August 08, 2001: Greens Demand That Bush Not Withdraw the U.S. from the U.N. Conference Against Racism.

Green Party passes resolution demanding the Bush Administration reaffirm U.S. commitment to social justice and human rights.

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator
207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator
202-518-5624, scottmclarty@yahoo.com



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States endorsed a strongly worded resolution demanding that the Bush Administration reverse plans to withdraw the United States from participation in the United Nations Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, set to begin August 31, 2001 in Durban, South Africa. The text of the resolution is appended below.

"Pulling the U.S. out of the Durban conference is an act of moral cowardice and irresponsibility," said Jerry L. Coleman, Green Party candidate for Governor of New Jersey, who is African American. 
"The U.S. has an obligation, as leader of the free world, to attend a conference on a subject that touches on the major conflict of American history, the struggle between the nation's stated dedication to equality, democracy, and freedom on one hand and, on the other, attitudes and practices that have imposed injustice based on race and ethnicity, such as slavery, Jim Crow laws, exploitation and denial of jobs, and obstruction of voting rights." 

"Such conflict is not unique to America," added Scott McLarty, of Washington D.C., media coordinator for the Green Party. "In the past decade, we witnessed the genocidal massacres in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, assassination and suppression of the rights of Palestinians by Israel, and the slaughter and oppression of Kurds in Turkey and Iraq. The 20th century saw the genocide of Jews, Gypsies, and Armenians; apartheid in South Africa and Rhodesia; Japan's slaughter of Chinese in Shanghai and other cities and forced prostitution of Korean women; and other racially motivated atrocities. No nation, no government should be exempt from scrutiny. In many cases, democratic nations turned a blind eye until it was too late."

"The Greens are dedicated to nonviolence, human rights, and the eradication of racism everywhere," added Tom Sevigny of Connecticut, of the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States. "We urge all Americans and all organizations that say they detest racism in any form to demand the U.S.'s participation in this conference, and we recognize and stand with Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and other leaders who have protested Bush's reckless policy."


RESOLUTION on the Bush Administration's withdrawal of the United States from the UN Conference Against Racism

"The Green Party of the United States calls on the Bush Administration not to remove the United States from participating in the United Nations Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which is scheduled to begin August 31, 2001 in Durban, South Africa. Greens remind President Bush that basic values of human rights, freedom, and democracy cannot be upheld without taking into account racial and ethnic hatred, discrimination, exploitation, intolerance, and other injustices
that have hindered these values. Human rights, freedom, and democracy are American values, but the continued presence in the United States of racial and ethnic divisiveness, the lingering effects of historical injustices such as slavery, Jim Crow laws, and enforced economic disadvantage suffered by people of color, and the heroic struggles to overcome all these injustices morally compel the United States to participate
in the Durban conference. 

"Greens recognize that people of color have legitimate claims in this country to reparations for slavery and its aftereffects. While we do not believe that discussion of the claim that "Zionism is Racism" is a constructive way to challenge the racist policies of the state of Israel, we believe that Israeli policies that deny full civil, political and human rights to non-Jews should be on the table at the conference and that the apartheid nature of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is a topic that cannot be excluded from a world
conference intended to address racism in all its manifestations across the globe.

"We recognize that there's a diversity of opinions on such matters, but regardless of disagreement among Americans on these and other responses to historical and current racism, absence from the Durban conference will betray the same reckless irresponsibility that caused the U.S. to lose its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Commission. We especially appeal to Secretary of State Colin Powell not to risk further damage to the worldwide reputation of the United States and our commitment to justice."

The Green Party of the United States, August, 2001

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