U.N. Panel Condemns Trump’s Response to Charlottesville Violence:

U.N. Panel Condemns Trump’s Response to Charlottesville Violence:

During a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, President Trump blamed the news media for the country’s deepening divisions, saying it had failed to properly report his remarks on the violence in Charlottesville, Va.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

President Trump’s seesawing response to the deadly racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., has been rebuked by countless politicians, business executives, community groups and religious leaders.

The leaders of Britain and Germany spoke about the need to condemn such violence.

Now the United Nations has weighed in, too.

Without mentioning Mr. Trump by name, a body of United Nations experts on Wednesday denounced “the failure at the highest political level of the United States of America to unequivocally reject and condemn” racist violence, saying it was “deeply concerned by the example this failure could set for the rest of the world.”

Mr. Trump’s wavering responses to the violence — he has blamed “many sides,” but also singled out the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi groups and white supremacists for condemnation — has roiled his administration, but also unsettled rights advocates around the world.

“We were shocked and horrified by what happened,” the committee’s chairwoman, Anastasia Crickley, said in an interview, expressing disgust at the televised images of white supremacists’ torchlit parade through Charlottesville. “I was horrified as well by the way leaders of that movement were able to state afterwards that they felt secure in their support.”

In a two-page decision that was dated Aug. 18 but released on Wednesday, a day after Washington was informed, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination invoked “early action and urgent warning procedures” in deploring the violence and urging the United States to investigate.

The urgent-warning procedure allows the committee to draw attention to situations that could “spiral into terrible events” and require immediate action, Ms. Crickley said.

The committee last invoked the procedures last year, when it condemned “reports of killings, summary executions, disappearances and torture, many of which appear to have an ethnic character,” in Burundi.

The committee called the Charlottesville violence, which took place mainly on Aug. 11 and 12, “horrifying” and said it was “alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by individuals belonging to groups of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred.”

The committee cited two victims by name: Heather D. Heyer, 32, who was killed when a driver plowed a car into a crowd, and Deandre Harris, 20, who was savagely beaten by white supremacists wielding poles.

An Ohio man, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has been charged with second-degree murder over Ms. Heyer’s death. The committee urged that “all human rights violations which took place in Charlottesville, in particular with regards to the death of Ms. Heyer, are thoroughly investigated, alleged perpetrators prosecuted and if convicted, punished with sanctions commensurate with the gravity of the crime.”

The committee also called on the United States to identify and address the root causes of racism and to thoroughly investigate racial discrimination, in particular against “people of African descent, ethnic or ethno-religious minorities, and migrants.”

Although doing so is rare, this was not the first time the committee has invoked the urgent-warning procedures in response to events in the United States.

In 2006, it expressed concerns about the Western Shoshone, a Native American community that had filed a complaint against President George W. Bush’s administration as part of a long-running land dispute.

The committee monitors compliance with the 1969 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the United States joined in 1994. The panel comprises 18 experts “of high moral standing and acknowledged impartiality,” who are elected to staggered four-year terms.

The urgent-warning procedure allows the committee to react without waiting for the periodic review of a member state’s conduct, which typically occurs every four or five years, according to Andrew Clapham, professor of public international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

The United States has clashed with the United Nations on such issues in the past; in 2009, it withdrew from a world conference on racism over concerns that it would be used as a platform to criticize Israel.

The American Constitution offers robust protections for racist speech (but not for incitements to violence), while some European countries explicitly prohibit neo-Nazi and other bigoted rhetoric.

In its condemnation of the Charlottesville violence, the United Nations committee urged that First Amendment protections not be “exercised with the aim of destroying or denying the rights and freedoms of others,” or “misused to promote racist hate speech and racist crimes.”

But that call is unlikely to change anything in the United States. As part of the committee’s most recent assessment of the United States, in 2013, the committee criticized the lack of a law banning racist hate speech. It also raised concerns about underreporting of hate crimes by victims to the police, and called for improvements in data collection and training.

“We believe it is time that the United States considered these matters and considered seriously that balance, between freedom of expression and hate speech,” Ms. Crickley added. “Whether freedom to publicly and collectively express neo-Nazi views and to chant racist hate speech in effect constitutes freedom of expression — I think that’s a question that needs to be seriously addressed in the U.S.A.”

Many Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, released statements denouncing the racism and violence on display in Charlottesville, but did not address Mr. Trump directly. Mr. Ryan later said at a town hall on Monday that he believed Mr. Trump “messed up” in his remarks and that “it was equivocating and that was wrong.”

Others went further in criticizing the president:

Republican Senators

Bob Corker


“Our president needs to take stock of the role he plays in the nation, and move beyond himself.” »

John Cornyn


“No place for the bigotry & hate-filled violence in #Charlottesville. These actions should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.” »

Jeff Flake


“We cannot accept excuses for white supremacy and acts of domestic terrorism. We must condemn them. Period.” »

Cory Gardner


“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.” »

Lindsey Graham

South Carolina

“You are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country.” »

John McCain


“There’s no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so.” »

Jerry Moran


“White supremacy, bigotry & racism have absolutely no place in our society & no one – especially POTUS – should ever tolerate it.” »

Marco Rubio


“Mr. President, you can’t allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame.They support idea which cost nation & world so much pain.” »

Tim Scott

South Carolina

“There is absolutely NO gray area when it comes to condemning groups who breed on racism, hate and division.” »

Republican Representatives

Justin Amash

Michigan’s 3rd District

“@POTUS, America’s children are watching. Denounce white nationalists & their evil ideology. They are enemies of liberty & our Constitution.” »

Barbara Comstock

Virginia’s 10th District

“Mr. President, there were not ‘very fine people’ on the NeoNazi, white supremacist side; only haters. Grateful DOJ understands this.” »

Carlos Curbelo

Florida’s 26th District

“For @POTUS to morally equate that hate to those opposing it… and to accommodate those who promote it is unacceptable.” »

Charlie Dent

Pennsylvania’s 15th District

“@POTUS must stop the moral equivalency! AGAIN, white supremacists were to blame for the violence in #Charlottesville.” »

Mike Gallagher

Wisconsin’s 8th District

“The President needs to be crystal clear that hatred has no place in our society, but he is currently failing at it.” »

Will Hurd

Texas’ 23rd District

“Racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism of any form is unacceptable, and the leader of the free world should be unambiguous about that.” »

Leonard Lance

New Jersey’s 7th District

“Mr. President, there is only one side: AGAINST white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites & the KKK. They have no place in America or GOP.” »

Paul Mitchell

Michigan’s 10th District

“You can’t be a ‘very fine person’ and be a white supremacist @POTUS.” »

Tom Rooney

Florida’s 17th District

“To the people in my generation, it’s just something that’s so obvious: This is repugnant.” »

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Florida’s 27th District

“Blaming ‘both sides’ for #Charlottesville?! No. Back to relativism when dealing with KKK, Nazi sympathizers, white supremacists? Just no.” »

Peter Roskam

Illinois’s 6th District

“President must not allow Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists or Klansman any refuge in his statements.” »

Ed Royce

California’s 39th District

“The President needs to clearly and categorically reject white supremacists. No excuses. No ambiguity.” »

Scott Taylor

Virginia’s 2nd District

“I do believe the President was wrong, that was not equal by any means.” »

Pat Tiberi

Ohio’s 12th District

“POTUS deflected from the fact that a young woman was killed & others were injured by a bigoted follower of the white supremacist movement.” »

Current and former Republican governors

Charlie Baker

Massachusetts governor

“I am deeply disappointed in the president’s words today.” »

Jeb Bush

Former governor of Florida

“I urge President Trump to unite the country, not parse the assignment of blame for the events in Charlottesville.” »

Larry Hogan

Maryland governor

“He made a terrible mistake.” »

John Kasich

Ohio governor

“The President has to condemn hate groups. This isn’t about politics.” »

Bruce Rauner

Illinois governor

“I vehemently disagree with the president’s comments about the tragedy in Charlottesville.” »

Mitt Romney

Former governor of Massachusetts

“He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville.” »

Phil Scott

Vermont governor

“A president’s response must douse the flame, not fan it.” »

Chris Sununu

New Hampshire governor

“The president’s comments yesterday were deeply disappointing.” »

Business leaders

Some of the country’s most influential corporate leaders served on White House business advisory councils until the groups were disbanded last week after Mr. Trump’s controversial remarks. Some of the business leaders resigned from the councils before they fell apart, and others released strong statements distancing themselves from the president.

Jamie Dimon


“I strongly disagree with President Trump’s reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days.” »

Larry Fink


“The events that occurred in Charlottesville, as I said on Monday, are nothing short of domestic terrorism. Such racism and bigotry must not just be condemned, but must be condemned unequivocally.” »

Rich Lesser


“The lack of leadership from the President on this has been unacceptable.” »

Doug McMillon


“As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists.” »

Mark Weinberger


“Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place in our society; leaders need to unite not divide.” »

Kenneth Frazier


“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.” »

Alex Gorsky

Johnson & Johnson

“But the president’s remarks yesterday—equating those who are motivated by race-based hate with those who stand up against hatred—were unacceptable.” »

Greg Hayes

United Technologies

“We need to collectively stand together and denounce the politics of hate, intolerance and racism … Accordingly, I have tendered my resignation from the Council effective today.” »

Jeff Immelt


“The President’s statements yesterday were deeply troubling.” »

Brian Krzanich


“I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues.” »

Thea Lee


“We cannot sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism.” »

Andrew Liveris


“There cannot be moral ambiguity around the driving forces of the events in Charlottesville.” »

Denise Morrison

Campbell Soup

“Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville. I believe the President should have been — and still needs to be — unambiguous on that point.” »

Scott Paul

Alliance for American Manufacturing

“I’m resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it’s the right thing for me to do.” »

Kevin Plank

Under Armour

“Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics. I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council.” »

Inge Thulin


“I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals. As a result, today I am resigning from the Manufacturing Advisory Council.” »

Richard Trumka


“We cannot sit on a council for a President who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism.” »

Wendell Weeks


“The events of the last few days have transformed the council’s laudable mission of job creation into a perception of political support for the Administration and its statements. This runs counter to my original intention and is inconsistent with Corning’s Values.” »

Evangelical leaders

Just one member of the president’s evangelical advisory board has stepped down after his remarks.

A.R. Bernard

Megachurch pastor in New York City

“It became obvious that there was a deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration.” »

Cultural leaders

All 16 members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned on Friday. “Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville,” they wrote in a letter to Mr. Trump.

The members include: Paula Boggs, Chuck Close, Richard Cohen, Fred Goldring, Howard L. Gottlieb, Vicki Kennedy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anne Luzzatto, Thom Mayne, Kal Penn, Eric Ortner, Ken Solomon, Caroline Taylor, Jill Cooper Udall, Andrew Weinstein, George C. Wolfe and John Lloyd Young.


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