Our country’s United Nations ambassador is, at least in the halls of the intergovernmental organization, the point-person for defending American values. What does it say, then, when President Joe Biden’s U.N. ambassador believes our “founding documents and principles” are riddled with “white supremacy?”
That’s apparently the take of Linda Thomas-Greenfield, our current ambassador to the body and a longtime State Department official.
On Wednesday, she spoke at the 30th annual summit of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. The speech was iffy from the start, with Thomas-Greenfield thanking Sharpton “for never backing down” and saying that “so long as the world wants for justice, I feel better knowing you and the National Action Network will demand it.”
Sharpton never backs down, all right. He’s yet to back down from his 1991 remark in defense of an anti-Semitic City College of New York professor in which he said, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Nor has he backed down from his 1994 remark that Africans “taught philosophy and astrology [sic] and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”
As for justice, that’s another matter — but I digress, since Thomas-Greenfield’s remarks somehow managed to get worse from there.
She then told the crowd she spoke to the U.N. on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination about “how my great-grandmother Mary Thomas, born in 1865, was the child of a slave. Just three generations back from me. I grew up in the segregated South. I was bussed to a segregated school. On weekends, the Klan burned crosses on lawns in our neighborhood.”
This is genuinely affecting stuff and a narrative of a country that has undergone a radical transformation in that century and a half — one that has seen its share of bigotry, sure, but one that has also seen people willing to sacrifice, sometimes with their own lives, to extirpate that bigotry. Perhaps most importantly, most of that change has taken place through the Constitution and the laws of the land.
But that’s not the narrative Thomas-Greenfield told.
“I shared these stories and others to acknowledge, on the international stage, that I have personally experienced one of America’s greatest imperfections,” she told the audience.
“I have seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles. But I also shared these stories to offer up an insight, a simple truth I’ve learned over the years: racism is not the problem of the person who experiences it.
“Those of us who experience racism cannot, and should not, internalize it, despite the impact it can have on our everyday lives. Racism is the problem of the racist. And it is the problem of the society that produces the racist. And in today’s world, that is every society,” she continued.
“In America, that takes many forms. It’s the white supremacy that led to the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other black Americans. It’s the spike in hate crimes over the past three years — against Latino Americans, Sikh and Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans, and immigrants. And it’s the bullying, discrimination, brutality, and violence that Asian Americans face every day, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19,” she continued.
“That’s why the Biden-Harris administration has made racial equity a top priority across the entire government. And I’m making it a real focus of my tenure at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.”
Thomas-Greenfield said all this after she announced one thing she was proud of her country for: the Biden administration announcing it “immediately re-engaged with the Human Rights Council, and have announced our intention to seek election to that body, so that we can advance our most-cherished democratic values around the globe.”
Biden’s UN ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, tells the National Action Network that if America's going to join the UN’s Human Rights Council, we must acknowledge our own failures: “White supremacy is weaved into our founding documents and principles” pic.twitter.com/bYc5SyWkE1
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 14, 2021
Funny she should mention this in the presence of Al Sharpton, given one of the reasons we left the United Nations Human Rights Council during the Trump administration was because it is a rabidly anti-Israeli (and anti-Semitic) body that does little for human rights but a lot for countries wishing to vent their spleen at the Jewish state.
If you don’t believe how little it does for human rights, consider some of the countries currently elected to sit on the panel: China, Cuba, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, the United States apparently has racism and bigotry cooked into its founding documents — so much so that our country’s “original sin” has tainted the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and all the amendments. Freedom of speech? More like freedom to hate.
This is critical race theory, plain and simple: the idea that our errors are so grave there’s no way to fix them except to tear the house down, right to the foundations.
This is also the narrative we’ve heard over and over about the spike in hate crimes in the past few years — one that’s not actually backed up by facts. It’s a convenient narrative to pin the tail on the Trump administration with, but an in-depth look shows this “surge” had to do with vastly more jurisdictions reporting hate crimes to the FBI as opposed to a new wave of hate that wore red caps and listened, zombie-like, to instructions from the White House.
Thomas-Greenfield doesn’t see, compared to the literal murderer’s row of human rights abusers on the UNHRC, that the idea “white supremacy” is woven “into our founding documents and principles” is farcical.
But then again, this was someone who spoke of China in fawning language when she gave a speech before the Chinese-funded Confucius Institute in 2019, praising their infrastructure efforts in Africa. She disavowed that when it became a bone of contention during her confirmation hearings.
This is who we’re supposed to put our faith in to defend American values before the United Nations?
Meanwhile, if she wanted to fight bigotry and hate on Wednesday, it’s worth noting she was in the virtual presence of Al Sharpton. Then would have been the time.