Updated: Apr 7
At this very moment, there is a lot of calamity unfolding in Ukraine. Within such a short period of time, hundreds of people have been murdered, thousands are displaced, and hundreds of thousands are seeking to flee to surrounding countries that are accepting refugees, due to the Russian invasion.
This month’s blog is raising awareness to the travesty that is taking place. Before our very eyes, discrimination has raised its ugly head and is spreading hate and division in one of the worst situation’s imaginable.
The United States as well as many other countries have enacted acute economic sanctions with hopes of dissuading Russia’s offensive military tactics. However, Vladimir Putin seems quite determined to reclaim Ukrainian land through strong military force. “At his first State of the Union address, President Biden enhanced sanctions by ‘closing off American airspace to all Russian flights.’ The economic impacts on the Russian economy will be far-reaching and the human impacts will be generational.” (Rashawn Ray. March 2002. brookings.edu)
At this point in time, Russia does not appear to be impacted whatsoever by the sanctions. Video footage and images of the brutality are heart wrenching to watch. This already difficult expedition has proved to be practically impossible for Black people who, even in these life-threatening circumstances, have found themselves face-to-face with race fueled barricades to their safety and liberties.
There are many reports of Black Ukrainian refugees, as well as Nigerian and South African students, actively being refused certain services, simply due to the color of their skin. They are being denied train rides out of the county, and if some are fortunate enough to get one, they are being denied entry and shelter to other countries, such as Poland. According to ABC News, there are also reports of these same people being pushed, shoved, and beaten as well.
A Ukrainian medical student named Korrine Sky, who is from Zimbabwe but currently resides in Great Britain, stated that trying to leave Ukraine is like “Squid Games”- with Ukrainians as well as Europeans, at the top of the chain, Indian and Middle Eastern people being in the middle, and Africans being at the bottom.
The United States, as well as the rest of the world, should continue to offer their support to Ukraine in their fight for their freedom. It is not anyone’s duty or right to selectively choose who deserves respect, shelter and safety. Everyone, regardless of their race, background, and nationality, should be allowed access to cross borders to safety.
In moments like these, I encourage everyone to think with a racial equity mindset. . As a society, we can do better. We must be better.
This situation serves as a reminder that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to racism and how it truly affects people’s lives. We must strive to accept each other and find solutions to ensure security and protection for ALL. We must start loving each other and stand up for the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.
Happy Easter From Our Head Of Mess Development