UN warns of global “groundswell” of hate speech

Introducing a new “Action Plan” to combat hate speech, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that the world is in danger of forgetting the lessons of the Holocaust. And he blamed the leaders of certain democracies as well as dictatorships for fueling the spread of hate speech around the world.

“In both liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes, some political leaders are bringing the hate-fueled ideas and language of these groups into the mainstream, normalizing them, coarsening the public discourse and weakening the social fabric,” Guterres said.

Asked by CBS News to specify which countries’ leaders he was referring to, he replied, “Some political leaders are, to a certain extent, mainstreaming what has been until now particularly the expression of extremist groups.” Pressed on which ones, he would only say with a smile, “We have seen it in some recent electoral campaigns.”

Asked about it again during his press availability, Guterres said it was a “strategy” not to call any country out by name. Rather, he said he wanted to keep the focus on the substance of the issue.

MORE: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/un-secretary-general-antonio-guterres-warns-of-global-groundswell-of-hate-speech/