Story at a glance:

  • Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield has experienced racism herself.
    • She made a speech to the National Action Network about white supremacy and its history in the U.S.
    • The U.S. rejoined the United Nations Human Rights Council this year after the Trump administration withdrew during the former president’s tenure.

Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that white supremacy is “weaved” into America’s “founding documents” during a speech Wednesday to the National Action Network.

"I have seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles," said Thomas-Greenfield.


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In addition to her remarks on white supremacy and its history in the U.S., Thomas-Greenfield told the activist organization that issues of “equity and justice” must be approached with “humility.” 

Thomas-Greenfield also said the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery resulted from the nation's institutionalized white supremacy.

"Of course, when we raise issues of equity and justice at the global scale, we have to approach them with humility," she said at a virtual conference. "We have to acknowledge that we are an imperfect union – and have been since the beginning – and every day we strive to make ourselves more perfect, and more just."

Thomas-Greenfield recalled memories of her troubled youth growing up in the segregated South, saying, "I was bussed to a segregated school. On weekends, the Klan burned crosses on lawns in our neighborhood."

The U.S. withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council under the Trump administration. The nation rejoined the council under the Biden administration earlier this year. 


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Published on Apr 15, 2021