The United Nations basically told the United States to check its privilege after a human rights review Monday. Specifically, numerous countries, including U.S. allies, criticized the U.S. on its record for police violence against Black people, the death penalty and the separation of immigrant children from their parents.
Reuters reports that during the first U.N. Human Rights Council examination of the U.S. since 2015, dozens of delegations took the floor and voiced their concerns about how human rights are handled in the nation many Americans swear to White Jesus is unequivocally the greatest country in the world. Activists with the ACLU said the review by the UNHRC heavily criticized the Trump administration’s policies and urged the incoming Biden administration to usher in reforms.
Jamil Dakwar, director of the human rights program at the ACLU spoke about the review during a news briefing, Reuters reports.
“What we saw today was unsurprising condemnation by many countries around the world of the United States’ human rights record,” Dakwar said. “We’ve heard country after country...calling and urging the United States to take serious measures to address structural racism and police violence.”
Much of the UNHRC review was centered around systemic racism in the U.S., but some might argue that the review looked more like an indictment of a host of conservative policies and ideals in the U.S.
China and Russia called on the United States to root out racism and police violence, while Cuba and Venezuela said it must provide equal access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
France called on U.S. authorities to halt executions at the federal level, close Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and “guarantee women and girls access to their rights and sexual and reproductive health.” Britain called for “ensuring access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.”
Joshua Cooper of the US Human Rights Network, a national network of campaigners, said that more than a dozen countries voiced concern at the U.S. position on family planning.
“The United States made clear that they don’t see abortion as a human right,” said Denice Labertew of the Women LEAD network.
For the record, the UNHRC has been looking to take the U.S. to task on civil rights for a while.
The Washington Post reports that, in June, amid nationwide protests prompted by the death of George Floyd, the council held an “urgent debate” to discuss and scrutinize systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protesters in the U.S.
In fact, Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, spoke at that event with a plea for “the U.N.’s top human rights body, urging it to launch intense international scrutiny” into the treatment of Black people and anti-racism protesters in the U.S., according to the Associated Press.
Seeing as Trump announced in 2018 that the United States would withdraw from the UNHRC—likely because the council is like an international diversity training and we all know how much he hates those—maybe the nations challenging America on civil rights has a point.
Hopefully, with a new administration comes the change America and the world needs.