UN spotlight on racism in the US

UN_LOGO_copy.jpgWe’ve had a lot of discussion recently about various forms of identity discrimination. It seems that the UN is also paying attention to racial discrimination in the US:

A U.N. expert on racism and xenophobia arrived in Washington yesterday for a three-week fact-finding visit to examine human rights lapses in the United States.

Despite Obama’s recent speech acknowledging racial tension, which was a long time coming, US representatives continue to deny that there is a problem.

“I think it’s important for the [U.N.] Human Rights Council to spend its time on real problems and the problems of violations of human rights of countries that are notorious violators,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, offering a list of suggestions. [emphasis added]

Mr. Khalilzad is well respected in comparison to his predecessor John Bolton, but that wasn’t too difficult of a feat, considering Bolton infamously stated “there is no such thing as the United Nations,” and that “the Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost ten stories today, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” [link]

Mr. Khalilzad’s blatant denial of the problem of racial discrimination in the US is embarrassing, even for a diplomat. And the strategy of redirecting attention to other nations to divert attention from the very real problems at home is getting tiring- the US has no moral currency left in the international community with which to continue condemning others while allowing discrimination at home to fester.

Where will Doudou Diene of Senegal, the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, be visiting, and what issues will he be addressing?

The rapporteur plans to visit New York, Chicago, Omaha, Neb., Los Angeles, New Orleans, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, “to gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” according to a statement issued last week by his office… Mr. Diene also will meet with federal and state officials, as well as lawmakers and legal analysts. He will hear complaints lodged by private advocacy groups, politicians, academics and activists…U.N. officials could not say what specific issues Mr. Diene will investigate, nor the officials with whom he will be meeting.

This isn’t the first time a UN rapporteur has criticized racism in the US justice system:

Previous U.N. human rights rapporteurs in the United States have come to harsh conclusions about the prevalence of racism in the U.S. justice system, from inferior legal representation for minorities to charges of racial bias in imposing the death penalty.

It seems likely that Mr. Diene will address growing American Islamophobia:

Mr. Diene, a lawyer by training, has written extensively about Islamophobia in the 6 years since the World Trade Center attacks.

Mr. Diene will submit his report to the Human Rights Council next year which is presumably when we’ll be able to see it as well. The Human Rights Council itself is also not free from criticism.

The council was revamped in part to prevent the world’s worst human rights abusers from seeking seats as a way to shield themselves from criticism. The reforms have not worked. Freedom House has rated nearly a third of the current council membership “not free.” Pakistan, also rated “not free” by the human rights group, is one of six candidates vying for four Asian seats.

Nevertheless, I’m sure many of us will be looking forward to Mr. Diene’s report, no matter how the Council chooses to use (or not use) it. US representatives may or may not attempt to discredit Mr. Diene’s findings, but an honest analysis from a relatively disinterested party should be a useful tool in trying to complete what the Civil Rights movement began.


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34 Responses to “UN spotlight on racism in the US”

  1. Livtar Singh says:

    "Mr. Diene’s…honest analysis from a relatively disinterested party"

    This is a joke right?

    I'm sorry, is the United Nations finished checking on genocide in Darfur, racial and tribal intolerance/murder in Africa and the Middle East, slaves in China, Sudan, etc. etc.? (I could go on and on) so that they now have to start looking into this terrible hell hole, the USA?

    This is more preposterous political posturing from an organization that trades in it. And how do you have ANY idea that Diene is "relatively disinterested"?

    If you want to understand the imbalance of Afro-Am in the prison system, then look to the societal structure. It is mainly inner cities (run by liberal//left politics for many years) and the advent of Welfare to "help" poor people. The Ku Klux Klan could not have designed a better system to explode the Black family. Mothers were paid to have children, and no fathers were allowed. It was a recipe for disaster. (It happened in the same numbers to whites also, but the percentage was much smaller). Generations of young black males have now grown up without the stable, two parent home environment, added to the poverty and feeling of entitlement of living on welfare. In that circumstance, many more will gravitate toward gangs or crime than a normal two parent population.

    Therefore, more will end up in prison. It is not logic to conclude that just because they out represent their % of the population it is racism. But it can be because you are looking for a grievance.

    If there is some racism involved, fine, let's get it out. But there is an entire industry predicated on virtually every problem in a minority community being race based. One real solution would be for Govt.to stop interfering in families and make the nuclear family the goal again, instead of MORE "aid".

    And where is the sense of proportion? Making the US out to be some deep, dark racist country is bizarre on it's face. There are always individuals, or even small groups that are stuck in that pain, but where in the world is that not true?

    This self loathing is not constructive to us, or to the rest of the world. We are by far the most generous nation in the world (as a whole, and per capita..look it up). If you took only the African-American economy in the US, it would be in the top economies of the world (I think in the top ten).

    I am a white American, but I am also a Sikh with full turban and beard. And yes I have been yelled at a few times…out of the tens of thousands of people I have passed by. Whoopee.

    After Mister Diene has fixed some real problems (Hey Mr. Diene, Russia, China, and Venezuela are jailing, shutting down, and murdering opposition press, have you noticed?) I'll be a lot more willing listen. Until then, keep your bureaucratic nonsense in that building that we mostly pay for.

  2. Livtar Singh says:

    “Mr. Dienes…honest analysis from a relatively disinterested party”
    This is a joke right?

    I’m sorry, is the United Nations finished checking on genocide in Darfur, racial and tribal intolerance/murder in Africa and the Middle East, slaves in China, Sudan, etc. etc.? (I could go on and on) so that they now have to start looking into this terrible hell hole, the USA?

    This is more preposterous political posturing from an organization that trades in it. And how do you have ANY idea that Diene is “relatively disinterested”?

    If you want to understand the imbalance of Afro-Am in the prison system, then look to the societal structure. It is mainly inner cities (run by liberal//left politics for many years) and the advent of Welfare to “help” poor people. The Ku Klux Klan could not have designed a better system to explode the Black family. Mothers were paid to have children, and no fathers were allowed. It was a recipe for disaster. (It happened in the same numbers to whites also, but the percentage was much smaller). Generations of young black males have now grown up without the stable, two parent home environment, added to the poverty and feeling of entitlement of living on welfare. In that circumstance, many more will gravitate toward gangs or crime than a normal two parent population.

    Therefore, more will end up in prison. It is not logic to conclude that just because they out represent their % of the population it is racism. But it can be because you are looking for a grievance.

    If there is some racism involved, fine, let’s get it out. But there is an entire industry predicated on virtually every problem in a minority community being race based. One real solution would be for Govt.to stop interfering in families and make the nuclear family the goal again, instead of MORE “aid”.

    And where is the sense of proportion? Making the US out to be some deep, dark racist country is bizarre on it’s face. There are always individuals, or even small groups that are stuck in that pain, but where in the world is that not true?

    This self loathing is not constructive to us, or to the rest of the world. We are by far the most generous nation in the world (as a whole, and per capita..look it up). If you took only the African-American economy in the US, it would be in the top economies of the world (I think in the top ten).

    I am a white American, but I am also a Sikh with full turban and beard. And yes I have been yelled at a few times…out of the tens of thousands of people I have passed by. Whoopee.

    After Mister Diene has fixed some real problems (Hey Mr. Diene, Russia, China, and Venezuela are jailing, shutting down, and murdering opposition press, have you noticed?) I’ll be a lot more willing listen. Until then, keep your bureaucratic nonsense in that building that we mostly pay for.

  3. Suki says:

    There is racism in every country in the world, and it will always be like that. It just countries with major white populations are held to higher standards then other countries. It not a PC thing to say, but that the way it is.

    Just look at South Korea and Japan, those countries are considered by many to be 1st world countries, but they have almost no immigrants and even been some what open about not wanting immigrants. Yet if a country like Sweden or Belgium did that people would be crying racism alot more then for a non-western country.

  4. Camille says:

    Re: Livtar,

    I think some of your analysis is correct, but I don't think that addresses the very real human rights concerns within the U.S. Racism (which your description illustrates if we take an "institutional" or "systemic" view of racism), while considered a "civil rights" issue in the U.S.-context is 100% a "human rights" issue in the international community. As a social construct, of course it has different contours and definitions, but I don't think it's reasonable to avoid confronting serious abuses of justice by saying "but it's so much worse in country X." It's true, it IS worse in other countries, but there are huge issues that the U.S. should, and is not, dealing with. Refusing to acknowledge this, particularly in a post-Abu Ghraib world, only undermines our country's own advocacy and moral authority.

  5. Suki says:

    There is racism in every country in the world, and it will always be like that. It just countries with major white populations are held to higher standards then other countries. It not a PC thing to say, but that the way it is.

    Just look at South Korea and Japan, those countries are considered by many to be 1st world countries, but they have almost no immigrants and even been some what open about not wanting immigrants. Yet if a country like Sweden or Belgium did that people would be crying racism alot more then for a non-western country.

  6. Camille says:

    Re: Livtar,
    I think some of your analysis is correct, but I don’t think that addresses the very real human rights concerns within the U.S. Racism (which your description illustrates if we take an “institutional” or “systemic” view of racism), while considered a “civil rights” issue in the U.S.-context is 100% a “human rights” issue in the international community. As a social construct, of course it has different contours and definitions, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to avoid confronting serious abuses of justice by saying “but it’s so much worse in country X.” It’s true, it IS worse in other countries, but there are huge issues that the U.S. should, and is not, dealing with. Refusing to acknowledge this, particularly in a post-Abu Ghraib world, only undermines our country’s own advocacy and moral authority.

  7. sizzle says:

    the UN is dedicating finite resources to come to the US to investigate our "human rights," all the while, as Livtar Singh has pointed out so well, there are so many other problems in the world, under its jurisdiction, into which it refuses to get involved. what a clear cut example of political posturing on the international stage. i can't wait to read the results, which will surely result in a lot of hand wringing and hypocritical "AH HA – the US isn't so great – they're racists!" and ultimately nothing will really come about, especially from the UN. meanwhile, all the domestic organizations and forces within the United States that are already well aware of the civil rights (or human rights) problems stemming from racism will continue to work on actually solving the problem. but hey – at least the UN looks like it's doing something, even if that something is about as low on the priority list as you can get. the study targets THE goliath, and people actually notice, particularly all of those on the international stage who savor seeing the US targeted in one way or another and likely lobbied for this idiotic study in the first place.

    this has less to do with concern over civil rights than it does politics.

  8. Lilliana Reedai says:

    I would appreciate the physical,address of Mr.Doudou Diene of the United Nations Human Rights Council? ASAP please. Thank You.

  9. sizzle says:

    i don't know the slant of this website, but it raises a few interesting points/rebuttals to Diene's work. his last big project dealt directly with "islamophobia in europe."

    http://www.mediawatchwatch.org.uk/2007/09/18/talk

    this is most interesting, since we seem to exact same debate on this site:

    First, he fails to distinguish between, on the one hand, Islamophobia, which he defines as "baseless hostility and fear vis-a-vis Islam", and on the other hand, genuine concerns regarding the rise of Islamic extremism. Secondly, he fails to recognise that there are important differences between the Islamic and other worldviews that contribute significantly to the problem.

    Rather than dismissing Europe's defence of its identity which he describes as "based on intangible 'values'"? (which he puts in scare quotes) he should recognise that these values are neither intangible nor exclusively "European", but universal. They include, inter alia, the dignity and autonomy of the individual, equality of the sexes, democracy, and human rights – surely the very rights that this Council should be seeking to defend.

    another noteworthy point:

    …hostility that does exist among indigenous Europeans has not arisen in a vacuum, but as a reaction to Islamic extremism — demonization of Jews, infidels and homosexuals and contempt for Western culture.

    it will be a long process and i highly doubt that another UN Report will help.

  10. sizzle says:

    the UN is dedicating finite resources to come to the US to investigate our “human rights,” all the while, as Livtar Singh has pointed out so well, there are so many other problems in the world, under its jurisdiction, into which it refuses to get involved. what a clear cut example of political posturing on the international stage. i can’t wait to read the results, which will surely result in a lot of hand wringing and hypocritical “AH HA – the US isn’t so great – they’re racists!” and ultimately nothing will really come about, especially from the UN. meanwhile, all the domestic organizations and forces within the United States that are already well aware of the civil rights (or human rights) problems stemming from racism will continue to work on actually solving the problem. but hey – at least the UN looks like it’s doing something, even if that something is about as low on the priority list as you can get. the study targets THE goliath, and people actually notice, particularly all of those on the international stage who savor seeing the US targeted in one way or another and likely lobbied for this idiotic study in the first place.

    this has less to do with concern over civil rights than it does politics.

  11. Lilliana Reedai says:

    I would appreciate the physical,address of Mr.Doudou Diene of the United Nations Human Rights Council? ASAP please. Thank You.

  12. Rahul S says:

    The U.N. should butt out of this. They have an anti-U.S. agenda as it is, and there are so many human rights issues around the world. They should check those out before coming here. Secondly, it's coming out of our tax money, which is ridiculous. Yea, there's racism here, but it's not as bad as Europe. Europe is 3X worse (go to a soccer game there, and it's evident).

  13. sizzle says:

    i don’t know the slant of this website, but it raises a few interesting points/rebuttals to Diene’s work. his last big project dealt directly with “islamophobia in europe.”

    http://www.mediawatchwatch.org.uk/2007/09/18/talking-doudou-at-the-un/

    this is most interesting, since we seem to exact same debate on this site:

    First, he fails to distinguish between, on the one hand, Islamophobia, which he defines as “baseless hostility and fear vis-a-vis Islam”, and on the other hand, genuine concerns regarding the rise of Islamic extremism. Secondly, he fails to recognise that there are important differences between the Islamic and other worldviews that contribute significantly to the problem.

    Rather than dismissing Europe’s defence of its identity which he describes as “based on intangible ‘values'”? (which he puts in scare quotes) he should recognise that these values are neither intangible nor exclusively “European”, but universal. They include, inter alia, the dignity and autonomy of the individual, equality of the sexes, democracy, and human rights – surely the very rights that this Council should be seeking to defend.

    another noteworthy point:

    …hostility that does exist among indigenous Europeans has not arisen in a vacuum, but as a reaction to Islamic extremism demonization of Jews, infidels and homosexuals and contempt for Western culture.

    it will be a long process and i highly doubt that another UN Report will help.

  14. Rahul S says:

    The U.N. should butt out of this. They have an anti-U.S. agenda as it is, and there are so many human rights issues around the world. They should check those out before coming here. Secondly, it’s coming out of our tax money, which is ridiculous. Yea, there’s racism here, but it’s not as bad as Europe. Europe is 3X worse (go to a soccer game there, and it’s evident).

  15. Diène should look at abortionists’ genocidal war on the unborn

    Special Rapporteur Mr. Doudou Diène of Senegal has been sent by the United Nations to America so that he can “gather firsthand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia[1] and related intolerance.”[2]

    Let us hope abortion is one of those “related” issues.

    As a rapporteur[3], Mr. Diène has an unparalleled opportunity to focus international attention on what could be the worst affliction of many societal ills that occupy the corrosive underbelly of our blessed nation: abortion, which is murder of the unborn.

    Mr. Diène’s mission will most likely enumerate what we already know about our country’s shameful racism, sexism, xenophobia[4] and other ills, but it is doubtful that he will delve into the abortion epidemic that has reached epic proportions of a Biblical scale, even though statistics indicate that abortion is declining in the United States.[5]

    [deleted]

    Lastly, don’t let the homicidal abortionist industry and its apologists fool you: abortion is big business. Blackgenocide.org said, “with one-third of all abortions performed on black women, the abortion industry has received” more than $4 billion from the black community.

    [deleted]

    [Glenn, I allowed some of your comments, but deleted MOST of it. DO NOT HIJACK posts. Either stick to the topic or comment elsewhere….Admin Singh]

  16. Dine should look at abortionists genocidal war on the unborn

    Special Rapporteur Mr. Doudou Dine of Senegal has been sent by the United Nations to America so that he can gather firsthand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia[1] and related intolerance.[2]
    Let us hope abortion is one of those related issues.
    As a rapporteur[3], Mr. Dine has an unparalleled opportunity to focus international attention on what could be the worst affliction of many societal ills that occupy the corrosive underbelly of our blessed nation: abortion, which is murder of the unborn.
    Mr. Dines mission will most likely enumerate what we already know about our countrys shameful racism, sexism, xenophobia[4] and other ills, but it is doubtful that he will delve into the abortion epidemic that has reached epic proportions of a Biblical scale, even though statistics indicate that abortion is declining in the United States.[5]
    [deleted]
    Lastly, dont let the homicidal abortionist industry and its apologists fool you: abortion is big business. Blackgenocide.org said, with one-third of all abortions performed on black women, the abortion industry has received more than $4 billion from the black community.
    [deleted]

    [Glenn, I allowed some of your comments, but deleted MOST of it. DO NOT HIJACK posts. Either stick to the topic or comment elsewhere….Admin Singh]

  17. Kaptaan says:

    Reema, what agenda do you have in posting this? Livtar Singh put it all very well.

    Camille, what is the point of mentioning Abu Ghraib??? Don't you get it that the United States is one of only a handful of countries that would have investigated such acts by members of its military and then convicted the perpetrators of those acts?? The United States isn't this bad place to be condemned. It is one of the few places on the planet where people can expect some semblance of justice and human rights, more so than Canada, where I am from in fact.

    Being cautious about Muslims isn't racism (Muslims are NOT one race). It is a practical reality. Islamophobia is a canard used by people with a specific agenda (to promote Islam as far as I'm concerned). In today's world, or in the past for that matter, people are justified in being suspicious of Muslims and Islamic organizations.

    best regards,

    Kaptaan

  18. Kaptaan says:

    Reema, what agenda do you have in posting this? Livtar Singh put it all very well.

    Camille, what is the point of mentioning Abu Ghraib??? Don’t you get it that the United States is one of only a handful of countries that would have investigated such acts by members of its military and then convicted the perpetrators of those acts?? The United States isn’t this bad place to be condemned. It is one of the few places on the planet where people can expect some semblance of justice and human rights, more so than Canada, where I am from in fact.

    Being cautious about Muslims isn’t racism (Muslims are NOT one race). It is a practical reality. Islamophobia is a canard used by people with a specific agenda (to promote Islam as far as I’m concerned). In today’s world, or in the past for that matter, people are justified in being suspicious of Muslims and Islamic organizations.

    best regards,
    Kaptaan

  19. Camille says:

    Kaptaan, I am a firm believer in working towards abstract ideals like justice, humanity, fairness, equality; just because the U.S. is not the Burmese junta does not remove the fact that there are very real and awful human rights abuses that take place either in our borders or under our government's authority.

    I used Abu Ghraib to note a turning point in the collective consciousness of Americans re: the role their government has actively played (as opposed to its more clandestine or black ops interactions) in denying individuals of basic human dignity. A more localized example would be the rampant human rights abuses that take place in American prisons, or state/community violence in natural resource distribution (in rural communities) or in the use of force in urban communities. The point is not that there are places where things are worse; the point is, that in a society predicated on freedom and justice, it is worth the effort to deal honestly with your problems and try to get there.

  20. Camille says:

    Kaptaan, I am a firm believer in working towards abstract ideals like justice, humanity, fairness, equality; just because the U.S. is not the Burmese junta does not remove the fact that there are very real and awful human rights abuses that take place either in our borders or under our government’s authority.

    I used Abu Ghraib to note a turning point in the collective consciousness of Americans re: the role their government has actively played (as opposed to its more clandestine or black ops interactions) in denying individuals of basic human dignity. A more localized example would be the rampant human rights abuses that take place in American prisons, or state/community violence in natural resource distribution (in rural communities) or in the use of force in urban communities. The point is not that there are places where things are worse; the point is, that in a society predicated on freedom and justice, it is worth the effort to deal honestly with your problems and try to get there.

  21. Reema says:

    what agenda do you have in posting this? Livtar Singh put it all very well.

    Kaptaan and Livtar Singh,

    I appreciate that you would like to see egregious human rights abuses addressed in other areas of the world.

    But at the same time, there is absolutely no reason that racism- to whatever degree it exists in different regions and at different levels in the US- cannot be simultaneously addressed.

    Understanding racism and xenophobia (in its various forms) in our own communities does not prohibit or even take away energy from acting in other areas of the world. And in fact, if anything, facing up to our own community's problems enhances our legitimacy- IF we act to address the problems. On the flip side, if we don't address the problems in our own homes, why should anyone take us seriously when we condemn their acts? If we don't highlight our own racism/xenophobia, or pretend that it's ok because there are worse things happening in the world- we will be stagnant and hypocritical.

    You may hold a relative view of justice, but I do not feel the same way.

    I’m sorry, is the United Nations finished checking on genocide in Darfur, racial and tribal intolerance/murder in Africa and the Middle East, slaves in China, Sudan, etc. etc.? (I could go on and on) so that they now have to start looking into this terrible hell hole, the USA?

    Livtar Singh ji, at what peaceful, perfect state should the rest of the world be before racism and xenophobia in the US should be addressed?

    Why should the US be immune from international organizational perspectives? Do you find the ACLU more acceptable because they're an American organization?

    And where is the sense of proportion? Making the US out to be some deep, dark racist country is bizarre on it’s face. There are always individuals, or even small groups that are stuck in that pain, but where in the world is that not true?

    There may always be racism at some level, in some form, somewhere. And we should always highlight it, address it, dissect it and show it for what it is. No one on this blog has simplified the US into some 'deep, dark racist country' – we're here to examine, debate, and attempt to correct our own injustices. I do appreciate that I actually CAN do this here without fear of a governmental backlash.

  22. Reema says:

    what agenda do you have in posting this? Livtar Singh put it all very well.

    Kaptaan and Livtar Singh,

    I appreciate that you would like to see egregious human rights abuses addressed in other areas of the world.

    But at the same time, there is absolutely no reason that racism- to whatever degree it exists in different regions and at different levels in the US- cannot be simultaneously addressed.

    Understanding racism and xenophobia (in its various forms) in our own communities does not prohibit or even take away energy from acting in other areas of the world. And in fact, if anything, facing up to our own community’s problems enhances our legitimacy- IF we act to address the problems. On the flip side, if we don’t address the problems in our own homes, why should anyone take us seriously when we condemn their acts? If we don’t highlight our own racism/xenophobia, or pretend that it’s ok because there are worse things happening in the world- we will be stagnant and hypocritical.

    You may hold a relative view of justice, but I do not feel the same way.

    Im sorry, is the United Nations finished checking on genocide in Darfur, racial and tribal intolerance/murder in Africa and the Middle East, slaves in China, Sudan, etc. etc.? (I could go on and on) so that they now have to start looking into this terrible hell hole, the USA?

    Livtar Singh ji, at what peaceful, perfect state should the rest of the world be before racism and xenophobia in the US should be addressed?

    Why should the US be immune from international organizational perspectives? Do you find the ACLU more acceptable because they’re an American organization?

    And where is the sense of proportion? Making the US out to be some deep, dark racist country is bizarre on its face. There are always individuals, or even small groups that are stuck in that pain, but where in the world is that not true?

    There may always be racism at some level, in some form, somewhere. And we should always highlight it, address it, dissect it and show it for what it is. No one on this blog has simplified the US into some ‘deep, dark racist country’ – we’re here to examine, debate, and attempt to correct our own injustices. I do appreciate that I actually CAN do this here without fear of a governmental backlash.

  23. Glenn Franco Simmons says:

    Although new at this, I hope I'm not breaking protocol again, but I see Mr. Diene's visit not only as an opportunity to draw attention to the genocide of abortion but to really illustrate the deep-seated roots of hatred and intolerance in a nationa that is often touted as the most racailly tolerant in the world.

    Over more than two decades as an editor writing about racism, anti-Semitism, neo-Confederate movemements, the Klan, white supremecists, etc., I am never amazed by the murderous hatefilled reactions I have received.

    Although I understand the concerns associated with other parts of the world, we cannot lose sight that we must also pay attention to our own misdeeds.

    On another point, and I don't mean to hijack this converation, I would like to see the U.N. look into the recent staged arrests of Bahais in Iran, and even now some Christians. Bahais in Iran have been peresecuted since the Persian Empire in the 1800s, and the U.N. has not done a lot about it.

    Instead of limiting our scope, my point is let's broaden it. Let's welcome Mr. Diene and get more Mr. Dienes into the world to shine a light on the darkness that is genocide, and on the racism and prejudice that lead to such genocide.

    My only wish is that we could all live in peace.

  24. Although new at this, I hope I’m not breaking protocol again, but I see Mr. Diene’s visit not only as an opportunity to draw attention to the genocide of abortion but to really illustrate the deep-seated roots of hatred and intolerance in a nationa that is often touted as the most racailly tolerant in the world.

    Over more than two decades as an editor writing about racism, anti-Semitism, neo-Confederate movemements, the Klan, white supremecists, etc., I am never amazed by the murderous hatefilled reactions I have received.

    Although I understand the concerns associated with other parts of the world, we cannot lose sight that we must also pay attention to our own misdeeds.

    On another point, and I don’t mean to hijack this converation, I would like to see the U.N. look into the recent staged arrests of Bahais in Iran, and even now some Christians. Bahais in Iran have been peresecuted since the Persian Empire in the 1800s, and the U.N. has not done a lot about it.

    Instead of limiting our scope, my point is let’s broaden it. Let’s welcome Mr. Diene and get more Mr. Dienes into the world to shine a light on the darkness that is genocide, and on the racism and prejudice that lead to such genocide.

    My only wish is that we could all live in peace.

  25. Mewa Singh says:

    Hi Glenn,

    I agree with your sentiments. I never understand those that cannot urge for improvement in this country as well as in others. Those that see calls for improvement as a zero-sum game, meaning those that set up false binaries as you can EITHER criticize certain American policies OR other nations, but not both, seem to miss a great point.

    If you don't mind me asking, where were you an editor? Why do you believe your articles received such 'hate-filled reactions'?

    I completely agree with you that the UN should do more to bring attention to all sorts of injustices in the world. Undoubtedly there are politics involved related to which stories the media tends to highlight and which they tend to ignore (partially based on their perceptions of reader/viewer interests but also due to vested interests as well).

    Specifically with regards to the Bahais, a preliminary internet search indicates that it was in fact the UN Human Rights Commission in 1993 that uncovered and published a previously secret memorandum calling for the cultural and religious subordination of the Baha'i community.

    I agree I wish the UN did a lot more or rather that it could do a lot more. However, people often see the UN as a completely independent agency. It is made up by its member states. Generally speaking, if its hands are tied, look no further than its Security Council's 5 permanent members for its inability and inaction — especially the United States, but also China, France, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom.

  26. Mewa Singh says:

    Hi Glenn,

    I agree with your sentiments. I never understand those that cannot urge for improvement in this country as well as in others. Those that see calls for improvement as a zero-sum game, meaning those that set up false binaries as you can EITHER criticize certain American policies OR other nations, but not both, seem to miss a great point.

    If you don’t mind me asking, where were you an editor? Why do you believe your articles received such ‘hate-filled reactions’?

    I completely agree with you that the UN should do more to bring attention to all sorts of injustices in the world. Undoubtedly there are politics involved related to which stories the media tends to highlight and which they tend to ignore (partially based on their perceptions of reader/viewer interests but also due to vested interests as well).

    Specifically with regards to the Bahais, a preliminary internet search indicates that it was in fact the UN Human Rights Commission in 1993 that uncovered and published a previously secret memorandum calling for the cultural and religious subordination of the Baha’i community.

    I agree I wish the UN did a lot more or rather that it could do a lot more. However, people often see the UN as a completely independent agency. It is made up by its member states. Generally speaking, if its hands are tied, look no further than its Security Council’s 5 permanent members for its inability and inaction — especially the United States, but also China, France, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom.

  27. kaptaan says:

    Glenn, et al.,

    it's become common practice to malign the US for one thing or the other the past few years, and in particular, over the war in Iraq. I find it ridiculous that so many people spend so much time looking for all sorts of faults in the US.

    Yeah the US has problems, but the good outweighs the bad, whereas, there are too many countries to name where its the reverse. The freedom that people have in this country is unparalleled in the world today.

    The point I would make is that the level of racism in the US is much less compared to a country like Canada for example. At least in the US people understand clearly that in this country race should not matter. Its your actions that count. As a result, if anything I'd like the UN to investigate Canada on how it treats its minorities, a country where the federal governing party is attempting to play one religious/ ethnic group off against another in an attempt to court votes. The media is working hand in glove with foreign powers to stifle the right of Canadian citizens to express their political and religious views and stoking the flames of prejudice and bias. Canada is a country where peaceful protest or displays of human rights abuse are twisted to malign those who are bringing them out into the open. I don't see that happening in the US.

    Its kind of typical these days to bash America, if it were believable that this was anything more than just another witch hunt no one would object. The record of the UN and other multilateral organizations makes it hard to believe that this is anything but a publicity stunt.

    best regards,

    Kaptaan

  28. kaptaan says:

    Mewa Singh,

    you wrote,

    I never understand those that cannot urge for improvement in this country as well as in others. Those that see calls for improvement as a zero-sum game, meaning those that set up false binaries as you can EITHER criticize certain American policies OR other nations, but not both, seem to miss a great point.

    Where did you get it into your head, that people like myself or Livtar for that matter can't brook criticism of the US??? You're making things up as you go along it seems to explain what I believe your own beliefs are about people like myself who don't follow the talking points put forward by so many.

    I DO NOT believe it's wrong to make a legitimate criticism of the US, but find it objectionable as Livtar put it, that an organization with finite resources can't prioritize to spend its time and energy in trying to effect the greatest good. The UN is ineffective and useless and this type of action proves it all too clearly. It can't do anything except talk about Sudan or anywhere else (ie: Myanmar), but finds time to send someone to 'investigate' the US.

    What a sad joke on the state of humanity when an organization that was supposed to ensure humanity could avoid the scourge of war or division can't do anything about real disasters (Myanmar typhoon, Tsunami), war (Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Congo (where its UN soldiers engaged in child rape and prostitution)), or genocide (Rwanda, Sudan) and instead seeks to find fault in the one country with the reach to effect change across the globe.

    best regards,

    Kaptaan

  29. kaptaan says:

    Glenn, et al.,

    it’s become common practice to malign the US for one thing or the other the past few years, and in particular, over the war in Iraq. I find it ridiculous that so many people spend so much time looking for all sorts of faults in the US.

    Yeah the US has problems, but the good outweighs the bad, whereas, there are too many countries to name where its the reverse. The freedom that people have in this country is unparalleled in the world today.

    The point I would make is that the level of racism in the US is much less compared to a country like Canada for example. At least in the US people understand clearly that in this country race should not matter. Its your actions that count. As a result, if anything I’d like the UN to investigate Canada on how it treats its minorities, a country where the federal governing party is attempting to play one religious/ ethnic group off against another in an attempt to court votes. The media is working hand in glove with foreign powers to stifle the right of Canadian citizens to express their political and religious views and stoking the flames of prejudice and bias. Canada is a country where peaceful protest or displays of human rights abuse are twisted to malign those who are bringing them out into the open. I don’t see that happening in the US.

    Its kind of typical these days to bash America, if it were believable that this was anything more than just another witch hunt no one would object. The record of the UN and other multilateral organizations makes it hard to believe that this is anything but a publicity stunt.

    best regards,
    Kaptaan

  30. kaptaan says:

    Mewa Singh,

    you wrote,

    I never understand those that cannot urge for improvement in this country as well as in others. Those that see calls for improvement as a zero-sum game, meaning those that set up false binaries as you can EITHER criticize certain American policies OR other nations, but not both, seem to miss a great point.

    Where did you get it into your head, that people like myself or Livtar for that matter can’t brook criticism of the US??? You’re making things up as you go along it seems to explain what I believe your own beliefs are about people like myself who don’t follow the talking points put forward by so many.

    I DO NOT believe it’s wrong to make a legitimate criticism of the US, but find it objectionable as Livtar put it, that an organization with finite resources can’t prioritize to spend its time and energy in trying to effect the greatest good. The UN is ineffective and useless and this type of action proves it all too clearly. It can’t do anything except talk about Sudan or anywhere else (ie: Myanmar), but finds time to send someone to ‘investigate’ the US.

    What a sad joke on the state of humanity when an organization that was supposed to ensure humanity could avoid the scourge of war or division can’t do anything about real disasters (Myanmar typhoon, Tsunami), war (Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Congo (where its UN soldiers engaged in child rape and prostitution)), or genocide (Rwanda, Sudan) and instead seeks to find fault in the one country with the reach to effect change across the globe.

    best regards,
    Kaptaan

  31. Suki says:

    As a result, if anything I’d like the UN to investigate Canada on how it treats its minorities, a country where the federal governing party is attempting to play one religious/ ethnic group off against another in an attempt to court votes. The media is working hand in glove with foreign powers to stifle the right of Canadian citizens to express their political and religious views and stoking the flames of prejudice and bias. Canada is a country where peaceful protest or displays of human rights abuse are twisted to malign those who are bringing them out into the open. I don’t see that happening in the US.

    What are you talking about. Canada is so PC and is full of white liberal gulit. As a minority I know that I can say things and get away with them that my white friends would not be able to say. Also the goverment sucks up to the Punjabi community to get the vote.

    If you talking about the Khalistan issue, most Canadians don't care and they never will, and if you want to blame anybody, blame the Air India bombing for turning people off.

  32. Suki says:

    As a result, if anything Id like the UN to investigate Canada on how it treats its minorities, a country where the federal governing party is attempting to play one religious/ ethnic group off against another in an attempt to court votes. The media is working hand in glove with foreign powers to stifle the right of Canadian citizens to express their political and religious views and stoking the flames of prejudice and bias. Canada is a country where peaceful protest or displays of human rights abuse are twisted to malign those who are bringing them out into the open. I dont see that happening in the US.

    What are you talking about. Canada is so PC and is full of white liberal gulit. As a minority I know that I can say things and get away with them that my white friends would not be able to say. Also the goverment sucks up to the Punjabi community to get the vote.

    If you talking about the Khalistan issue, most Canadians don’t care and they never will, and if you want to blame anybody, blame the Air India bombing for turning people off.

  33. Kaptaan says:

    Suki,

    what I'm talking about is, the politics of political expediency and sacrificing Canadian civil society in the process. The ruling party in Canada has made a concerted effort to pick 'winners' and 'losers' as it chooses which religious/ ethnic communities to 'favour' in its policies and pronouncements. This is typical of 3rd world kleptocracies and in particular a staple of 'Indian' politics. India as you may know probably has as many or more, "communal disturbances" as any country on the planet.

    Canada doesn't need that kind of division which has lead to a zero sum attitude and 'hate' in pseudo-democracies, such as India.

    You wrote,

    Canada is so PC and is full of white liberal gulit.

    What has this so-called "white liberal guilt" done for First Nations people? They have been waiting decades upon decades for a resolution to land claims. They finally received an apology for residential school abuses (but in many, many cases – no compensation). There's only just been a formal recognition of the prejudice behind the Komagata Maru tragedy. "White liberal guilt", is over-rated as far as I'm concerned.

    You wrote,

    Also the goverment sucks up to the Punjabi community to get the vote.

    Punjabi doesn't equal Sikh. They have no relation to each other. One is an ethnic group, and the other is a religious identity. What the Punjabi community wants and what the Sikh community wants are not necessarily the same things. Punjabi culture and Sikh culture are NOT the same.

    You wrote,

    If you talking about the Khalistan issue, most Canadians don’t care and they never will, and if you want to blame anybody, blame the Air India bombing for turning people off.

    What does this have to do with anything? In fact, if you read the book, 'Soft Target', the Indian Government itself is implicated in the bombing. I don't care if most Canadians care about Khalistan specifically, what they should care about is the ability of their fellow Canadians to practice free speech, right to assembly, right to protest, freedom of religion, and all the other freedoms that we supposedly have in Canada. The point isn't Khalistan, but all the rights that are being trampled. If its done to one group of Canadians, whose to say it won't become a normative response to other issues as well. Giving up your freedoms in one instance will lead to the loss of those freedoms to government elsewhere.

    The above is why the UN should focus on the infringement of freedoms in Canada and the status of minority communities and their ability to take advantage and exercise their human rights.

  34. Kaptaan says:

    Suki,

    what I’m talking about is, the politics of political expediency and sacrificing Canadian civil society in the process. The ruling party in Canada has made a concerted effort to pick ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ as it chooses which religious/ ethnic communities to ‘favour’ in its policies and pronouncements. This is typical of 3rd world kleptocracies and in particular a staple of ‘Indian’ politics. India as you may know probably has as many or more, “communal disturbances” as any country on the planet.

    Canada doesn’t need that kind of division which has lead to a zero sum attitude and ‘hate’ in pseudo-democracies, such as India.

    You wrote,

    Canada is so PC and is full of white liberal gulit.

    What has this so-called “white liberal guilt” done for First Nations people? They have been waiting decades upon decades for a resolution to land claims. They finally received an apology for residential school abuses (but in many, many cases – no compensation). There’s only just been a formal recognition of the prejudice behind the Komagata Maru tragedy. “White liberal guilt”, is over-rated as far as I’m concerned.

    You wrote,

    Also the goverment sucks up to the Punjabi community to get the vote.

    Punjabi doesn’t equal Sikh. They have no relation to each other. One is an ethnic group, and the other is a religious identity. What the Punjabi community wants and what the Sikh community wants are not necessarily the same things. Punjabi culture and Sikh culture are NOT the same.

    You wrote,

    If you talking about the Khalistan issue, most Canadians dont care and they never will, and if you want to blame anybody, blame the Air India bombing for turning people off.

    What does this have to do with anything? In fact, if you read the book, ‘Soft Target’, the Indian Government itself is implicated in the bombing. I don’t care if most Canadians care about Khalistan specifically, what they should care about is the ability of their fellow Canadians to practice free speech, right to assembly, right to protest, freedom of religion, and all the other freedoms that we supposedly have in Canada. The point isn’t Khalistan, but all the rights that are being trampled. If its done to one group of Canadians, whose to say it won’t become a normative response to other issues as well. Giving up your freedoms in one instance will lead to the loss of those freedoms to government elsewhere.

    The above is why the UN should focus on the infringement of freedoms in Canada and the status of minority communities and their ability to take advantage and exercise their human rights.