Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein of Jordan, in his capacity as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told listeners at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland that the exploitation of fear among American voters and taking resort in bigotry is a “road to violence.” It is presumed that he was referring to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. In July, the GOP National Convention will take place in Cleveland where the party’s presidential candidate will be decided. “Bigotry is not proof of strong leadership,” said Zeid, who is a cousin of Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
 
“Hate speech, incitement and marginalization of the ‘other’ are not a tittering form of entertainment, or a respectable vehicle for political profit,” he said recently. “To casually toss this gasoline on the smoldering embers of fear is to risk great harm to a great nation. Discrimination is a powerful and profoundly destructive force.” Zeid said it is his “deepest hope” that American voters will reflect their understanding of human rights in July of this year, when all eyes of the world will be focused on Cleveland.
 
Zeid was not bold enough did not refer to Trump by name but he deplored the “frontrunning candidate for president,” while he also took aim at the “multiple candidates” who advocate surveillance and other measures intended to control America’s borders and immigration. 
 
"And yet, in what may be a crucial election for leadership of this country later this year, we have seen a full-frontal attack - disguised as courageous taboo-busting - on some fundamental, hard-won tenets of decency and social cohesion that have come to be accepted by American society."
 
Zeid said that the price for what he called "dangerously divisive" rhetoric will be paid by innocent victims of violence, rather than politicians. "We have heard these calls to hatred - calls stigmatizing and demonizing minorities, beginning the validation of violence," he said. "Real courage would mean standing up for the great and enduring values of this society."

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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