UN criticises US 'failure to unequivocally reject racist violence'

UN criticises US 'failure to unequivocally reject racist violence'
The UN has issued a stinging rebuke of the US in failing to "unequivocally and unconditionally" reject violent racism and hate crimes in Charlottesville and throughout the country.
2 min read
24 August, 2017
White nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan rallied in Charlottesville [Getty]
The UN has warned the US over "alarming" racism in the country, and called on top politicians to "unequivocally and unconditionally" reject and condemn racist hate speech and crimes in Charlottesville and throughout the country.

"We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred," said Anastasia Crickley, chairperson of UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

A woman died and 19 people were injured when a car rammed into a crowd of people after a rally by Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists turned violent and clashed with anti-racism protesters.

US President Donald Trump was severely lambasted for failing to explicitly condemn white supremacists involved in the demonstrations.

Instead he faulted "many sides" for the violence. He made no mention of the far-right militia groups involved in the Charlottesville melee, some of whom were wearing Trump hats or T-shirts.

In a decision issued under its 'early warning and urgent action' procedure, the UN committee, which monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, stated: "There should be no place in the world for racist white supremacist ideas or any similar ideologies that reject the core human rights principles of human dignity and equality".

The United States ratified the Convention in 1994.

In addition to the criminal investigation into the death of Heather Heyer, the UN experts asked the US authorities to undertake concrete measures "to address the root causes of the proliferation of such racist manifestations".

"We call on the US Government to investigate thoroughly the phenomenon of racial discrimination targeting, in particular, people of African descent, ethnic or ethno-religious minorities, and migrants," added Crickley.

CERD also called on the government to ensure the rights to freedom of expression are not misused to promote racist hate.