April 21, 2009
Posted: 216 GMT


We received an overwhelming response to our poll question yesterday and wanted to highlight a few of the more concise and thoughtful comments below to keep the conversation going. We had to leave many quotes off this list because we lacked space or because we had already read them on air. But keep those comments coming and we'll surely post yours soon enough (if we already haven't). And for future reference–put down your location when leaving a comment. We want to know where you're located!! Thanks! –The I-Desk Team.

The UN conference on racism – couldn’t they have found another speaker? The UN knew it was inviting controversy by having Iran’s leader speak, and they knew what he was going to say and do. Maybe this was intentional by UN staffers? Racism is awful and should be dealt with, but why politicize it so much? It is counter-productive to do so
-James W. Hawkins

I don’t think it was the right move, to give Pres. Ahmadinejad the stage and opportunity to speak at a conference that treads a social problem as important as racism, after all we’ve heard in the past. It was too obvious that he would continue to rage against Israel.
-Adrian Vocke

Hello, as a British Citizen of African origin, I have fought against racism in Britain. I have also observed through various media outlet including CNN, that racism is very much alive within the state of Israel. Racism against Arab Israelis, against Palestinians, you cannot deny that white or light-skinned Israelis of European origin are the privilege ones in Israeli society. Equally, there is clearly racial division USA, and that racism is worldwide, so although I absolutely disagree with the Iranian President on his dangerous views on the holocaust, I feel that the move to boycott or walk out of the conference on racism is childish, because all the delegates from the those countries should put their own house in order. Racism can only be eradicated by talking not by boycott or walking out.

I do believe that he should have the opportunity to speak. It’s just a pity that he didn’t use this platform to make a great speech, present new views or suggest ways to move forward with the international community. Everyone already knows his point of view, so why sound like a broken down record and keep repeating it. In my mind this just shows how much of a poor *leader* he actually is.

I think he should be allowed to speak, that one does not agree with what he has to say does not give anyone the right to stop him from saying what he feels. What is the essence of a free society if someone is not allowed to speak because his opinion is contrary to yours.

Filed under: CNN •Comments

Share this on:
Philip   April 21st, 2009 4:39 am ET

This is just another way of showing how immature some world leaders are. Boycotting and walking away from issues such as racism is just childish! I hope the next Summit is strictly 'Adults Only'. (Phil, Ghana)

Willie   April 21st, 2009 6:12 am ET

I am following the debate on racism and just want to add that racism is no crime as the world wants everybody to believe. Racism is only the ways and means a group of people choose to live. That means that they choose to live among there own culture,religion and language. Racism has nothing to do with the one group of people disliking the other or hating another group.

Why is it a crime to love your own culture, religion and language? Why are people called racists if they do not want to live among other cultures, religions and languages? If we are living in a free world then groups of people can choose among who they want to live or is there a world body that make that decisions for groups of people?

tabasom   April 21st, 2009 8:04 am ET

Providing time and speech ground for Mr Ahmadinejad is an unprecedented and well orchestrated action by west to give a clear message and warning to Israel that they are becoming to costly to support and west is not willing to donate more of its resources to the jewish state .For sake of their own survival ,Its time for Israel hawks to come to their senses and try to make a permanent win win peace with their neighbors .

Jack Quann -Dublin, Ireland   April 21st, 2009 8:52 am ET

Whatever happened to the old adage: I don't agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it? Leaders are perfectly entitled to walk out in protest (though I think not attending at all makes no difference) just as Ahmadinejad is entitled to say what he believes. By trying to suppress comments like Ahmadinejad's we become weaker as a democratic world and loose part of our credibility. Let the man talk, but feel free to not listen.

mohammed   April 21st, 2009 10:48 am ET

never have I seen or heared an injustice as in Palestine today where the whole world is watching, accepting and encouraging its continuation, politcs and money is the real ruler of the world not rightous values thats why the jews are occupying Palestine and killing its people without intervention.

Goran   April 21st, 2009 10:51 am ET

Greetings from Macedonia...Hello everyone, I think that the response,of the international community, was a very mild one,on this matter,but still, with all do respect, I do think, that he should be able to speak, but i dont think, that he should be allowed or able,or left, to insult the state of israel, or the united states, or any other state or country in the world,on international scene,in front of cameras,and i wanna say, that this kind of public accusations of genocide or conflict's or war, dont have anything to do, with this United Nations anti racism conference ...I belleive that his was purely political speech, for national use,used on international level...Still, he continued...By the way. while we're all letting him speak and talk ,and continue his insolence let me just remind you that Iran just sentenced an american iranian journalist up to 8 years in prison, for alleged "spying" in just one day.Fast ha... I dont know, but looking at this guy, I dont think that he thinks much, of freedom of speech human rights, or anything else ...I think that the United States Nato and E.U. should be very careful, with this kind of closed up islamic regime... Thank you... Visit

Debbie   April 21st, 2009 4:14 pm ET

Corruption, insults, racism, all of it, is the way of the world. Some things never change and never will. Yes, power and money is the real ruler of the world. Do what is right by your standards and not worry about the rest. Can't change things anyway. Feel happy with in your self that you are doing by what you believe in and what the good Lord wants you do.

Itai   April 22nd, 2009 1:44 am ET

April 21st, 2009 612 GMT
by the way there are some countries where racism is forbidden as a crime by law.
this affects racism but not the patriotism which you describe

it's sad that some countries still accept rascism and dont have any law against it 🙁

Donna Williams   April 22nd, 2009 7:55 pm ET

most of the comments on the 'racism' speech made by the Iranian president make interesting reading. the comment made by adeiza and free society is worthy of comment simply because i don't believe iranians have real freedom of speech (except for their president it seems). is this a fair comment in a world that is supposedly 'free?' I don't think so. I agree with Tim's comments that it was not a great speech and shows the president's true hatred and loathing of another's plight no matter who or what it is. that the iranian president truly hates the west and israel is obvious. That Israel is so small and is surrounded by 22 "Arab" countries and still can make the world look up, I find amazing.

Denis   April 22nd, 2009 8:00 pm ET

I think mr Ahmadinejad was right in saying what he said , Jews in Israel (palestine whatever you call it) seems very racist to me ... but that does not make him right ...

I think that all these religious peoples are racists , jews , christians and muslims .

They dont get along because of bronze age stories and atheist like me have to endure seeing these people almost every night on the news act like children in a schoolyard, its really quite sad and stupid .

Mamun Rahman, Dhaka   April 22nd, 2009 8:07 pm ET

I absolutely agree with Adeiza for commenting that the Iranian President has the right to say what he feels. Also I agree with the person who commented it's childish to walk out.

It's UN for God sake where nations unite to share their views. Then why one shouldn't have the tolerance to hear everyones' views even if it differs from oneselves'?? What happened to 'Freedom of Speech' we talk about all the time? Even blasphemy law is withdrawn everywhere to ensure freedom of speech then how come statements against Israel hurts so much.

And what Iranian President said, is it not true? Ask yourself please.

Obie   April 22nd, 2009 8:25 pm ET

I think the UN conference on racism is a sham, for starters everybody is a racist to some degree, for the mere fact that we all were created into different races make us unavoidably racist. i have been to different countries and seen that racism is far from being being over, even a toddler stares at you in a different way from how he looks at people from his own race, to show dat racism is inbiult.

in as much as i dont support Irania President's remarks, but if you call somebody to air his candid views, especially in a suposed democratic world, you should be prepared to listen to what he says. if you expect to hear just what pleases you from everybody then you are living in self deciet.

Sophie   April 22nd, 2009 9:07 pm ET

Of course Mr Ahmadinejad should have been allowed to speak, the UN is supposed to allow all nations freedom of speech. and mr Ahmadinejad, is exactly the type of person that needs to speak at these UN conferences. How else are we going to come to some kind of solution is we don't hear all sides of the argument. The international community must begin to recognise that if there will be any kind of resolution to the israel-palestine conflict, Iran will have to considered. Those that listened would have recognized some of campaign-winning Obama's rhetoric, the idea in action that the west cant continue to dictate terms, and that peace will only arrive as the result of diplomacy. The diplomacy that includes listening to other points of view, which is the only way freedom of speech is worth anything, if people are willing to listen.

Those delegates that chose to walk out of the conference can only be described as immature cowards. Mainly because, there actions were unproductive and only served the purpose of highlighting the persistent ignorance and arrogance of members of the delegation, but also because they highlighted the same qualities as the racists they gathered to discuss.

Hope   April 23rd, 2009 5:55 pm ET

The UN could have kicked it up a notch....forget Ahmedinejad, instead allowed the Israeli's speak about their thoughts and accomplishments on racism/oppression/apartheid walls/phosphors bombs/cluster bombs/blockading Gaza/ the idea.. We must applaud them for their achievements in ALL areas of human (Palestinian) annihilation...Now, that would have been a world class act!!..wonder who would have walked out?

Palomino   April 3rd, 2010 12:30 am ET

What would you want to be written on your tombstone?

Hare   April 7th, 2010 9:27 pm ET


Leave Your Comment


Comments are moderated by CNN, in accordance with the CNN Comment Policy, and may not appear on this blog until they have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for posting. Also, due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

International Desk brings viewers into the heart of the largest news gathering operation in the world. Viewers don't come here to watch the news; they come here to be immersed in it. To feel the rush of being the first to know what's happening as stories break, and to leave knowing they've gotten the best and latest information available. The show airs Mon-Fri at 1900 CET.

Powered by VIP