I think you could take a step back and try to understand why a foreigner may have a different perspective on the subject.
This is a fair point, and I do understand there are different positions on this nomination. I really don't want this conversation to become too personal, though, so if you took my rebuttal on the nomination personally, then I apologize, since I did not intend it that way.
I stand by my support of this nomination in the same way that I support the Human Rights, Liberation Struggle and Reconciliation: Nelson Mandela Legacy Sites TWHS
from South Africa (showing how minority groups came together to fight the oppresive colonial legacy of apartheid in South Africa; I'd prefer to see the nomination as an extension to Robben Island, however) and the Gdansk - Town of Memory and Freedom TWHS
from Poland (for the importance of the Solidarity Movement on effecting change in Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War). I also realize that there is a hesitancy on the part of some as to what role sites related to "places of memory" should have on the UNESCO list. In that light, I can understand viewpoints that perhaps these 20th century nominations are too recent to warrant inclusion at this time, and it would be better to review them in future decades or centuries.
From my interpretation of the nomination, I don't think the US Civil Rights Movement Sites TWHS is solely about race, but about the effect of the movement on human rights overall. I also don't think it suggests that the US has succeeded in dealing with civil rights issues (it has not, as is likely abundantly clear to anyone who follows the US), nor do I believe the nomination is intended to pat the US on its back for its "woke"-ness. Instead, I interpret it as showing the effect a minority population had in implementing significant change for human rights within its country and inspiring such change in other parts of the world (such as Northern Ireland
) during a specific period of time (the 1950's and 60's).*
*It is quite right to note that the Civil Rights movement in the US was not the first to push for civil rights, nor was it the last worldwide, and the movement did not come up with the policy of nonviolence -- Gandhi was a tremendous influence on US Civil Rights leaders (though nonviolence also predates Gandhi). It was the timing of the movement with the spread of television around the world, however, that made the movement accessible to people worldwide in the 1950's and 1960's. The movement created significant changes necessary within the US, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964
, but it also had an international impact. With the visibility and example of Martin Luther King, Jr.
, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
in 1964, the UN's International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
was adopted in 1965. The CERD was itself a catalyst to the adoption of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights (ICESR) in 1966, integral parts of the International Bill of Human Rights
ps. I'd agree with Nan that Civil Rights education was not taught equally in the US, at least when I was in school back in the 1990's. For many that I went to school with, history would culminate near the end of the school year with World War II, with only a week or two to cover the period of history from immediately post-WWII to the present. That was hardly enough time to deal with the Civil Rights movement. Fortunately, one of the Civil Rights leaders of the 1950's and 1960's was a professor at my college, and with books I have read and speakers I have listened to, I have learned more about the Civil Rights movement later in life. I don't believe the knowledge (or lack thereof) of Americans writ large about the Civil Rights movement (or about international affairs in general) should have any effect on the worthiness of this nomination. I would expect that if it were put forward, it would be properly contextualized.