US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft on Friday pushed back against criticism from countries like China and Iran over the protests across the United States over racial inequality and excessive police force, challenging them to compare records, Reuters reports.
China and Iran, described respectively in the past as authoritarian and a mafia-like state by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both urged the United States in recent days to tackle racism and protect minorities’ rights.
The largely peaceful US protests over the past 10 days were sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis with a white policeman’s knee on his neck. Some cities have had to deal with arson, looting and clashes between protesters and police, leading to the mobilization of National Guard units.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft denounced Floyd’s death as “intolerable” and “brutality.”
“However, there is no moral equivalence between our free society, which works through tough problems like racism, and other societies, which do not allow anything to be discussed,” Craft told reporters in a telephone briefing.
“I would challenge anyone to compare their record with our record as far as how they treat situations,” she said.
Craft cited China’s treatment of its minority Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang, as well as Tibet and Africans, adding there should be a “dialogue on the difference” between those situations and what was happening now in the United States.
China’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged Americans protesting to do so peacefully and called on US leaders and authorities to listen to them and show restraint.
Craft said she had seen support from other diplomats at the United Nations for “the fact that the US is allowing the freedom of speech.”