Racism against African students has me torn about the war in Ukraine

todayMarch 3, 2022

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By Solomon Jones | Inquirer

I’ve tried to imagine going to sleep in a country where I live in relative safety and waking up in a place where the terror of war spills out onto city streets. I can’t. And that’s why my heart often breaks when I contemplate what’s happening in Ukraine.

However, when I saw videos that appeared to show African students being pushed aside by Ukrainian security officials as the Africans sought to flee a conflict that was not their own, my sympathies shifted. My emotions were torn, and my heart went out to the people who, like so many Blacks in America and beyond, are enduring the realities of racism. But now, there are no social buffers to dampen its effects — because in war, humanity is among the first casualties.

The stories are heartbreaking. Social media video shows a Black woman being physically pushed by men who appear to be security forces as she tries to board a train. CNN reported that an African medical student was ordered to get off a bus at a checkpoint near Ukraine’s border with Poland, forced to watch as only Ukrainians were allowed to board the bus and leave. Another African student told the news outlet that she and her Black compatriots had to walk in freezing temperatures as 10 buses filled with Ukrainians passed them by. An Indian student told CNN that non-Ukrainians had to wait in long lines in the cold as they sought to cross the border. She said the male students were beaten, and that she saw an Egyptian man thrown against a spiked fence with so much force that he passed out.

Click here to read the full column from the Inquirer



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