Secretary of State Antony Blinken allowed U.S. embassies and consulates to fly the Black Lives Matter flag on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death and to commemorate Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S., according to an internal memo.
Floyd was murdered by a white police officer in Minnesota last year, an incident that set off worldwide protests over the treatment of black people by law enforcement.
Blinken, in the memo, said all diplomatic posts were “strongly encouraged” to use the State Department’s resources to “promote policy objectives to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities,” especially on May 25 and during the month of June.
That includes support for using “the term ‘Black Lives Matter’ in messaging content, speeches, and other diplomatic engagements with foreign audiences to advance racial equity and access to justice on May 25 and beyond.”
The high-profile Floyd case has led to the removal of statues and monuments honoring those involved with the confederacy as well as other historical figures, the renaming of streets, and other tributes.
Blinken in a video Tuesday stressed the importance of human rights at a UN meeting, saying the U.S. would not tolerate nations that break international rules.
On the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we remember that to be a credible force for human rights around the world, we must face the reality of racism at home. By addressing our shortcomings openly and honestly, we live up to the values that we stand for worldwide. pic.twitter.com/SIw6EAy62x
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 25, 2021
His memo encourages messaging around that theme, but “as appropriate and depending on local context.”
Former President Donald Trump during his tenure slammed the Black Lives Matter movement, saying it was “destroying many black lives.”
Trump attacks Black Lives Matter while campaigning for Black voters pic.twitter.com/bmUZlGtp9l
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) September 25, 2020
As we mark the 1-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, we are reminded of injustices that persist and our commitment – and obligation – to seek justice, equality, and respect for all. #BLM pic.twitter.com/udiyt5JMaY
— Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy (@USAmbCambodia) May 25, 2021
Author: Noland Sheridan