UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Human Rights Council that “the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into
UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Human Rights Council that “the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents,” as the Biden administration lobbies the body to readmit the United States.
Thomas-Greenfield made the remarks while delivering a speech at a virtual National Action Network conference Wednesday, where she argued that the “imperfect union” of America must approach issues of “equity and justice at the global scale … with humility.”
“We have to acknowledge that we are an imperfect union — and have been since the beginning — and every day we strive to make ourselves more perfect, and more just. In a diverse country like ours, that means committing to do the work,” the US ambassador to the UN said.
She told the “human rights” body, which includes China, Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, that the United States needed to “engage trailblazing groups like yours” in order to “improve.”
“It means learning and understanding more about each other. It means engaging trailblazing groups like yours to teach, to grow, to include, to improve. It means not forgetting our past or ignoring our present, but keeping both firmly in mind as we push for a better future.”
Thomas-Greenfield did go on to acknowledge some global human rights abuses, such as the Uyghur genocide in China, though nothing else on any of the nations on the panel.
She told the virtual audience, “I shared these stories and others to acknowledge, on the international stage, that I have personally experienced one of America’s greatest imperfections.
“I have seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles. But I also shared these stories to offer up an insight, a simple truth I’ve learned over the years: Racism is not the problem of the person who experiences it.”
Of the 47 member states on the council, notable nations include China, Cuba, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Venezuela.
President Donald Trump pulled out of the council in 2018, citing anti-Israel bias.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken initially announced in early February that the United States would rejoin the council as an observer, though he went further weeks later, revealing that the nation would “humbly” seek to be voted back in.
“We humbly ask for the support of all UN member states in our bid to return to a seat in this body,” Blinken said in a video later that month.
Council seats are held for a three-year term. Blinken said the US would seek to occupy one for the 2022-24 term.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed the effort at the time, arguing on Twitter that the council “covers for dictators and human rights abusers like Russia, China and Venezuela.”