Speaking to the National News Network, a civil rights organization founded by Al Sharpton, Thomas-Greenfield spoke about the Biden administration’s intention to reenter the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, which former President Donald Trump left in 2018.
To join the Human Rights Council, according to Thomas-Greenfield, the US must “acknowledge that we are an imperfect union and have been since the beginning.”
That imperfection, she continued, lies in the “original sin of slavery,” which “weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles.” She then cited white supremacy as being behind the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Tayloy, and “so many other black Americans.”
Thomas-Greenfield’s comments have quickly made their way across social media, igniting criticism from mainly conservative users.
“She’s apologizing for America even though the UN Human Rights Council currently includes Pakistan, Somalia, Qatar, Cuba, Venezuela, Sudan, and Libya,” Daily Caller’s Greg Price tweeted in reaction.
“In the Cold War, we relied on Soviet diplomats to condemn America at the UN; in the Biden administration, we just do it ourselves,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) added.
In her talk to National News Network, Thomas-Greenfield retold stories about her own experiences with racism, many of which she recounted last month at a UN session focused on “elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”
“I grew up in the segregated South. I was bussed to a segregated school and on weekends, the Ku Klux Klan burned crosses on lawns in our neighborhood. When I was in high school, I was asked by a little girl, for whom I babysat, if I was an N-word because her dad had used the word for me,” she said at the time.
The ambassador went on to refer to racism as a “cancer.”
“Racism is endemic. It’s built in, like a rot in a frame, and it remains, and it festers, and it spreads because many of those in charge allow it to,” she said. “Others look away and pretend it’s not there. But like a cancer, if ignored, it grows.”
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