UN Expert Urges Urgent Action on Systemic Racism in the U.S.

UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, Ashwini K.P., called on the United States to intensify efforts against systemic racism following her 14-day visit. While acknowledging recent commitments by the Biden-Harris administration, she expressed shock at the widespread and entrenched manifestations of racism in every state.

“The United States of America is at a critical junction in the fight against racism and racial discrimination,” said Ashwini K.P.

The Special Rapporteur highlighted issues like voter disenfranchisement, homelessness, environmental racism, discriminatory food systems, and inequitable healthcare, urging increased and equitable investment. Ashwini warned that the current climate of political polarization and economic uncertainty creates fertile ground for hate crimes, emphasizing the need for sustained actions to address systemic racism and pervasive hatred.

“On the one hand, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others, the racially disparate impact of the COVID-19 and large-scale racial justice protests in 2020 brought some of the realities of persistent systemic racism, more into the mainstream American consciousness,” Ashwini said. “This reckoning was translated into a strong commitment to racial justice and initiatives designed by the Biden-Harris administration to improve racial equity,” the expert said.

As the U.S. faces a critical juncture, Ashwini emphasized the imperative for targeted actions to bring about lasting change in the fight against systemic racism.

The full statement is available on the website of the OHCHR.