WASHINGTON, D.C. – This Tuesday, U.S. United Nation Ambassador, Nikki Haley announced that the United States is withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council.
This is serious, considering the current crisis here in our border with the separation and incarceration of innocent children seeking asylum. The comments made by President Trump last week during an interview with Fox & Friends on the subject of the historic summit he participated in with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un only adds to the concern.
“He is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head,” Trump said on the North Lawn of the White House during the interview. “Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention.”
“I want my people to do the same.”
It’s worrisome that the leader of the “free world” sees the leader of one of the world’s last dictatorships as a “strong leader” clearly stating his enjoyment of the “good chemistry” that they share.
If this isn’t a red flag, I don’t know what is.
What is more terrifying, but not surprising at all, is that the announcement came when our nation is facing the immoral and inhumane separation of children from their parents as part of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy on immigration.
I don’t think it hard to see that this zero-tolerance policy is the reason behind the country’s withdrawal from one of the most important, worldwide political councils in the world. I mean, it’s the HUMAN RIGHTS council!
“I want to make it crystal clear that this step is not a retreat from our human rights commitments,” said Haley . “On the contrary. We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.”
According to Haley, the council which consists of 47 nations –North Korea not being one of them– needs “major, dramatic, systemic changes”.
What this really means is that the same administration that is separating asylum-seeking children from their parents and locking them up in cages, or even worse– tents out in the Texas heat– will now determine “American human rights.”
It may be a little extreme to say, but Trump’s rhetoric and administrative decisions give off a concerning totalitarian feel, and in the months leading to the election this is shaping the political narrative across the country.
Following the announcement, the UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, posted on their twitter account the situation was”disappointing, if not really surprising, news. Given the state of #HumanRights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back.”
For us living in a border state, only a few hours away from where these children are being held captive, this decision is a clear statement that the administration has no intention of changing its “zero-tolerance policy”, let alone support any legislation that will benefit the parents and children currently being caged inhumanely.
We must lift our voices and stop Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, and the rest of the presidential administration from deciding what constitutes human rights violations.