As #Russia’s offensive against #Ukraine unfolds, we are witnessing the double standard that comes with the idea of the “deserving” #refugee—s/he who deserves aid and safety based on purely exterior traits.
One of our sources corroborated how #borderguards and #immigration authorities privilege the evacuation of European nationals over Black and POC. They are forced to wait in queues and makeshift tents for hours and even days on end with no updates on their situation.
While #Polish authorities made it clear that everyone fleeing Ukraine would be welcomed irrespective of ID or Visa, Ukrainian border guards allegedly obstructed the passage for Black and POC persons, incurring even on physical abuse.
The plight of a group of Nigerian students at the border points in #Medyka and #Shehyni, as well as the #Indian students stuck in #Sumy, were the first to be reported. Sadly, these are not the only instances of racism Black and POC have encountered.
M* recounts how only he and other Black passengers were taken from a train bound to Berlin and taken to the immigration camp in Eissenhüttenstadt. Despite their many requests for information, the authorities there have provide them with no reassurances as to their status.
M*, who has been studying in Ukraine for the last four years, cannot imagine going back to Nigeria and risking losing all of his hard work.
In times of crisis, we must learn to question the systems that put some lives above others and cause trauma by alienating some groups from the services, resources, and sympathy provided to those affected by war.
While the world rushes to protect the future of millions of Ukrainians, we must ensure that Black and POC lives are not ignored.
War distinguishes no race and no colour.