Religious, civil rights groups ask Pompeo to request expert probe of U.S. racism
Scores of religious and civil rights organizations have asked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to request an evaluation by a U.N. expert of the scope of racism in the country.
“While we appreciate the U.S.’s stated commitment to fighting racism, we believe that commitment ought to manifest itself in tangible actions rather than only words,” reads the letter released Thursday (March 21) by the National Council of Churches.
“We are deeply concerned by credible reports indicating a frightening resurgence in white supremacy, which has led to a rise in racism and hate crimes against racial, ethnic, and religious minority communities both in the US and abroad as evidenced by the recent horrific and unspeakable mass murder in New Zealand.”
The letter says that the U.S. is 16 months late in submitting its periodic report to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which requires that member countries who have agreed to a 1969 treaty submit regular reports on legal and administrative measures they are taking to end discrimination based on race.
A Trump administration representative told the U.N. in November that the country is committed “to fighting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”
The last investigation of the U.S. by a special rapporteur on racism occurred in 2008 during the George W. Bush administration. That expert, Doudou Diène, noted “decisive progress in the political and legal combat against racism” in his report.
“However,” he added, “the historical, cultural and human depth of racism still permeates all dimensions of life of American society.”
The letter from religious and civil rights leaders was released on the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The groups note that the letter provides Pompeo and them “an opportunity for us to work together during this Quad-Centennial of the arrival of African peoples from Angola to the USA in 1619.”
Read more: Religion News