White Supremacy Is A Global Threat, UN Chief Warns
A United Nations chief has warned that white supremacy is fast becoming a transnational threat.
In an address to the UN Human Rights Council earlier today, February 22, secretary-general Antonio Guterres said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had boosted support for hate groups and the danger this poses is increasing daily.
‘White supremacy and neo-Nazi movements are more than domestic terror threats. They are becoming a transnational threat,’ he said.
‘Today, these extremist movements represent the number one internal security threat in several countries,’ he added, Reuters reports.
While Guterres did not name any particular countries, white supremacist groups have rocked the US in recent weeks. Following the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, which killed five people, it was revealed that many of those in attendance were members of extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups.
Racial tensions in the country reached an all-time high during Donald Trump’s presidency. Last month, President Joe Biden described Trump’s supporters who descended on the Capitol as ‘thugs, insurrectionists, political extremists and white supremacists’.
‘Far too often, these hate groups are cheered on by people in positions of responsibility in ways that were considered unimaginable not long ago. We need global coordinated action to defeat this grave and growing danger,’ Guterres said.
Following the violence at the Capitol, Trump faced a second impeachment trial for incitement of insurrection. On the day of January 6, Trump made an announcement asking his supporters to leave the Capitol, but assured them that he ‘loves them’.
Guterres also urged international leaders to ‘fight propaganda and disinformation’. He called for stepped-up education on Nazism, noting that two-thirds of young Americans do not know that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
The pandemic has seen a sharp rise in the spread of misinformation, with groups such as QAnon conspiracists peddling false anti-vaccination theories.
‘The continued rise of white supremacy and neo-Nazi ideology must be seen in the context of a global attack on truth that has reduced the role of science and fact-based analysis in public life,’ he said, adding that the pandemic has ‘exacerbated longstanding injustices and divisions’.
‘Propaganda linking Jews with the pandemic, for example, by accusing them of creating the virus as part of a bid for global domination, would be ridiculous, if it were not so dangerous. This is just the latest manifestation of an anti-Semitic trope that dates back to at least the 14th century, when Jews were accused of spreading the bubonic plague,’ Guterres said.
‘Tragically, after decades in the shadows, neo-Nazis and their ideas are now gaining currency,’ he added.
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