As the Russian war in Ukraine heats up going into the 6th day of fighting, the Western media has expressed shock and outrage at this invasion in their coverage. Part of this outrage seems to be at the fact that this is happening to European people, as opposed to people living in what these news anchors deem part of the third world or developing nations. The racism in this line of thinking is apparent in the fact that the millions of victims who suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of the U.S. and its allies in wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Palestine never once gathered this amount of empathy in the press when they were reported on at all. Here are just some of the examples of what has been said in Western media regarding the conflict:
- CBS News: “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, you know like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades. You know this is a relatively civilized, 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.”
- Ukranian nationalist on BBC: “It’s really emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed – children being killed every day with Putin’s missiles and his helicopters and his rockets.”
- BFM TV: “We’re not talking about Syrians fleeing the bombings of the Syrian regime supported by Vladimir Putin. We’re talking about Europeans leaving in their cars that look like ours.”
- ITV News: “Now the unthinkable has happened to them. And this is not a developing, third world nation. This is Europe!”
- NBC News: “Just to put it bluntly, these are not refugees from Syria. These are refugees from neighboring Ukraine. I mean that, quite frankly, is a part of it. These are Christians. They’re white. They’re very similar to people, many people who live in Poland.”
This racism has translated to actions taken on the ground by NATO countries such as Poland, where African students seeking refuge from the war were stopped from entering the country while Ukrainians and their pets were allowed in.