ODVV Statement on US President’s Controversial...
These words are on a plaque mounted on the Statue of Liberty, arguably the most iconic monument of the United States of America. This is one of the most fundamental principles of the country, a country that fought tyranny and oppression for liberty and justice. And yet today as we speak America is unrecognisable. In November the nation elected a man into office who has shown that he has no problem in diminishing human rights, and turns his back on America’s international commitments. Donald Trump is a man who has no qualms to openly tell the nation and indeed the whole world what he is all about. He has proven the aforementioned claims time and time again both during his elections campaign right through to this day, almost seven months into his election to the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America.
We all heard then candidate Trump insult the Muslim Gold Star family of a brave US soldier who gave his life in Afghanistan to save the lives of his platoon. This is the man who wants to ban all Muslims. This is the man who insults Mexicans.
In the span of 4 days Donald Trump reacted to the horrific events of Charlottesville by initially saying that “all sides” were to blame for what happened. And two days later reading from a teleprompter (looking like a hostage making a statement) finally naming the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis by name and condemning them. But that did not last very long. On Tuesday morning while giving a statement to the press on infrastructure, he went off rails when asked about his stance on the Charlottesville, and angrily told the press and the whole world that he blamed both sides equally, the far right white nationalists Neo-Nazis and also those who were protesting against them. This drew universal condemnation; among his own party some condemned his words specifically mentioning him by name and some condemned it without mentioning him. The whole country and indeed the world condemned his words. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted in response to Charlottesville and Trump’s Twitter tirade against Muslims: “Quick to insult Islam but hesitant to condemn racist terror at home. Terror in name of race or religion is plain terror & represents neither.”
The Organisation for Defending Victims of Violence reminds that there is no moral equivalency between racists and those who protest against them. Millions of people fought and died to combat slavery and racism. Following all the sacrifices that were made in early 20th Century, the United Nations ratified an important documents in the fight against racism: the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (21 December 1965, entry into force 4 January 1969) to-date 177 countries have ratified the Convention, the United Sates being one of them. This important international Convention is to ensure Nazism and Fascism are permanently eradicated and to never resurface again.
While citing all international instruments i.e. International Covenants, Conventions, the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ODVV strongly condemns the words of the American President which do nothing but deepen the existing racial gap that exists in the country.
The ODVV also urges the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to come out and openly condemn the divisive words of the President of one of the founding countries of the United Nations, and co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.