For the second time in less than two weeks, America’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson has made a remarkable statement that the man leading the United States does not speak for, or represent the values, of the United States. Tillerson’s rebuke of Trump and his racist worldview was a pathetic attempt to assure the rest of the world that America is not racist like the man in the White House; even though “facts on the ground” contradict Tillerson’s remarks. It is true that Trump’s racism does not represent the entire population, or the Constitution, but with little to no pushback against Trump and his adherents from the party controlling the government, the rest of the world definitely sees Trump as “spokesman for racist America.”
It is almost certain that Secretary Tillerson’s remarks were in response to a damning condemnation of Trump’s leadership by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). It is a sad fact that Trump has so tarnished America’s reputation around the world by embracing white supremacists and Nazis that the world organization had to issue a rare warning to the United States. In the same manner they have warned seven brutal dictatorships and war-ravaged developing nations over the past decade, the U.N. warned America to get a handle on the racially driven hate plaguing the country.
It is a tragedy that while Republicans allow their racist standard bearer to incite his devotees’ animus toward people of color and the wrong religions (Jews and Muslims), they are content to sit back and let the United Nations warn Americans to embrace their Constitution and equal rights and reject Trump.
It is most likely that Rex Tillerson’s claim that the Constitution speaks for America, and not Trump, was a tepid insinuation that if Trump had any fealty to the Constitution, he would never embrace white supremacists and Nazis. Not only does Trump lack any respect for or devotion to the nation’s founding document, he did say “the U.S. Constitution is bad for the country;” probably a statement that was not lost on the rest of the world.
The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was so appalled at the results of “the horrific neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, Virginia” that they had to take what is arguably a “very rare” action. The idea that Nazis and white supremacists rioted in a first-world wealthy nation leading to violence, several injuries, and “a woman being murdered in a vehicle attack” did not incur universal outrage from America’s leaders, so the U.N. had to issue a warning.
The U.N. knows, like decent Americans, that Republicans are not doing anything to combat racism or rein in their Nazi leader Trump. In fact, because of the Trump-approved atrocity in Charlottesville, coupled with the increasing frequency of racial hate crimes since he was inaugurated, CERD felt it was their humanitarian duty to take the extraordinary step of issuing an “early warning” to the United States.
CERD issued its “formal early warning” not because they believe it will have any effect on the racist Trump, but to send a message that the world is appalled at the blatant display of racism since Trump’s ascendancy to a place he doesn’t belong. The U.N.’s warning is “rare” and “unprecedented” because it has only been issued against third world nations or tyrannical dictatorships such as ISIS in Iraq, Burundi, and Kyrgyzstan. Now America is included in that “rare” list.
Although CERD stopped short of directly naming Trump, they left no doubt as to whom the “early warning” was intended. Anastasia Crickley is CERD chairwoman and in a statement she said:
“We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred.”
Actually, CERD did not have to specifically name Trump because they “took a thinly veiled swipe” at him for “falsely claiming that many sides were to blame for the white supremacist and Nazi violence in Charlottesville.” CERD’s “formal early warning” specifically “admonishes high-level politicians and public officials to unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn hate speech.” It is telling and humiliating that the world organization had to admonish America’s leaders to reject and condemn hate speech.
Obviously, Trump is never going to reject or condemn his racist ‘acolytes’ any more than Republicans will condemn and reject their racist standard bearer. It is just as obvious that the United Nations’ early warning will have no effect on Trump, his Nazi disciples, or his Republican enablers. In fact, it is mildly shocking that Trump has not seized on the “early warning” to rile up his base against the United Nations and launch a new “us against the world” campaign.
Tillerson’s rebuke of Trump as “not speaking” for America likely did not fool the U.N. any more than it fools Americans. All he really accomplished was pissing off Trump; but nobody in their right mind will condemn him for that. However, pissing off Trump or not, America is still a racist nation or Trump would never have been nominated, much less elected. Moreover, the American people would not have had to suffer through eight years of GOP-incited racism against a very popular President simply because he is Black. Racism is an American trait whether the people acknowledge it or not and that may be the one positive out of the U.N.’s warning; reaffirming that what Trump, Republicans, and their base represent is very real and very American.
Trump has had a deleterious effect on America’s image since he won the election and has tarnished that already damaged image daily since his sparsely attended inauguration. It is too bad mainstream media has not reported that because of Trump, the United Nations had to warn Americans they are on a short list of “developing and unstable countries threatened by ethnic civil war.” It is a warning no small number of pundits and commenters have expressed since Trump emerged on the national scene.