Authors: Milovan Marković, Aleksandar Novović; Translated by: Milica Jovićević
On one side of the Eurocentric, pro-racist statements of most politicians and the accompanying media narrative, as well as the contradictory migration policy of Western countries is the Bermuda triangle fate of the Middle Eastern migrants and refugees, and on the other side of it is a warm welcome to refugees of a slightly more European origin and lighter skin.
Now, while everyone is fighting over who will accept Ukrainian refugees as soon as possible, that wasn’t the case when it came to the Middle Eastern migrants.
EU member states’ borders – potential (children) cemeteries
According to last year’s report by ‘Save the Children’, “greater border controls, especially intensified since 2015, have led to an increase in violence and other forms of human and children’s rights violations”. That is why, as the organization pointed out at the time, the EU’s external borders – in Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, and more generally, in the Balkans – have become potential cemeteries.
“Actions such as putting up barbed wire at the borders or illegal deportations by security forces were unthinkable just a few years ago. Now, they have become quite normal.” – says the ‘Save the Children’ report.
“In just the last few months of 2021, 1,600 people, including dozens of children, went missing or died in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe,” the organization said anxiously.
However, on the other hand, the Russian recent military attack on Ukraine has, among other things, further exposed European attitudes towards non-white migrants.
The number of social media users and the frequency of their warnings of the rhetoric heard in media, among journalists, and the so-called Western political officials are increasing. They are baffled by the Western world’s double standards in the approach to the Ukrainian crisis. Social media users are especially bewildered by the Western astonishment at how such a thing could have happened to a “civilized” nation on European soil, among white people.
Media and discriminatory language towards non-white migrants
The most viral statement on the Internet, of course, was the comment of the CBS News correspondent from Kyiv, Charlie D’Agata, who on Friday stated: “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan – that have seen conflicts raging for decades. This is 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.”
D’Agate’s comments have been condemned on social media, with many users saying the statement contributes to further dehumanizing of non-white, non-European people suffering in other conflicts, many of whom have waited outside European closed borders and European countries.
According to media reports, D’Agata later apologized, saying that “in a way, he regrets his statement.“
This statement and many related ones, on the social network “Twitter”, were well observed and presented to the public by the journalist of ‘Mint Press’, Alan MacLeod, who pulled out the whole thread.
An interesting performance took place on Friday when “Sky News“, in a very encouraging tone, broadcasted a video in which the citizens of the Dnieper make Molotov cocktails.
In addition to the insane fact that bare-handed citizens have the ‘support’ of official Ukraine to stand in front of armed Russian soldiers after just a few days of ‘training’, Western mainstream media affirmatively and glamorously talk about the Molotov cocktail, painting a picture of citizens resisting the invasion by making Molotov cocktails.
Countless comments were made on this topic, one of which stood out on Twitter. “If they were dark-skinned people from Yemen or Palestine, they would be labeled terrorists who deserve US-Israeli or Saudi bombing,” said Twitter user Billow Kerow.
This phenomenon continues on Saturday when the BBC hosted the former Deputy State Prosecutor of Ukraine, David Sakvarelidze.
“It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blonde hair and blue eyes being killed every day with Putin’s missiles and his helicopters and his rockets,” Sakvarelidze said.
The BBC host replied that he understands and respects that emotion…
During his live reporting on the French most-watched cable channel, “BMF TV“, journalist Philippe Corbe, pointed out that: “we are not talking about Syrians fleeing bombs from Putin supported Syrian regime, but about Europeans fleeing in cars that look like ours, to save their lives…”
Flagrant Eurocentrism is evident in the British journalist Daniel Hannan’s article in the Telegraph in which he writes that war is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations.
“These are obviously not refugees trying to get away from the Middle East or North Africa. They are prosperous, middle-class people” who “are not obviously refugees trying to get away from areas in the Middle East that are still in a big state of war; these are not people trying to get away from areas in North Africa, they look like any European family that you would live next door to”, said Al Jazeera reporter Peter Dobbie.
Following almost the same logic, a similar “trend” continues in the Montenegrin media space. We have witnessed some media outlets come out with the Ukrainian flag on the front page. This wasn’t the case when it came to countries that suffered the same or similar aggression by the Western powers. That is why we haven’t had the opportunity to see, for example, the Afghan, Syrian, or Palestinian flag on the front page of the Montenegrin media.
All this rhetorical hysteria is probably best summed up in the words of Michael Knowles, an American conservative political commentator, writer, and TV presenter who sees the Ukrainian crisis as a conflict of “civilized nations“. Also, the British Telegraph, i.e., journalist Daniel Hannan, writes about the attack on a civilization that personifies a European country. “It just occurred to me that this is the first great war between civilized nations in my life,” Knowles wrote on his Twitter profile.
Many on social media reacted to this stance and reminded that today’s Iraq and Syria are the cradle of civilization, and wondered whether the Western media had the same reactions when Baghdad, Damascus, Tripoli, Benghazi, and Kabul were being destroyed!?
Are politicians taking a latent white supremacy course as well?
Much like Eurocentric (and discriminatory) Western media coverage, European politicians have not lagged in “favoring” European features and characteristics of Ukrainian victims and refugees. According to Al Jazeera, many Western politicians have come out in favor of opening borders to Ukrainian refugees – using terms such as “intellectuals” and “Europeans” – as opposed to the language used in the case of the Middle Eastern, Central Asia, and African refugees.
In this regard, the statement of Jean-Louis Bourlanges, a member of the French Parliament, stands out. He told the media that the Ukrainian refugees will be “high-quality immigrants, intellectuals that we could use.“
This isn’t the first time that the West did this kind of math and benefited from wars on the “periphery”. We are witnesses of how cheap and highly skilled labor force from war-torn Yugoslavia fled to that same West.
The Prime Minister of EU member state Bulgaria, Kiril Petkov, is still in the running for the discriminator’s ribbon. Looking back on the Ukraine situation a few days ago, he gave a statement in which he stated that “these are not refugees we are used to. These are Europeans, intelligent, educated people, some IT developers… this is not the usual refugee wave of people of unknown past. No European country is afraid of them.
From Palestine to Ukraine – Crowdfunding for Arms?
Interestingly enough, in addition to the evident endorsement of the Ukrainian civilians’ making Molotov cocktails, social media is filled with reports on crowdfunding for weapons assistance to Ukrainian citizens, or military and paramilitary formations. This is an unprecedented one-of-a-kind crowdfunding in the “civilized world”.
Namely, it is clear who in Europe and the Western world is allowed to finance any activities and infrastructure related to armed, military, or paramilitary formations. Such a wave of civilian fundraising, albeit justifiable in terms of defense against aggressors and war, should nonetheless go through more rigorous standards, especially given the current practice where the same kind of organized aid has been stopped when Palestine needed help.
“I love how people are literarlly crowdfunding Ukrainian’s military equipment online. My subscribers’ PayPal donations are taken aside for using words “Palestine” or “Syria”. If you crowdfunded for the Palestinian resistance, you’d been put in hail,” Richard Medhurst, an independent journalist, and broadcaster covering American politics wrote on his Twitter account.
Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic – examples of the double standards practice in migration policy
The standardized practice of double standards in migration policy is best proven by Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
So far, over 100,000 Ukrainian citizens have crossed the Polish border, said Polish Deputy Minister of the Interior and Administration, Pavel Schaefernaker. The same crossing was denied to thousands of people, mostly from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, who have been on the Belarus – Poland border since the summer of 2021, desperately trying to reach EU countries. These people, trapped in cold weather between Polish border guards on one side and Belarusian border guards on the other, were deterred in their attempts by water cannons and tear gas.
Schaefernacker went further and said that after the Russian attack on Ukraine, the Polish authorities started setting up reception points for refugees in the provinces of Lubelskie and Podkarpackie, and announced setting up a telephone line to help Ukrainian refugees.
“In the first phase, eight take-in points will be formed in which refugees will be provided with food, medical assistance, and information. He also announced that the Polish Office for Foreigners will set up a helpline and a website for Ukrainian refugees. Furthermore, over the next four weeks, Ukrainian citizens will be able to use Polish railway trains free of charge, and Polish and the Czech authorities have canceled the mandated Covid-19 certificates for Ukrainian refugees. For refugees who didn’t want to leave their pets behind, Poland has also temporarily suspended veterinary regulations and restrictions on dogs, cats, and pets from Ukraine.
Mobile operators in Poland and the Czech Republic (which, according to numerous media outlets, formed a special police unit for “hunting migrants” in 2016), have canceled roaming for Ukraine, and some have allowed refugees to make free phone calls. This, of course, would not be so indicative, had the same treatment been provided to refugees from the Middle East, whose states were disintegrating at the time.
In the case of Hungary, according to the official police data (available on their website), the Hungarian authorities denied entry to anywhere between 2000 to 5000 Middle Eastern migrants weekly. Let’s remind ourselves that in 2015, the Hungarian Government went a step further and set up fences along the border with Serbia to gain absolute control and prevent the entry of migrants.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in condemning last week’s Russian military attack on Ukraine, said Hungary would stand aside on the issue – “because the security of Hungarians paramount.” He also pointed out that this EU member state would provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and expressed willingness to take in all the people who flee Ukraine.
1) CBS Reporter Calls Ukraine ‘Relatively Civilized’ as Opposed to Iraq and Afghanistan, Outrage Ensues
2) Europe welcomes Ukrainian refugees — others, less so
3) Russia-Ukraine war: Western media criticised for racist ‘blonde hair blue eyes’ coverage of invasion
Original aricle: https://portalkombinat.me/lice-dobrodoslice-s-nalicjem-rasizma/