In the backdrop of an all out war between Ukraine and Russia, one thing has become clear to social media users: “war is white.”
Many social media users have highlighted the difference in language in condemnations and response from journalists and leaders on the Russia-Ukraine conflict; especially when compared to other regions where war has been raging for the past few decades.
Statements such as those from a senior CBS correspondent Charlie D’Agata in Kyiv have sparked outrage for their blatant racism.
In his report on Friday DÁgata said, “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilised, relatively European – I have to choose those words carefully, too – city where you wouldn’t expect that, or hope that it’s going to happen.”
This kind of racism was visible in western leadership as well.
Dutch Conservatives’ foreign affairs spokesperson, Marcus Knuth, while speaking about refugees from Ukraine on February 26 said: “To put it a little squarely, they should not be sitting in an asylum center with Somalis and Iraqis who have come here for completely different reasons.”
He doubled down and added, "So I do not think it can be compared to either the Balkans or the migration flows we see from the Middle East and Africa, where people seek asylum in the countries with the highest welfare benefits in order to stay here for the rest of their lives…. So even though I'm well aware that you're used to hearing a completely different tone from me when we talk asylum policy, it's like night and day. As harsh and dismissive as we want to be towards migrants from Africa, just as open must our arms be to Ukrainians."
Describing the situation in his country, Ukraine’s Deputy Chief Prosecutor, David Sakvarelidze told the BBC, “It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed.”
It wasn't just western channels that came under criticism for their reporting.
Al Jazeera was not spared.
Even The Telegraph was called out.
The Foreign Affairs Committee chairperson of the French National Assembly has also been called out for his comments. He said "this is going to be an immigration of great quality, intellectuals, one that we will be able to take advantage of.”
Meanwhile, many have just called out the Western world for their duplicity, simply based on the actions that have been taken to isolate Russia from the world, including the SWIFT removal, for example. They also cite Facebook and Google being down as well as the sanctions imposed on them, with nearly no actions of a similar vein in countries such as Libya, Iran, Afghanistan and even Syria.
Some are calling the response of the developed world blatantly racist
With such double standards on blatant display, many have been left to wonder how civilised the West actually is,