Racist states walk out of Geneva meeting
Published Apr 23, 2009 6:54 PM
There have been two “walkouts” from the World Conference Against
Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Geneva. It
is instructive to observe which countries walked out.
The first walkout, led by the United States, was of those countries boycotting
the entire conference. These included the U.S., Canada, Israel, New Zealand and
Australia—the major settler states that through genocide displaced
Indigenous populations from their territory. The Netherlands, the plunderer of
Indonesia, and Germany and Italy, which waged murderous wars against barely
armed African populations, joined them, as did Poland, now itself a
A few of the largest historical despoilers and plunderers of the colonized
world held back from this first walkout. France and Britain, for example, which
had divided up most of Africa, the Middle East and large parts of south and
east Asia, opted to participate in the conference. This gave them the
opportunity to disrupt from inside—which they did a few days into the
On April 21, when President Ahmadinejad of Iran spoke denouncing the racist
actions of the Israeli state against Palestinians, most of the U.N. delegates
applauded the speech. It had been only three months since the 22-day-long
Israeli slaughter of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
However, Britain, France and the rest of the European Union countries present
walked out, accusing Ahmadinejad of racism.
Their actions spoke louder than any words of phony concern. There has to be a
vigorous struggle against racism precisely because the imperialist powers and
their settler states—which for historical reasons are mostly
white—have promoted racism against peoples of color and all Indigenous
peoples throughout the world in order to better exploit them. The ones who
wound up walking out of the conference on racism are exactly those most guilty
of racism. And everyone who remained knows it.
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