Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeGeopolitical CompassThe AmericasThe Legacy of American Racism at Home and Abroad

The Legacy of American Racism at Home and Abroad

Authors: Travis L. AdkinsJudd Devermont

Affiliation: Georgetown University, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Organization/Publisher: Center for Strategic and International Studies; Foreign Policy

Date/Place: June 19, 2020/USA

Type of Literature: Argument

Word Count:  1770


Keywords: USA, US Foreign Policy, Racism, Segregation, Afro-Americans


Various African-American diplomats have condemned the killing of George Floyd and expressed their deep concern. The condemnation of racism in the US at the diplomatic level is not a recent event; the authors Adkins and Devermont quote in their argument the memoirs of various former US professionals and diplomats talking about race and racism in the US, hinting that few of these discussions were in public. The authors state that domestic racism has undermined US foreign policy for a long time, given the fact that national security officials have identified racism as a threat to US foreign policy. The solution lies in promoting racial justice in the US, which would have a positive effect on diplomatic relations, such as with Africa. Both authors, one being a white man and the other an African American, have a background in international NGOs, the United Nations, the intelligence community, and the National Security Council. Expectedly, they have different experiences, which they refer to in detail in their argument. Finally, Adkins and Devermont recommend that the US should practice public self-criticism for the American society “to heal” and further emphasize that diplomats and foreign-policy practitioners should raise their voices and use their positions to address Americans about racism. Hiring practices, promoting staff diversity, salary equity, and reconstituting executive leadership and boards to be racially inclusive are important steps to implement equality—a term that should not just be a rhetorical commitment. The authors conclude with highlighting the responsibility of foreign-policy specialists to address systemic racism and discrimination in the US and that it is no longer acceptable to make excuses by separating personal views on racism from professional activities. 

By: Dilek Yücel-Kamadan, CIGA Research Associate



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular