspired the U.N. Special Rapporteur. The Special Rapporteur was made aware of disparities in the sentencing and incarceration rates for minorities in the US criminal justice system. Although they make up only about 13 and 18 percent of the US population, African Americans and Hispanics account for nearly one-third of each group in jails. Racial profiling must end in order for other behaviors to be stopped. Minorities are the most frequent targets of hate speech on social media, although this fact is routinely disregarded. Certain social media platforms’ algorithms encourage prejudice, discrimination, and incorrect information. In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, there are no equal rights to political participation and representation. 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