March 2, 2022

Why calling Ukraine “Relatively Civilized” is Wrong on so many Levels.

What’s the difference between refugees from Ukraine and Syria?

It’s mainly our perception.

As much as I see the point journalists are making these days, I am with Trevor Noah and our editor Lisa on this one.

Of course, there are folks who are more willing to welcome White Christian refugees than those from the Middle East—but it doesn’t make it right. White Christian refugees than those from the Middle East.

It actually shows an underlying dynamic of racism that we need to talk about. What makes anyone think that Western countries were more civilized than other regions on this planet?

What does civilized even mean in this context?

This week, I wrote about the brave Russians who speak up against Putin. I wanted to remind everyone that not all Russians are bad people. But we could also look at this from another perspective. We could also check ourselves before judging other societies.

Let’s take a look at two examples of “relatively civilized” Americans:

1. Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

It’s not a secret that these two are opposing anything democrats say, but their performance during Biden’s State of the Union speech took things to the next level.

I am not sure how these two manage to call themselves patriots. It blows my mind how these two got elected. And it’s shocking that their own party does nothing to stop them.

2. The Texan fighting for Russia in Donbas

Russell Bentley is one of several Americans fighting in Ukraine—but on Russia’s side. Just let that sink in for a moment.

As we talk about Republicans backing up Putin’s actions, we also have to acknowledge that some far-right folks go much further than that. Bentley joined the forces of the so-called “People’s Republic of Donbas” years ago.

There is no need to watch the entire interview with this lost soul, but it’s quite interesting to recognize the similarities between this man and those who attacked democracy on January 6th, 2021.

I wonder how insurrectionists and other Trump supporters feel about this man?

It’s pretty obvious that Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and the Texan fighting for Russia do not represent the American society, but maybe the same argument also goes for suicide bombers and other terrorists?

Why are some of us hesitating to accept refugees from Afghanistan or Syria because of terrorism while expressing their support for families that “look like us?” It’s called racism.

It’s the core of racist ideas to think that White people were somehow more civilized than other cultures. And it couldn’t be any further from the truth of human history.

Take a look at Hitler, Putin, and others who committed crimes against humanity. Take a look at Rumi, Hafiz, and other authors from the Middle East who offer inspiration and hope.

There is no “us against them.”

There are bad people in this world. No doubt about that. But it doesn’t make any difference where someone is born.

Let’s stop allowing racism to determine our levels of compassion. Let’s stop believing in the myth of civilized and uncivilized cultures.

I remember several Republicans falsely quoting Martin Luther King Jr. to back up their resistance against Critical Race Theory:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Let’s apply this when talking about refugees and stop using it as an excuse to ignore our own history.


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