back to News Briefs | Cynthia McKinney | co-globalize | rat haus | Index | Search | tree

Return to the Homepage!
McKinney - News Briefs

House Legislation

Letter to Bush regarding Boycott of UN Racism Conference


Jon Fremont
Senior Legislative Assistant
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney

May 2, 2001

Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20010

Dear President Bush:

As you know, The World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), will be held in Durban, South Africa from August 31st to September 7th, 2001. Hosted by the United Nations, this conference will offer the unique opportunity to take a global look at how racism has adversely and unjustly affected people of color throughout this world and how we can begin to realistically develop a plan of action to address this issue.

As Ranking Member of the House International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, I am committed to the struggle to combat racism and intolerance not just here at home, but on an international level as well. It is for this reason that I am disturbed by an article which appeared in the Friday, March 9, 2001 edition of the Toronto Globe & Mail entitled, "U.S. Plans to Boycott UN Racism Conference." For too long racism has existed as one of humanity's most destructive ills and has manifested itself in many forms, each proving detrimental to innocent victims subjected to its wrath. I can foresee no acceptable reason this country can offer for non-participation in such an important global conference. To boycott WCAR would be denying the citizens of this country, many of whom suffer daily as a result of racism and intolerance, representation in the discussion and planning process to combat one of the most prevalent injustices to plague this nation.

I am a firm believer that this conference will provide the necessary international platform to develop and implement concrete steps to fighting the phenomenon of racism. Two earlier conferences on racism in 1978 and in 1983, provided such a platform for the issues of decolonization and apartheid. I am confident that the 1983 conference on racism played an integral role in the fall of apartheid rule in South Africa making it possible for the recent celebration of the seventh anniversary of its democracy.

Historically, people throughout the world have been ravaged by racism and racial discrimination. In recent years, the global community has experienced widespread acts of "ethnic cleansing," stemming from intolerance and the lack of dignity for human life. We must not continue to be reactionary when dealing with this issue, but must take proactive steps to eliminate this longstanding social affliction. I strongly urge the United States to actively participate in WCAR keeping in mind that as stated in the preamble of the Charter of the United Nations, we are committed to maintaining "faith in fundamental human rights, in dignity and worth of the human person." It is my sincere hope that the actions of this administration will echo the sentiments within this letter.


Cynthia McKinney
Member of Congress

News Briefs Home

Constituent Services | House Legislation | News Briefs
Guestbook | Congress Online | Tours & Flag Info | GA's 4th District

back to News Briefs | Cynthia McKinney | co-globalize | rat haus | Index | Search | tree