The following essay was written by Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois School of Law.


   
   
   ILLINIWAK: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION!
   by
   Francis A. Boyle
   Professor of Law
   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
   Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA (1988-92)
   Holder of 2 Football Season Tickets (Since About 1981)
   Holder of 2 Basketball Season Tickets (Since About 1982)
   
         In his letter of 16 July 1997 to Ms. Susan Gravenhorst, Chair of
   the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, Professor Mort
   Winston, Chair of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA
   (AIUSA) and a prominent University of Illinois Alumnus, called "Chief"
   Illiniwak a "human rights violation," condemned it in no uncertain
   terms, and demanded the elimination of this racist mascot.  Before he
   joined the AIUSA Board, Professor Winston was the leading AIUSA expert
   on, and activist against, racism and apartheid in South Africa prior
   to the Mandela revolution.  Professor Winston knows a human rights
   violation when he sees one.
         The same is true for me.  In addition to serving four years as a
   Member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA, I was
   the person who single-handedly convinced the ultra-conservative
   Faculty of the University of Illinois College of Law to introduce a
   course on International Human Rights Law into the Law School
   Curriculum as Law 370, and have taught this course for many years to
   about 30 students per year.  Illiniwak is indeed a human rights
   violation.
         The United States government is a contracting party to the 1965
   International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
   Discrimination.  Hence, this Racial Discrimination Convention is a
   "treaty' and thus the "supreme Law of the Land" under the so-called
   Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the United States Constitution:
   Article VI
   
         ....
   
                 This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States
   which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or
   which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall
   be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be
   bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to
   the Contrary notwithstanding.
   
   In other words, the Racial Discrimination Convention absolutely binds
   the entirety of the State of Illinois, including therein the
   University of Illinois.
         Article 1(1) of the Racial Discrimination Convention defines the
   term "racial discrimination" as follows:  "In this Convention the term
   'racial discrimination' shall mean any distinction, exclusion,
   restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent or national
   or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or
   impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing,
   of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic,
   social, cultural or any other field of public life."  (Emphasis
   added.)  Obviously, Illiniwak is a "distinction" on the multiple bases
   of "race," and "colour," and "descent."  Illiniwak definitely has the
   "effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or
   exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental
   freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other
   field of public life" for Native American Students, Faculty, Staff and
   Community Members here at the University of Illinois in
   Urbana-Champaign.  In accordance with the terms of this Racial
   Discrimination Convention to which the United States is a party,
   Illiniwak constitutes "racial discrimination" by the University of
   Illinois against Native Americans.
         Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Racial Discrimination Convention
   provides as follows:
   Article 2
                 1.  States Parties condemn racial discrimination and
   undertake to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a
   policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms, and
   promoting understanding among all races, and to this end:
   
                                 (a)  Each State Party undertakes to
   engage in no act or practice of racial discrimination against persons,
   groups of persons or institutions and to ensure that all public
   authorities and public institutions, national and local, shall act in
   conformity with this obligation;
   
                                 (b)  Each State Party undertakes not to
   sponsor, defend or support racial discrimination by any persons or
   organizations;
   
                                 (c)  Each State Party shall 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;
   
                                 (d)  Each State Party shall prohibit and
   bring to an end, by all appropriate means, including legislation as
   required by circumstances, racial discrimination by any persons, group
   or organization;
                                 (e)  Each State Party undertakes to
   encourage, where appropriate, integrationist multi-racial
   organizations and movements and other means of eliminating barriers
   between races, and to discourage anything which tends to strengthen
   racial division.  [Emphasis added.]
   
   Clearly, Illiniwak places the United States of America in breach of
   these most solemn obligations under Article 2 of the Racial
   Discrimination Convention.  Illiniwak contravenes Racial
   Discrimination Convention Article 2.  The conclusion is inexorable
   that to be in accordance with the terms of the Racial Discrimination
   Convention, the University of Illinois must eliminate Illiniwak.
         Article 4 of the Racial Discrimination Convention clearly
   requires the Government of the United States of America to eliminate
   Illiniwak in no uncertain terms:
   Article 4
   
                 States Parties condemn all propaganda and all
   organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of
   one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or which
   attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any
   form, and undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed
   to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, such discrimination, and
   to this end, with due regard to the principles embodied in the
   Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set
   forth in article 5 of this Convention, inter alia:
   
                 (a)  Shall declare an offence punishable by law all
   dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred,
   incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence
   or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of
   another colour or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any
   assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof;
   
                 (b)  Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations,
   and also organized and all other propaganda activities, which promote
   and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize participation in
   such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;
   
                 (c)  Shall not permit public authorities or public
   institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial
   discrimination.  [Emphasis added.]
   
         Notice in particular the requirement of Article 4(c) of the
   Racial Discrimination Convention:  "Shall not permit public
   authorities or public institutions, national or local, to promote or
   incite racial discrimination."  To the contrary, the University of
   Illinois deliberately promotes and incites racial discrimination
   against Native Americans by means of Illiniwak for the quite mercenary
   purpose of making money!
         Article 5 of the Racial Discrimination Convention expressly
   requires the United States government "to prohibit and to eliminate
   racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of
   everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or
   ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of
   the following rights..."  (Emphasis added.)  The conclusion is
   inexorable that Illiniwak contravenes Article 5 of the Racial
   Discrimination Convention.
         Furthermore, Illiniwak also contravenes Article 6 of the Racial
   Discrimination Convention:
   Article 6
   
                 States Parties shall assure to everyone within their
   jurisdiction effective protection and remedies through the competent
   national tribunals and other State institutions against any acts of
   racial discrimination which violate his human rights and fundamental
   freedoms contrary to this Convention, as well as the right to seek
   from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for
   any damage suffered as a result of such discrimination.
   
         Finally, Illiniwak contravenes Article 7 of the Racial
   Discrimination Convention:
   Article 7
   
                 States Parties undertake to adopt immediate and
   effective measures, particularly in the fields of teaching, education,
   culture and information, with a view to combating prejudices which
   lead to racial discrimination and to promoting understanding,
   tolerance and friendship among nations and racial or ethnical groups,
   as well as to propagating the purposes and principles of the Charter
   of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
   United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
   Discrimination, and this Convention.
   
   The conclusion is inexorable that to be in accordance with the terms
   of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
   Racial Discrimination the University of Illinois--a Public
   Institution--must eliminate Illiniwak.
         As can be seen from the above analysis, the International
   Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
   expressly incorporates by reference the 1948 Universal Declaration of
   Human Rights (UDHR).  No point would be served here by detailing all
   the provisions of the UDHR that are currently being violated by
   Illiniwak.  But in particular, I wish to draw to your attention UDHR
   Articles 1 and 2:
   Article 1
   
                 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and
   rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act
   towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
   
   Article 2
   
                 Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set
   forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as
   race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion,
   national or social origin, property, birth or other status.  (Emphasis
   added.)
   
         The United States government has been in the vanguard of the
   worldwide movement to establish that these fundamental provisions of
   the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, inter alia, constitute
   customary international law.  Customary international law is part of
   the common law of the United States of America and the common law of
   all the States of the Union.  Customary international law applies to
   and binds the State of Illinois and the University of Illinois.
         Clearly, by means of Illiniwak the University of Illinois
   refuses to act towards Native Americans "in a spirit of brotherhood"
   in violation of UDHR Article 1.  Similarly, Illiniwak constitutes a
   "distinction" on the prohibited grounds of race, colour and religion,
   inter alia, in gross violation of UDHR Article 2.  In other words,
   Illiniwak violates these most fundamental protections of the Universal
   Declaration of Human Rights, inter alia, and thus violates customary
   international law and therefore the common law of both the United
   States and the State of Illinois.
         I wish to end this Memorandum by joining those eloquent and
   powerful words addressed to Trustee Susan Gravenhorst by Professor
   Mort Winston, Chair of the Board of Directors of Amnesty
   International, my fellow AIUSA Board Colleague and Comrade-in-Arms in
   the long but successful struggle against racism and apartheid in South
   Africa:
         In your present position as Chair of the Board of Trustees, you
   can steer university policy on this issue towards the greater good.  I
   urge you to do so.  UIUC's sport's fans and the marching band can find
   another mascot.  Have a contest.  Pick an animal or some culturally
   neutral symbol.  Show some moral leadership so that perhaps the
   professional sports teams that also dishonor American Indians by
   debasing their cultural symbols will one day follow suit.  But above
   all stop pretending that keeping "Chief Illiniwek" alive is somehow
   "honoring" the Native Americans who once roamed the plains where the
   University of Illinois now stands.  In short, "Do the Right Thing --
   Get Rid of the Chief!"
   
   
   
   F.A.B.
   25 July 1997




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