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UN Racism Committee Wades Into American Political Debate

Having solved other major world problems such as North Korean nuclear proliferation and world hunger, the UN has decided to weigh in on the American political scene with warnings about racial strife. The committee, known as the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, specifically pointed to the events in Charlottesville, Va. as the catalyst for releasing the report.

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The story from Yahoo 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.

President Donald Trump has been widely criticised for his response to the Charlottesville clashes, after he said “both sides” were to blame for the violence.

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.

This isn’t the first time the UN has attempted to get involved in American politics as it sent a group in 2012 to monitor the voting process. At the time, the UN was criticized for sending monitors from countries which are specifically deemed as “not free” by the US State Department.

Clearly the new UN warning is directed at President Trump, since racial tensions heightened during the years of President Obama, but there were no warnings such as this one issued by the international body.

The UN commission explained their reasoning:

“We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred,” committee head Anastasia Crickley said in a statement.

The committee monitors compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the US ratified in 1994.

The US warning marks the seventh such alert issued in the past decade.

They mainly concern countries gripped by ethnic and religious strife, including Burundi, Nigeria, Iraq and Ivory Coast.

Hateful speech is tolerated under the First Amendment, which is something that most countries don’t have. When speech crosses the line into violence or incitement of violence, then it’s time to rein it in. Many Europeans countries have simply outlawed various forms of speech deemed as “offensive,” so they will simply arrest you if you stand on a street corner spewing vile.

I would venture to say that within the next five years, we’ll see some new court cases on the limits of free speech, and the plaintiffs could come from either political side depending on the circumstances.

The LA Times has an informative article which details many eyewitness accounts from the ground in Charlottesville. The question of which side started the violence is murky at best, but the blame is unquestionably shared. The unfortunate result was that things escalated to the point where lives were needlessly lost and America took a black eye for allowing speech to escalate to violence.

As Matt Walsh of conservative news site, The Blaze, put it, “Dear alt-right white supremacists and leftist Antifa thugs, you deserve each other”

Nate Ashworth: Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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  • Many Europeans countries have simply outlawed various forms of speech deemed as “offensive,” so they will simply arrest you if you stand on a street corner spewing vile.

    Then I wonder what took the Brits so long to arrest the radical preacher Anjem Choudary. The documentary I saw years ago documented years of his hate speech.?

    The world is a messed up place. What happened in Charlottesville, VA with loss of life is truly unfortunate. There will always be one nutcase regardless what their views are that makes a bad situation, worse. If however the mayor and vice mayor hadn't ordered the police to stand dpwn, would their have been the clashes between thenKKK

    • AntiFa is giving liberals a bad name, but their logic is that Hitler gained power by having street demonstrations that were not challenged, and thus, a minority took control of the country.

      One of the rightist groups even calls itself the "Three Percenters," because they say only three percent of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War--and see what they achieved. If the war had gone the other way, the revolutionaries would be recorded in history as a small band of terrorists.

      AntiFa wants to be there to fight rightist extremists--with leftist extremism. It will continue to give the left a bad name, but it is instructive what chants were used. While the rightist marchers in Virginia were shouting, "JEWS will not replace us. . .Blood and Soil!" AntiFa was shouting, "No Nazis! No KKK! No Fascist USA!"

      http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/videos/a57009/charlottesville-vice-documentary/?src=nl&mag=esq&list=nl_enl_news&date=081617

      While they are both scary--and dangerous--there is a difference in tone and message.

      • They're very similar actually and neither group is more or less reasonable than the other.

        If the circumstances were right, they'd kill each other and both think they were justified, which is the true definition of extremists. It's the moral superiority complex.

        On one side, the beliefs of Hitler. On the other side, the beliefs of Marx.

        On one side, multiculturalism is the enemy. One the other side, nationalism is the enemy.

        Two sides of the same coin. One extreme does not successfully counter the other extreme, IMHO.

        • As I said, both groups are violent, and it would be great if they just stayed home and ranted on their computers, but as the ACLU said when they supported the rightists in Virginia, there's a constitutional right to be morons--as long as they are not a danger to the rest of us (such as driving cars into people).

          The real difference is that the nuts on the left are a reaction to the Nazi-KKK, whereas the nuts on the right are a reaction to you and me--and Jews.

          Netanyahu said that he is "shocked by the expressions of anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and racism". He added that "EVERYBODY should oppose such expressions of hatred." [emphasis added]

          http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/395473