What people of color are experiencing in Ukraine fully exposes deep-rooted racism and white supremacy the West upholds: African-British critic
Published: Mar 07, 2022 07:54 PM
Shola Mos-Shogbamimu
Photo: Courtesy of Shola Mos-Shogbamimu

Shola Mos-Shogbamimu Photo: Courtesy of Shola Mos-Shogbamimu

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While the ongoing crisis in Ukraine continues, it is even more regrettable that people of color like Africans, Indians, and Arabs, who have lived in Ukraine and are trying to flee the war, seem to be treated unfairly by the West with actions and manipulation of public opinion. This fully exposes their white supremacy and hypocrisy, and has drawn criticism from people around the world. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a British Nigerian lawyer, political commentator, and author of This is Why I Resist: Don't Define My Black Identity, was one of those who spoke up and bravely expressed their indignation.

"The reality of the matter is that whenever it comes to issues that pertain to black lives, and lives of ethnic minorities, the West just wants to sweep it under the carpet. The root cause is simple: It is white supremacy, a deeply ingrained culture of racism in the West, and all they are doing is enabling more of this," Mos-Shogbamimu told the Global Times in an exclusive interview. 

According to recent social media posts by black people trying to escape the war in Ukraine, they have been treated in a hierarchical way - Ukrainians first, Indians second, and Africans last. Many claim that people of color have experienced racism during their journey leaving Ukraine, including being threatened and beaten, or even being shoved and pushed off trains. However, their plight has not received much attention from Western media.

Mos-Shogbamimu noted that what has persisted throughout the current turmoil in Ukraine and will further lead to the misery of the non-white population is that some Westerners believe that some people are superior to others purely because of the color of their skin. "This is why, in a deep humanitarian crisis, racism can still show its ugliness because those who are meant to be helping and serving to get people out safely people have a racist mind-set," she said. 

Mos-Shogbamimu pointed out that sadly and pathetically, Western mainstream media have selectively ignored the disclosure made by personal accounts held by Africans, Indians, and Arabs who have experienced discrimination. 

"The focus and the narrative of Western media on the war in Ukraine is absolutely different from the reporting of the wars in Syria or in Afghanistan. Words like 'civilized' have been used to describe Ukraine, while other war-torn countries have been called 'developing' and 'third-world' places," she said.

Ukrainian refugees are seen disembarked from a train that arrived from Ukraine to Przemysl, Poland on March 3, 2022.  Photo: VCG

Ukrainian refugees are seen disembarked from a train that arrived from Ukraine to Przemysl, Poland on March 3, 2022. Photo: VCG

In the eyes of Westerners, wars should not take place in a "civilized" Europe. The flames of war should only burn in the "uncivilized" third world, and the wars launched by the US and its European allies should not be stopped and criticized, Mos-Shogbamimu said.

Statistics show that civilian deaths in the Afghanistan war were over 71,000 and the numbers in the Iraq and Syrian war were over 190,000 and 35,000, respectively. Nonetheless, there was seldom any anger or criticism from the West. However, the exploitation of the Ukraine crisis in the past few days by the West has been more intense than with the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen in the past few years.

"Sometimes people think that racism or institutional racism exists only within a nation in the West. But I think that institutional racial bias and prejudice exists between nations in the West and other countries. It is the way they treat the rest of the world and tell the story they imagine and believe," she noted.

Mos-Shogbamimu said the evil result of such narratives is that many people have come to embrace pathological liars and the worst kind of politicians who attempt to violate innocent lives under the pretext of seeking the so-called humanitarian justice.

"So, the US had somebody like Trump for a president. I am not surprised. In the world, especially those who call themselves superpowers do not do what they ought to do. They are going to suffer bigger, much worse than what you see right now," she said.