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U.S. foreign policy, corporate news on Ukraine and elsewhere is steeped in racism

Nonstop Corporate News on Ukraine Is Fueling Support for Unchecked US Militarism,  
Henry A. GirouxTruthout, 13 Apr 22 ”…………………………………….    

U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood; torture; the violations of civil rights; abductions; kidnappings; targeted assassinations; illegal black holes; the scorched bodies of members of a wedding party in Yemen killed by a drone attack; and hundreds of women, children and old men brutally murdered by U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam village of My Lai.

In a war culture, memory fades, violence is elevated to its most visible and mediating force, and logic is refigured to feed a totalitarian sensibility. Under such circumstances, as London School of Economics Professor Mary Kaldor has argued, we live at a time in which the relationship between politics and violence is changing. She states: “Rather than politics being pursued through violent means, violence becomes politics. It is not conflict that leads to war but war itself that creates conflict.”

Behind this disproportionate response by the international community and its media platforms lies the ghosts of colonialism and the merging of culture and the undercurrents of white supremacy. For example, the general indifference to comparable acts of war and unspeakable violence can be in part explained by the fact that the Ukrainian victims appearing on the mass media are white Europeans. What is not shown are “Black people being refused at border crossings in favor of white Ukrainians, leaving them stuck at borders for days in brutal conditions [or] Black people being pushed off trains.” The mainstream media celebrate Poland’s welcoming of Ukrainian refugees but are silent about the Polish government boasting about building walls and “creating a ‘fortress’ to keep out refugees from Syria and Afghanistan.”

The war in Ukraine makes clear that racism is not deterred by global boundaries. Empathy in this war only runs skin deep. It is easy for white people in the media to sympathize with people who look just like them. This was made clear when CBS News Senior Correspondent Charlie D’Agata, reporting on the war, stated that it was hard to watch the violence waged against Ukrainians because Ukraine “isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European [country] … one where you wouldn’t expect that, or hope that it’s going to happen.” In this case, “civilized,” is code for white. D’Agata simply echoed the obvious normalization of racism as is clear in a number of comments that appeared in the mainstream press. The Guardian offered a summary of just a few, which include the following:

The BBC interviewed a former deputy prosecutor general of Ukraine, who told the network: ‘It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blond hair … being killed every day.’ Rather than question or challenge the comment, the BBC host flatly replied, ‘I understand and respect the emotion.’ On France’s BFM TV, journalist Phillipe Corbé stated this about Ukraine: ‘We’re not talking here about Syrians fleeing the bombing of the Syrian regime backed by Putin. We’re talking about Europeans leaving in cars that look like ours to save their lives…. And writing in the Telegraph, Daniel Hannan explained: ‘They seem so like us. That is what makes it so shocking. Ukraine is a European country. Its people watch Netflix and have Instagram accounts, vote in free elections and read uncensored newspapers. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations.’

There is more here than a slip of the tongue; there is also the repressed history of white supremacy. As City University of New York Professor Moustafa Bayoumi writing in The Guardian observes, all of these comments point to a deeply ingrained and “pernicious racism that permeates today’s war coverage and seeps into its fabric like a stain that won’t go away. The implication is clear: war is a natural state for people of color, while white people naturally gravitate toward peace.”

Clearly, in the age of Western colonialism, a larger public is taught to take for granted that justice should weigh largely in favor of people whose skin color is the same as those who have the power to define whose lives count and whose do not. These comments are also emblematic of the propaganda machines that have resurfaced with the scourge of racism on their hands, indifferent to the legacy of racism with which they are complicit………………


April 14, 2022 - Posted by | indigenous issues, politics international, USA

1 Comment »

  1. […] U.S. foreign policy, corporate news on Ukraine and elsewhere is steeped in racism […]

    Pingback by U.S. foreign policy, corporate news on Ukraine and elsewhere is steeped in racism – SHOPPEX NIGERIA | April 16, 2022 | Reply

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