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President Joe Biden's ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, characterized America as a fundamentally racist country on Wednesday, saying in a speech that "white supremacy" was "weaved into our founding documents and principles."
Thomas-Greenfield, a career diplomat who was appointed to her most recent post in February, made the stunning remarks during a speech at the National Action Network's virtual conference — a civil rights organization founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
During the speech, the 68-year-old ambassador touted the Biden administration's decision to re-engage with the U.N. Human Rights Council, but reflected on the need to do so with humility, acknowledging America's failings. Former President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the hypocritical council in 2018.
"When we raise issues of equity and justice at the global scale we have to approach them with humility," she said. "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."
Thomas-Greenfield then hearkened back to a speech she gave before the U.N. General Assembly last month on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, during which she spoke about her personal experiences with racism.
"My great grandmother, Mary Thomas, born in 1865, was the child of a slave, just three generations back from me," she said. "I grew up in the segregated South, where I was bused to a segregated school."
"On the weekends, the Klan burned crosses on lawns in our neighborhoods," she continued, explaining that she shared these details "to acknowledge on the international stage that [she has] personally experienced one of America's greatest imperfections."
"I've seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles," she added without offering any explanation.
Thomas-Greenfield also claimed during the speech that racism is not only the problem of the racist, but "it is the problem of the society that produces the racist," adding, "In today's world, that's every society."
In turn, she argued that American society is responsible for producing the "white supremacy," which led to the "senseless killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other black Americans."
President Biden has made racial equity a major priority of his administration. On Day One of his presidency, he issued several of executive orders and actions aimed at confronting what the administration called a "racial equity crisis."
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