UN warns United States over alarming racism

August 24, 2017
| Report Focus News

A UN committee tasked with combatting racism has issued a formal “early warning” over conditions in the United States, a rare move often used to signal the potential of a looming civil conflict.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said it had invoked its “early warning and urgent action procedure” because of the proliferation of racist demonstrations in the US. It specifically noted the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a woman was killed after an avowed white supremacist ploughed his car into a group of anti-racism counterprotestors.

The racism committee, part of the UN human rights office, can issue a formal early warning to help prevent “existing problems from escalating into conflict” or to “prevent a resumption of conflict where it has previously occurred”, according to the rights office website.

The UN committee urged Washington, “as well as high-level politicians and public officials, to unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn racist hate speech”, without mentioning Trump by name.

According to a new poll, nine percent of Americans say holding neo-Nazi or white supremacist views is acceptable. The Washington Post ABC poll was carried out in the wake of the deadly racially-charged violence in Charlottesville earlier this month. If extrapolated to the entire US population, nine percent would equate to 22 million people. According to the survey, 83 percent of Americans think holding neo-Nazi views is unacceptable.