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UN Ambassador Defends Claiming That White Supremacy Is ‘Weaved’ Into Founding Documents

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Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Linda Thomas-Greenfield says she was not criticizing the United States in a speech to the National Action Network where she said that white supremacy is “weaved” into the nation’s founding documents.

Thomas-Greenfield told CBS’ Margaret Brennan during an appearance on “Face The Nation” on Sunday, “I think we’re being tremendous leaders. Our country is not perfect, but we continue to perfect it.”

“Those imperfections are part of our history, and we have to talk about them. It’s our strength that we can talk about our imperfections to the world and call out other nations for those same imperfections. So it’s not a criticism. It’s an acknowledgment of our history. It’s an acknowledgment of where we started. But we need to look at where we’ve come,” she continued.

She added, “And I look forward to continuing to engage with other countries, to use our example, to show those other countries what they might achieve. But we still have a lot of work to do, and we have to acknowledge that. But we also have to work to continue to improve our country.”

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Brennan responded, “But, it is precisely because of the role you have as a cabinet member, that it drew so much criticism.”

She asked, “To be clear, were you comparing bigotry in America to mass atrocities carried out against minorities around the world?”

“I was acknowledging what is a fact in the United States. Racism does exist in this country, and I think it was a powerful message. Imagine any other country doing that. Our country, the uniqueness of our country, is that we can self-criticize and we can move forward, and our values are clear. And the purpose of that speech was to lay out our values, but also acknowledge our imperfections and acknowledge that we are moving forward,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

She added, “I’m realistic about what we have to do moving forward. And I think if we are going to be a voice around the globe for raising issues of human rights, we cannot whitewash our own issues in- in our own country.”

Earlier this week, she told the National Action Network, “I have seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles.”

She also argued that the U.S. needs to approach “issues of equity and justice at the global scale” with “humility.”

“We have to acknowledge that we are an imperfect union – and have been since the beginning – and every day we strive to make ourselves more perfect, and more just,” she said.

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