The United Nations Human Rights Council is meeting Monday in Geneva for the first time in three months after COVID-19 lockdowns. The global body has prioritized the issue of alleged “systemic racism” and police brutality in the U.S. as one of their first orders of business to tackle on their first day back in session.
The decision to discuss the topic was motivated by a letter sent by a number of African leaders, including Burkina Faso diplomat Dieudonne Desire Sougouri, coordinator of the African Group, who formally requested a debate on the subject Monday, according to reports.
“The death of George Floyd is unfortunately not an isolated incident,” Dieudonne Desire Sougouri wrote in his letter to the Council, adding that “The numbers of previous cases of unarmed people of African descent who met the same fate because of uncontrolled police violence are legion.”
The U.S. left the Human Rights Council in 2018. At the time, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the Trump administration’s justification for the move, describing that the countries on the Council “say one thing and do another.”
“In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble aims have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them,” President Trump said during his 2017 address before the U.N. General Assembly. “For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council.”
Trump added, “The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.”
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The Guardian Removes Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America” Amidst Viral Resurfacing
The Guardian, a left-wing media outlet, has taken down Osama bin Laden’s notorious “Letter to America” from its website this week after the words of the deceased terrorist mastermind, responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001, gained traction on social media.
The letter, which had been published on The Guardian’s website since 2002, resurfaced online, causing a sudden spike in traffic. Social media users unearthed and shared the anti-American and antisemitic content, propelling the document to viral status. The Guardian, acknowledging the increased circulation without the full context, opted to remove the transcript.
According to reports from Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for The Guardian stated, “The transcript published on our website 20 years ago has been widely shared on social media without the full context. Therefore we have decided to take it down and direct readers to the news article that originally contextualized it instead.” The outlet declined to provide additional comments on the matter.
Osama bin Laden’s letter, translated into English, justified al-Qaeda’s attacks against the U.S. by citing American actions in Palestine. The deceased terrorist accused the U.S. of supporting the creation and continuation of Israel, labeling it one of the “greatest crimes” that must be erased. Bin Laden’s letter also propagated antisemitic tropes, claiming Jews control American policies, media, and the economy.
The 9/11 attacks, orchestrated by al-Qaeda, resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people and left thousands more injured. The letter’s resurgence occurred as it was shared by social media influencers on platforms like TikTok, with some expressing a change in perspective. Pro-Palestinian activist Lynette Adkins was among those who shared the letter online, prompting discussions and reflections.
The Guardian’s decision to remove the letter from its website underscores the sensitivity surrounding the content and its potential impact, particularly as young individuals across America engage with pro-Palestinian talking points. The episode has sparked debates about the influence of social media in reshaping perceptions and the responsibility of media outlets in disseminating controversial historical documents.
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