Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday March 25, 2022
Ukraine refugee crisis exposes racism and contradictions in the definition of human
Not only has the Russian invasion of Ukraine brought to light the awful tragedies that accompany armed conflict, but the subsequent refugee crisis has also uncovered deeply seated racism in the country.
Reporters have documented dehumanizing treatment against international students from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East in Ukraine. This treatment also extended to racialized permanent residents of Ukraine, including a long-time practising Nigerian doctor.
While white women and children were given priority on vehicles departing the country, African women were barred from trains leaving Kyiv even though there were empty seats.
These incidents demonstrate a racist logic that positions some people as vulnerable, and others as beyond the realm of moral obligation to receive protection. Black and racialized people, it seems, are not as deserving of care.
As Black Studies researchers in the field of education, we study how colonialism and anti-Blackness shape what we know. Although some have been shocked by these reports, we are not surprised.