State Department leaders recently invited U.N. "experts," the U.N. special rapporteur on "contemporary forms of racism" and the U.N. special rapporteur on "minority issues," to conduct an official visit to the United States in order to investigate "the scourge of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia" in our country. This invitation demeans America and offers legitimacy to a corrupt, disingenuous international regime. It should be decried by the American people as not only an infringement on our sovereignty as a nation, but also an insult to the values this nation has upheld as a beacon to the rest of the world.
Each of the invited officials is appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Trump administration withdrew America from that body in 2018 because it is dishonest and vehemently anti-Israel. Russia, China and Cuba all now serve on the UNHRC, giving authority and legitimacy to the very tyrannical and autocratic regimes the council was created to oppose. Thus, we should not be surprised that the UNHRC's response to the Cuban government's crackdown on protesters has been virtually nonexistent. We should not be surprised that when China passed its Hong Kong National Security Law, violating treaty obligations and destroying the freedom of Hong Kong's people, the UNHRC was mute. It even allowed Cuba's representative to read a resolution in support of the law that was supported by over 50 other nations under China's influence. During its first decade of existence, the council adopted more resolutions criticizing Israel than it did for the rest of the world combined. It has not recognized the Chinese Communist Party's ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China—in fact, it has not even sent top officials to investigate this tragedy.
It is clear the UNHRC cannot be bothered to address real, horrifying tragedies in the world that are presently happening, but they will waste time to come to the U.S.—a nation founded on individual liberty, dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal, and a historic champion of human rights around the world—and lecture us on race. Why does the Biden administration feel it is more important for the United States to demean and shame itself before imperious elites than to rally our allies to confront the serious threats to human rights and our own national security posed by Russia and China?
This ridiculous prostration before the UNHRC is par for the course for Team Biden. They and the progressive left are obsessed, preferring to self-flagellate over race relations in America rather than confront the very real threats we face as a nation. They sow discord and division among Americans everywhere at a time when we need real unity. They are more interested in politics and power than in making a better future for our children and grandchildren. This focus on political games is the same problem that has plagued the U.N. Human Rights Council since its inception—it's why the Trump administration had no choice but to leave it. We should be unequivocal regarding the State Department's shameful invitation: America is not a racist nation, and we do not need a corrupt international organization that gives cover to communist dictatorships to "review our record on human rights."
As secretary of state, I appointed an independent, bipartisan group of academics to serve on the Commission on Unalienable Rights. The commission's purpose was to review the principles of freedom that inform America's founding commitment to the rights inherent in all persons, particularly regarding our own Declaration of Independence and our signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Commission's report, which I endorsed fully, noted that "America can only be an effective advocate for human rights abroad if she demonstrates her commitment to those same rights at home." But we must also bear in mind that there can be no moral equivalence between nations that work imperfectly to live up to the principles of their founding—such as the United States—and countries that regularly crush their citizens' rights with impunity—such as China, Russia and Cuba. Inviting representatives of a body which counts these autocracies as members to judge our commitment to human rights is a farcical political stunt that will weaken America's moral standing in the eyes of the world.
This does not mean that there is no racism today in America. It does not mean that America has not struggled in the past to live up to the promises of its founding or that there is not still work to be done. But what makes our nation exceptional—what has always made it exceptional—is that we have overcome those failings by embracing the principles of our founding. That is something worth teaching to our children—not that America was founded to preserve slavery, as the 1619 project claims, or is a racist nation, as critical race theory espouses, but through the sacrifices of many who came before us, our nation has always striven to live up to those beautiful, self-evident truths in the Declaration of Independence. Those truths, and the American people's enduring commitment to them, are what make the United States the greatest nation on earth.
Unfortunately, I doubt that would be the conclusion of the U.N. "experts."
This article originally appeared on ACLJ.org.
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Mike Pompeo, senior counsel for Global Affairs, American Center for Law & Justice, is the former secretary of state and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
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