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Swift action vital to stem racist language: UN experts on mass shootings in U.S.
update:August 08,2019
Aug.8, 2019 -- Following the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, the United States must take swift action showing its commitment to human rights, including the right to equal protection under the law, a group of UN human rights experts said Wednesday.
"We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of those who were murdered," said the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.
Ahmed Reid, chairperson of the Group, said: "The United States must recognize the direct impact that racism, xenophobia, and intolerance have in promoting violence and in creating fear and instability in ethnic and religious minority communities."
"Perpetuating racism perpetuates violence," he noted.
Special Rapporteur E. Tendayi Achiume said the use of hate speech, intolerance, bigotry, and racism by politicians and leaders to secure or maintain popular support "renders those individuals complicit in the violence that follows."
The Group of Experts and the Special Rapporteur noted that the growing use of divisive language and attempts to marginalize racial, ethnic and religious minorities in political speech has acted as a call to action, enabling violence, intolerance, and bigotry.
According to them, the connections between mass shootings and white extremist ideology are well-established, and the celebration of these atrocities in white nationalist social media is common.
They noted that manifestos and social media posts of the attackers indicate political discourse devaluing and dehumanizing people because of their race, religion, immigration status, or ethnicity.
"The attackers in several mass shootings cited this rhetoric, along with ideas propounded by white nationalist movements and populist movements, as inspiration," they said.
The experts observed that after repeated incidents, the refusal to pursue immediate and direct action to prevent further acts of domestic terrorism aggravates these politicians and leaders' complicity in the violence.
"The use of race to instill fear, gain votes or power or mask injustices must stop. Communities and leaders throughout the United States should take their obligations seriously to prevent further tragedies and protect the human rights of all equally and without condition," the experts said.
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