NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United Nations has actually been implicated by a few of its personnel of racism after it issued a study that consisted of a question asking how they determine themselves, and offered ‘yellow’ among the possible responses.
The ‘U.N. Study on Racism’ was sent to countless staff on Wednesday. An email accompanying the survey stated it was being performed as part of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ “project to remove bigotry and promote self-respect.”
But the very first question, on how staff recognize themselves, itself showed a historical Western racist view of Asians by noting ‘yellow’ as an option, several U.N. staffers told Reuters. Other classifications provided were black, brown, white, mixed/multi-racial and any other.
” The first question is outrageous, deeply offensive and tough to fathom how in an organization as varied as the United Nations this concern was approved for release in a system-wide survey,” said one U.N. team member, speaking on condition of anonymity.
United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated the survey would be “taken off-line and revised properly taking into consideration the legitimate issues” that had actually been expressed.
” We acknowledge the requirement to formulate these classifications with higher sensitivity and will take immediate actions to correct this,” Dujarric stated.
Erica Foldy, an associate professor at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York City University, stated the use of the term was not acceptable.
” The term ‘yellow’ to refer to people of Asian descent is a slur. It must not be utilized, period. At the exact same time, it is beneficial to bear in mind that language related to race is complicated and always in flux,” she said.
” Just Recently Brown, which had actually been considered something of a slur (though possibly never ever as problematic as yellow) has actually entered into broad use. However I don’t see that occurring with ‘yellow’,” Foldy stated.
Organizations and companies have actually been under increasing pressure to address racism in the wake of global protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black American who passed away in Might after a white policeman knelt on his neck.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; modifying by Mary Milliken, Rosalba O’Brien and Richard Pullin
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