UN rights chief urges the US to ‘stop denying and start dismantling racism’
By Leah Asmelash, CNN
The United Nations human rights chief is calling on the US to reform its criminal justice system, reimagine policing nationwide, and provide reparations for descendants of enslaved Africans.
In a report published on Monday, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged the US to make “transformative change for racial justice and equality.”
“I am calling on all States to stop denying, and start dismantling, racism; to end impunity and build trust; to listen to the voices of people of African descent; to confront past legacies and deliver redress,” Bachelet said in a statement.
The report was spurred by the murder of George Floyd in 2020, which reignited a national conversation about race, police brutality, and social injustice.
“The status quo is untenable,” Bachelet said. “Systemic racism needs a systemic response. There needs to be a comprehensive rather than a piecemeal approach to dismantling systems entrenched in centuries of discrimination and violence. We need a transformative approach that tackles the interconnected areas that drive racism, and lead to repeated, wholly avoidable, tragedies like the death of George Floyd.”
The report outlines specific ways the United States needs to reckon with racism, including listening to the voices of Black people, acknowledging and confronting the legacy of racism, and “ending impunity for human rights violations by law enforcement officials.”