Yesterday, Githu Muigai, the U.N. expert on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related forms of intolerance presented his findings on contemporary forms of racism before the U.N. Human Rights Council. As you may remember, the former Special Rapporteur on racism was invited by the Bush administration State Department to tour the U.S. last year as part of a fact-finding mission and the Rapporteur issued his report in April.
This is the first session of the UNHRC in which the U.S. is participating as a member. After the Special Rapporteur’s presentation yesterday, the U.S. government had the opportunity to respond to his report. The U.S. praised the report’s findings, saying this nation “appreciates the Special Rapporteur’s report and its constructive spirit.”
So what did the Rapporteur have to say about the United States?
“Racism and racial discrimination have profoundly and lastingly marked and structured American society. The U.S. has made decisive progress… However, the historical, cultural and human depth of racism still permeates all dimensions of life and American society.”
We couldn’t agree more!
Chandra Bhatnagar, staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program, joined other human rights advocates yesterday on GRITtv with Laura Flanders. Chandra spoke of how the Special Rapporteur on racism’s findings provided a “real roadmap forward” for the United States to address racism.