Speaking at the dedication of a human rights center at the University of Connecticut, President Joe Biden said, “the road to tyranny, we must never forget, begins with the destruction of truth.”
Watch his remarks in the player above.
Biden also asserted that his administration is putting human rights is at the center of his foreign policy to “reassert our moral leadership on the global stage.”
The Dodd Center for Human Rights is named for Sen. Thomas Dodd, a prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal following World War II, as well as for his son, former Sen. Chris Dodd.
Biden recalled the Nazi regime and is murder of six million Jews, as well as other minorities, during World War II.
“Millions of Jews rounded up, along with members of other minority groups, thrown into camps, abused, used for forced labor, medical experimentation. Six million Jews murdered.”
“Only by acknowledging the truth, can we prevent the repetition of atrocities, which are happening now in other parts of the world.”
Biden decried the abuses of the Uighurs in China, the Rohingya in Burma, and the use of starvation and sexual violence in Northern Ethiopia.
“We have fewer democracies in the world today than we did 15 years ago. Fewer, not more,” he said. “This cannot be sustained.”
He said the administration is rejoining the U.N. Human Rights Council, which the Trump administration left, and he said in December, the administration will host a virtual summit of democracies “to bring together world leaders to make concrete commitments to defend democratic values and push back against advancing authoritarianism.”
“Wherever we see our fellow human beings being dehumanized doesn’t mean we go to war, Biden said. “But we must speak out.”
“Silence, as my dad would remind me, silence is complicity.”