Over the past few weeks, the world has rallied behind The Ukraine in their conflict against the Russian Federation with an outcry of financial and social support. Governments around the world have quickly mobilized to punish Russia for their actions, and supplied The Ukraine with an array of violent weapons of mass destruction.
However, there’s a deafening silence present in this global response. When a white European country occupies another white European country, the white-supremacist media finds yet another reason to drown out the international racism crisis affecting POCs. While the world’s attention focuses on the conflict in Europe, the ongoing plight of millions of African Americans around the world continues to be ignored.
Where was this global response when white police officers invaded the life of George Floyd?
Where were the economic sanctions on white banks for denying loans to qualified black businesses?
It’s indisputable fact that the world prioritizes the problems of whites over that of POCs, and this focus on the Ukrainian conflict highlights this disparity in a troubling way. Disparate coverage of Ukrainian conflict is a direct act of violence on the Black community by actively allowing these transgressions to go uncovered. When was the last time you read about the civil war in Ethiopia, or the conflicts in South Sudan and Cameroon?
Not only are we purposely neglecting important Black issues, we’re actively ignoring the effect this war has on the Afro-Russo community in Russia. While governments claim the economic sanctions aim to weaken the Russian government, they conveniently ignore the direct impact these actions have on Africans living in Russia. African-owned businesses in Russia are being directly targeted by these sanctions, yet there is zero coverage on these impacts. The average western white person is clearly making an active effort to ignore these externalities, or worse, secretly cheering on the economic destruction of Afro-Russian communities.
Western white-supremacist media is culpable for this, but white media consumers are just as responsible for this display of ignorance. Every retweet, like, and comment on white-only issues is a retweet, like, or comment that has been taken away from a conflict affecting POCs. Think twice next time you retweet that Ukrainian flag, and consider the Black life you are actively minimalizing through your actions.
Ukrainian lives don’t matter until Black lives matter.