*Even the United Nations has come forward to rebuke President Trump’s response to the deadly racial violence in Charlottesville, Va.
Without mentioning the president by name, a body of UN experts on Wednesday denounced “the failure at the highest political level of the United States of America to unequivocally reject and condemn” racist violence, saying it was “deeply concerned by the example this failure could set for the rest of the world.”
Trump’s initial statement on the violence failed to call out specific racist groups who were present and suggested that “many sides” were to blame for the violence. He also said that there were “fine people” on both sides. Trump made sure to mention the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi groups and white supremacists in his second attempt at condemning the violence, but he doubled down on his “many sides” response in a press conference days later.
“We were shocked and horrified by what happened,” the UN committee’s chairwoman, Anastasia Crickley, said regarding the televised images of white supremacists’ torchlit parade through Charlottesville. “I was horrified as well by the way leaders of that movement were able to state afterwards that they felt secure in their support.”
Via New York Times:
In a two-page decision that was dated Aug. 18 but released on Wednesday, a day after Washington was informed, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination invoked “early action and urgent warning procedures” in deploring the violence and urging the United States to investigate.
The urgent-warning procedure allows the committee to draw attention to situations that could “spiral into terrible events” and require immediate action, Crickley said.
The committee last invoked the procedures last year, when it condemned “reports of killings, summary executions, disappearances and torture, many of which appear to have an ethnic character,” in Burundi.
The committee called the Charlottesville violence, which took place mainly on Aug. 11 and 12, “horrifying” and said it was “alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by individuals belonging to groups of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred.”
The committee cited two victims by name: Heather D. Heyer, 32, who was killed when a driver plowed a car into a crowd, and Deandre Harris, 20, who was savagely beaten by white supremacists wielding poles.
An Ohio man, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has been charged with second-degree murder over Heyer’s death. The committee urged that “all human rights violations which took place in Charlottesville, in particular with regards to the death of Heyer, are thoroughly investigated, alleged perpetrators prosecuted and if convicted, punished with sanctions commensurate with the gravity of the crime.”
The committee also called on the United States to identify and address the root causes of racism and to thoroughly investigate racial discrimination, in particular against “people of African descent, ethnic or ethno-religious minorities, and migrants.”