Riot at UN for designation of Asians as ‘yellow’ in internal survey

A row has broken out at the United Nations over an employee survey about racism. They were asked how they see themselves, and one of the possible answers was “yellow,” which is considered a racist term that Westerners once used to refer to Asians. Other options that respondents could choose were ‘black’, ‘brown’, ‘white’, ‘mixed / multiracial’ and ‘other’.

The ‘UN survey on racism’ was sent to thousands of employees of the organization on Wednesday. An accompanying email states that the investigation is part of Secretary General Guterres’ campaign against racism.

The fact that they could designate themselves as ‘yellow’ has been a go-to for a number of UN officials. “This question is silly and extremely hurtful, and it is incomprehensible that it ended up in an eminently diverse organization in a staff-wide survey,” a UN employee told Reuters news agency.

Straighten quickly

The UN is in the dust and immediately took the survey offline. “We admit that these questions could have been more delicately phrased and will rectify this as soon as possible,” said a spokesman.

The UN, like many other companies and organizations, is grappling with the way it deals with racism following the worldwide rallies following the death of George Floyd. That African-American man who died in May after a Minneapolis cop pressed his throat shut with his knee for minutes.

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