The Black Lives Matter movement has spread quickly around the world. Over the last several weeks, there have been BLM demonstrations in nearly every major city in Europe. Tens of thousands of people showed up for protests in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, and London, just to name a few. There were also many protests across Latin America, Australia–even Asian cities like Seoul and Tokyo saw Black Lives Matter protests.
So how did the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota spark an anti-racism and civil rights movement that extends far beyond the United States?
My guest today, Dominique Day, is in a unique position to analyze that question. She is an American who serves as vice-chair of the “Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent,” a UN human rights entity that monitors anti-black racism around the world. The Working Group regularly releases reports based on fact-finding missions to countries around the world. These reports provide rich illustrations of the ways in which people of African descent are discriminated against in different places around the world, while also offering concrete policy recommendations to combat racism.
We kick off with a discussion of how the Working Group operates and how anti-black racism manifests itself differently around the world. We then have a broader conversation about what is motivating the Black Lives Matter movement outside the United States.
We recorded our conversation one day before a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council devoted to anti-Black racism and police brutality. That meeting was called at the behest of African countries and is yet another example of the transnational impact of the Black Lives Matter Movement.