The UN Conference On Racism: We All Are Losers

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is loving the attention we are giving him right about now (NYT image)

Today marks the initial day of the first United Nations international conference on racism in eight years and guess who is missing from the table? The United States—along with Australia, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, and Italy. All state that they are “boycotting” the conference due to the presence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has a headlining speaker status during the week. Ahmadinejad is also the same guy who notoriously does not believe that the holocaust ever took place, denies that there are any homosexuals in Iran and basically wants Israel to not exist.

Seeing that the above named countries have accounted for a majority of all racism and hatred based acts throughout world history, it seems to me that rather than working together to counteract Iran’s activities with inclusive dialogue and frank discussion about race and cultural relations, most “westernized” countries would rather use politics to avoid having their own skeletons exposed. This conference is reconvening to measure the progress made in all countries since the initial conference in 2001, is that not of significance?

I have no doubt that the Holocaust existed and that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is completely delusional, but by not attending we do more to legitimize and elevate his status rather than diminish it. This is also a slap in the face to minority people around the world, proving that our leaders would rather play games than acknowledge the constant ramifications that are still being felt in due to racism and intolerance. Let’s not forget:

– The United States { Transatlantic Slave Trade, Same-sex marriage rights, Katrina! }

– Italy { North Africa, anyone? }

– Australia { Aboriginal Rights, Mob beatings at public beaches of brown people }

– the Netherlands { Immigrant Rights }

– Canada { Native Indians, Muslim Intolerance, etc }

– Germany { Too Easy }

– Israel { Hi Palestine. }

All of this to say that none of us are perfect, but if we are not willing to sit at the table then we all lose. Learn more here.

admission: I wrote this in about…5 minutes, please feel free to add to the facts in the comments…I’m late for work!! – JBaker

Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington