A right-wing media pundit was swiftly shut down when she tried to bash U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield for her wholly accurate remarks on white supremacy.
At Wednesday’s National Action Network’s 2021 virtual convention, the ambassador said Americans “have to acknowledge that we are an imperfect union and have been since the beginning.”
The comment apparently vexed Emerald Robinson from Newsmax, who questioned the ambassador during a White House briefing on Friday, Mediaite reported. Posing her question to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Robinson asked if President Joe Biden is “going to remove her from her position.”
Robinson claimed the ambassador’s comments are similar to anti-U.S. rhetoric recently made by Chinese diplomats. Psaki, however, appeared to be equally vexe by the line of questioning.
“Is the president going to remove an African American woman with decades of experience in the Foreign Service who is widely respected around the world from her position as ambassador to the UN? He is not,” Psaki said. “He is proud to have her in that position. She is not only qualified, he believes she is exactly the right person in that role at this moment in time.”
The White House Press Secretary doubled down on acknowledging the racist history of the country.
“I have not seen her comments. I will say that there’s no question that there has been a history of institutional racism in this country and that doesn’t require the UN ambassador to confirm that,” she said.
“Is POTUS going to remove an African American woman w/ decades of experience in the foreign service who’s widely respected around the world from her position as ambassador to the UN? He’s not” — Jen Psaki wasn’t having a question about if Biden will fire Linda Thomas-Greenfield pic.twitter.com/VZOHKJDkOX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 16, 2021
“I was bussed to a segregated school. On weekends, the Klan burned crosses on lawns in our neighborhood,” she said.
Thomas-Greenfield also highlighted the disparity exacerbated by the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is sometimes referred to as the great equalizer. After all, it has affected everyone. But the truth is, it hasn’t affected us all equally. Instead, it has exacerbated existing inequalities. We all know that poor communities and communities of color are being hit hardest by the virus and receiving the fewest resources,” she said. “That’s why it’s so important to engage on a global scale. If we go it alone, and retreat from the world, then we let existing inequalities fester.”
To tackle issues of equity and justice at the global scale, the ambassador said “we have to approach them with humility.”
“It means learning and understanding more about each other. It means engaging trailblazing groups like yours to teach, to grow, to include, to improve,” she said. “It means not forgetting our past or ignoring our present, but keeping both firmly in mind as we push for a better future.”
As Blavity previously reported, Thomas-Greenfield attended Louisiana State University with David Duke, who first gained national attention during his LSU days and became Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
“He was preaching the same hatred, anti-Semitism, white supremacy that he preached in Charlottesville, Va,” she said, referencing the violent 2018 Unite the Right rally.
Thomas-Greenfield, who served in dozens of countries during her career, narrowly escaped death in 1994 after arriving in Rwanda the day before the genocide began.