U.S. "Race Relations" under UN Scrutiny
In October 1994, the U.S. Senate ratified the UN's International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which had been signed by the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. In early August of this year, as the UN prepared for the grandly titled "World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance" (or WCARRDXRI), the world body's Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination summoned the U.S. government to make an accounting for race relations in our country. The Bush administration meekly complied.
Representing the administration, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Ralph Boyd and Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Craner "reiterated U.S. policy of condemning unequal treatment of racial and ethnic minorities," reported an August 6th Reuters wire service story. Although the UN Committee itself withheld comment pending the release of its official report, members of UN-aligned radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who were on hand to witness the exchange, insisted that America's domestic laws and policies must be altered to conform to our supposed obligations under the CERD treaty.
"[The Bush administration] simply restated a position which already doesn't comply with the CERD and which indicates no willingness to comply' groused Erika George of Human Rights Watch. …