Racist aspects of Ukraine crisis not to be ignored: US civil rights activists
Social media activists have mocked Western media's coverage of the recent events in Ukraine.
Civil rights activists have told Sputnik that the world should be more aware of the instances of discrimination against Black students and residents in Ukraine as increased reports of racism continue.
The International Organization of Migration (IOM) raised concern this week about the prejudice and bigotry faced by third-country nationals attempting to flee Ukraine.
The Commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said there has been an "exodus" from Ukraine to neighboring countries of over 1 million people. In other words, 2% of the Ukrainian population of 44 million.
Haddy Gassama, national director of Policy and Advocacy for UndocuBlack, said that "people are fleeing a war but still find time to be racist," expressing that "it’s so unfortunate, so disappointing but Black people tend to bear the brunt of cruelty."
In a statement last month, the UndocuBlack Network voiced sympathy with refugees leaving Ukraine who experienced anti-Black prejudice in the country's interior and at regions bordering Poland.
According to Gassama, this is being done by Ukrainian border patrols rather than Polish border guards. She details how "anytime it comes to Black people’s struggle and trauma, we have to prove ourselves."
Trena Turner, Pastor of Victory in Praise Church in Stockton, California, expressed that Americans cannot have a limited perspective on the situation in Ukraine.
Turner said, "We can’t just be myopic about what’s going on here. We have to avoid distractions and turn this into a fight of Black bodies globally."
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged authorities to open their borders to African citizens fleeing Ukraine, as reports arise of racism against non-Ukrainian refugees on the borders, as they were denied access to safety, according to the UNHCR.
Nigeria has recently slammed Ukraine for its racism against African citizens. The African country urged border officials in Ukraine and neighboring countries to treat its citizens equally amid mounting reports of racial discrimination against Africans fleeing the country.
Nigerians, Ghanaians, and other Africans, many of whom are students, have joined hundreds of thousands of people trying to escape Ukraine across borders into Poland and other nations.
In the meantime, racism was not limited to Ukrainian authorities, as the Ukrainian President himself, in addition to several western media outlets, slurred racist remarks of the typical European "blonde", "blue eyes" rhetoric. Social media activists were outraged by the comments and mocked the Western media's coverage of the recent events in Ukraine under the hashtag #Civilized.