Given the recent invasion of the Ukraine by Russia has led to a world wide expression of empathy and compassion. It has been idifficult to stay silent during a time reminicent of events from two years ago that catapulted the Black Lives Matter movement as we watched injustice unfold on the news media. Our nation has been grieving amist Covid19 which has defined a “new normal”. As if that was not enough, we witnessed nationwide police brutality and systemic racism. Our thoughts and prayers have always been with the victims and families of all those changed by health and crime. What is going on in the world right now is to difficult to watch and not be triggered by feelings of injustice. The latest in the Ukraine is another lens on how Racism is not only a national issue but also global.
The Times, recently reported that “in recent decades, the country earned a good reputation among the mostly African and Asian nations who send some 80,000 of their citizens there to study. (Amie Ferris-Rotman, et el 3/1/22)” . However, the unrest reportedly has led to a divide where Africans are reporting being discriminated against since they are non Ukrainian citizens as they try to seek help by crossing the border into other Eastern European countries. According to the New York Times, “Africans who had been living in Ukraine say they were stuck for days at crossings into neighboring European Union countries, huddling in the cold without food or shelter, held up by Ukrainian authorities who pushed them to the ends of long lines and even beat them, while letting Ukrainians through. At least 660,000 people have fled Ukraine in the five days following the start of Russia’s invasion, the United Nations refugee agency U.N.H.C.R. said. Most are Ukrainians, but some are students or migrant workers from Africa, Asia and other regions who are also desperate to escape” (Monka Pronczuk , Ruth Macclean,3/1/22).
Now more than ever, do we need to address inequities not only in our communities but globally to become truly anti racist.
(this statement appeared on the Lifespan internet written by F. DaLomba and Allison Jean, Co-Chairs of the Lifespan Anti-Racism & Health Equity Collaborative)