Monday, 03 February 2014

UN Human Rights Council: Is Washington "Redskins" Appropriate?

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After installing the brutal communist and Islamist dictatorships ruling over mainland China, Cuba, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria on the United Nations “Human Rights Council” in November, it would take some serious effort for the controversial UN outfit to become more discredited in the public mind. This month, however, it appears to have succeeded in doing just that, with the planetary rights entity facing intense ridicule from across the United States.

Descending further into the realm of full-blown global laughingstock, the dictator-dominated UN “Human Rights” Council waded last month into perhaps one of the most serious global issues of the age — whether the name “Washington Redskins” is appropriate for an American NFL football team. According to news reports, the international outfit even dispatched one of its top “human rights” bureaucrats to investigate the supposed “human rights” violation.

The UN is apparently taking the issue quite seriously, too, albeit for reasons that remain unclear. “This particular case could be of interest to a number of UN human rights mechanisms,” a spokesperson for the despot-run Human Rights Council was quoted as saying by USA Today without elaborating. Among Native Americans, surveys show that the case is not of interest, with 90 percent of Indians polled saying the name does not bother them, and just nine percent saying it is offensive.

The New York-area Oneida Indian Nation and the UN, though, see it as a major issue. “Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic expressed his commitment to continue a dialogue on this issue and to identity additional avenues within the United Nations human rights system to further investigate this issue,” explained a statement by Ray Halbritter, a representative for the Oneida Indian Nation. What sort of “avenues” in the UN system he was referring to were not specified.

Halbritter also said he was “humbled and heartened” by the opportunity to have the UN address “the important moral, human, and civil-rights issues raised by the Washington NFL team’s continued use of the R-word racial slur.” It was not immediately clear when use of the word “Redskins” allegedly became an important “moral, human, and civil-rights” issue.

Critics have suggested that perhaps investigating the sports team name might help the UN “human rights” outfit avoid scrutinizing its own member regimes and their atrocious records. The Communist Chinese regime, for instance, is famous worldwide for forced abortions, brutalization and murder of dissidents, re-education camps, censorship, and mass murder. Other regimes on the council have similar records, including many of the dictatorships appointed in recent months.

Ironically, perhaps, like most of the regimes sitting on the UN “Human Rights Council,” the international outfit’s “Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights” has also been implicated in human-rights abuses. Despite attempting to defend his supposed credentials, numerous activists, reports, and experts have pointed out that Šimonovic previously served the former Croatian regime of Franjo Tudjman, which has been implicated in war crimes and other atrocities far more serious than the name of a football team.

A spokesman for the Washington Redskins cited in media reports also ridiculed the UN “investigation” into the team’s name. “Given all the wars around the world, starvation, famine, and the nuclear proliferation problems the UN is dealing with, surely they have more important things to worry about than a football team’s name that is supported by the vast majority of the American people,” he was quoted as saying.

Of course, regardless of whether the use of the term is offensive or not, the UN has no authority whatsoever to meddle in the names of sports teams. Ironically, though, the “Redskins” name has long been associated with promoting a positive image and message of Native Americans by the team’s leaders, players, and fans, its supporters say. “I think it stands for bravery, courage, and a stalwart spirit,” said former owner Jack Kent Cooke. “I see no reason why we shouldn't continue to use it.”

The UN outfit has come under intense criticism and ridicule for its latest machinations — especially among U.S. commentators — but it is hardly a stranger to controversy in the United States and worldwide. In fact, the outfit had become so discredited that even the U.S. government decided to stop funding it, at least until the Obama administration stepped in to change that.

The latest incarnation of the UN pseudo human-rights bureaucracy actually came about in 2006. After being slammed even by leaders of the so-called “dictators club,” the “Council” was created to replace the thoroughly discredited UN “Commission” on Human Rights — an outfit once led by the Gadhafi regime in Libya. Today, the “Council” remains as much of a joke as the Commission, despite slick PR gimmicks to boost its image.

None of it should be a surprise. As The New American has documented extensively, the UN’s vision of “human rights” is entirely at odds with traditional U.S. notions of unalienable, God-given individual rights secured by the Constitution. As explained in its “Declaration of Human Rights,” for example, the UN believes “rights” are “granted” by governments, not the Creator as explained in the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

The global entity also claims “rights” can be limited “by law” — essentially redefining rights as revocable, government-granted privileges that can be curtailed or abolished merely with pretend acts of “law” decreed by despots. “These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations,” the declaration also states.

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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