What is happening in Ukraine is despicable. Considering millions of Russian people are putting themselves in danger to protest against an attack their country instigated, I think it would be hard to find a sane person who supports the assault on Ukraine.
These past few days, the world has been rallying behind them, and social media is flooded with appeals for donations and supplies to aid Ukrainian people – as they should.
That being said, with a country on the brink of war, why is there room for a racial hierarchy that is depriving Black people and other ethnic minorities of refuge and freedom from the Russian assault? Videos have been circulating online showing Black men, women and children being denied the right to leave hostile areas and the right to supplies and shelter. Black people are being beaten by the police, told they are not to be tended to, denied access to hotels and dragged off of trains and buses trying to get to the border.
There is never a good time to discuss racism according to those who don’t have to endure it, yet, on the cusp of what could become World War III is a good time to segregate people based on how dark they are and deprive them of survival, right?
It baffles, scares and infuriates me that the attack on Black and dark skin doesn’t even stop when families are being torn apart, and people are being blown up in the street.
When I first saw these videos circulating online, I was sadly not surprised as those who live and die by the Western ideology that Black people are less than nothing have proven time and time again that any chance they get, they will degrade us.
For example, during the pandemic, Black people living in China were subjected to heinous acts, including but not limited to pregnant Black women being rejected from hospitals. The way it was for Asian people in the US and the UK, was the way it was for Black people in China.
As a Black person, I abhor the degradation of another person because of their skin colour, even though I rarely see that same energy back when it comes to the adversity my people face. Campaigns urging people to stop hate crimes against Asian people in the West were 100% necessary and got the world’s attention. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the first time some of you were reading about the ill-treatment of Black people in China – or Ukraine, for that matter.
In World War II, thousands of Polish people sought refuge in East Africa, where the locals, of their own volition, welcomed them and helped them build their settlements. If East Africa had come under threat at that time, I highly doubt the East African people would have saved themselves and left the Polish people to suffer under their attackers.
Every day and with every piece of bad news for my people, I see no way out of being perceived as less than human, like the West has perceived us for hundreds and hundreds of years. I simply cannot, will not and refuse to understand how, in a time of crisis, people would choose to worsen the situation by depriving Black people and other ethnic minorities of the same freedom they want for their own people.