Emad Barsoum writes: Racism in the time of War
After WWII, humanity strived for decades to prevent the eruption of wars and armed conflicts. Still, it never achieved success. Simply Utopia is against human nature. The stories from ancient civilizations and the books and verses of the Abrahamic religions tell us a lot about the first human conflicts and killings, Seth Vs. Osiris and Seth Vs. Horus in Egyptian mythology, then Cain and Abel in the three Abrahamic religions books, just to name a few.
Although wars have not stopped since the end of WWII, the recent invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army brought back memories of that area and created fear that history is repeating itself, by reminding us of when the Germans invaded Poland igniting a multi continental war. It is noted that any further escalation or invasion of neighboring Russian countries could lead to the end of humanity and civilizations when modern weapons are at the center of the conflict, nonetheless it is very unlikely to occur.
It is ascertained that no war or armed conflict can be justified unless it is those who are defending their land. Yet, the world is regarding this current conflict as an extreme unjustified war, forgetting that there were, and still are, other wars and conflicts that have no justification or comprehendible reasons. The list is long.
Shockingly, the current Russian-Ukrainian war revealed an ugly face of humanity, a situation that reminds us of what happened in 1994 Rwanda. In his book “Shake hands with the devil” General Roméo Dallaire, commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, discusses the downfall by the UN to prevent the upcoming genocide in Rwanda, according to his intel. He mentions that to prevent the eruption of a potential civil war, there was action discussed within the United Nations to intervene before a genocide starts. However, all attempts were denied, and the genocides did start.
In the book, he tells us about his conversation with the prime minister of Rwanda at that time, Agathe Uwilingiyimana (killed during the genocide), where she explains the reasons why the West and Europe are not intending to help Rwanda. It was not only because the lack of any economic interest in this small African country, but it simply came down to: You see two children walking down the street, one is a white child, nicely dressed and “clean” and the other, an African child, wearing rags and “dirty” who would you kneel and play with? “the first” she added.
History repeats itself, and the world is now watching all neighboring countries of Ukraine being very selective and discriminating as to whom would be allowed to cross their borders as refugees from Ukraine, consequently only the Whites are allowed. Ukrainians first, then maybe very few other refugees from non-white ethnic backgrounds, like African students and Arabs and other middle eastern nationals who have resided and worked in Ukraine for years. Many stories are surfacing about such discriminatory behaviors are being reported by news outlets and humanitarian agencies. They are repeating the same scenario happened before on the Hungarian and Polish borders, when they completely denied less number of refugees to enter from the Middle east and Africa few months ago.
It is ironic how those who suffered from the German invasion of Poland and the evil racism and abuse against Jewish people and other groups are the same now who discriminate against refugees based on race and color.
I end by quoting from the awards winning and Oscar nominated (2004) movie “Hotel Rwanda” what a British journalist said during the evacuation of the Europeans: “The western civilization and humanity just fell here”.