UN experts say Charlottesville highlights rising racism in US


UNITED NATIONS, Aug 18 (APP): Racism and xenophobia are on the rise
across the United States, three United Nations human rights experts have warned in the wake of the far-right demonstrations and violence in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, and called for stepped efforts to deal with the issue.
“We are outraged by the violence in Charlottesville and the racial
hatred displayed by right-wing extremists, white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups,” the experts –Sabelo Gumedze, chairperson of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent; Mutuma Ruteere, special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; and Anastasia Crickley, chairperson of the committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination — a joint statement said.
“We view these events as the latest examples of increasing racism,
racial discrimination, Afrophobia, racist violence and xenophobia observed in demonstrations across the USA,” they said.
“We are deeply concerned at the proliferation and increasing
prominence of organized hate and racist groups. Acts of hatred and racist hate speech must be unequivocally condemned. Hate crimes must be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted.
We call upon the US Government and State authorities to adopt
effective policies as a matter of priority, to urgently tackle the manifestations of incitement to racial violence, and to understand how they affect social cohesion,” the experts said.
“The government must be vigilant in combating all acts of racism,
xenophobia and racist violence, wherever they occur. Recent incidents in California, Oregon, New Orleans and Kentucky, as well as Charlottesville, demonstrate the geographical spread of the problem.”
The experts noted that the Charlottesville far-right demonstrators had
chanted anti-black, anti-semitic, and anti-immigrant slogans, and said it was of critical importance for those who had committed racist crimes or violence to be held to account.
“We call for the prosecution and adequate punishment of all
perpetrators and the prompt establishment of an independent investigation into the events,” they noted.
The experts condemned the “horrific” act of a car being driven into
a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring others. They also noted with sadness that two Virginia State Police officers were also killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the ongoing situation in Charlottesville.
Crickley, one of the experts, said the three were “shocked and
horrified by the racial hatred of the white supremacists, of the right-wing extremists, and of the neo-Nazi groups” that gathered in Virginia.