India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar has lambasted journalists from the Western media for their biased views towards people from places other than Europe and the US.
Quoting a series of tweets in which Western journalists used racial language while reporting from Ukraine, Chandrasekhar said, “This thread about why some in Western media have seriously disturbing double standards.”
In a video clip, a BBC anchor can be heard saying he respects the “emotion” when Ukraine’s Deputy Chief Prosecutor David Sakvarelidze explained that the conflict with Russia and Ukraine is very emotional for him because he sees “European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed.”
A senior correspondent for CBS News stated that Kiev “isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilised, relatively European…city, where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen.”
On BFM TV of France, an anchor said that European cities are facing cruise missile fire as though “we were in Iraq or Afghanistan, can you imagine!?”
A British ITV journalist considers the crisis “unthinkable” as Ukraine is not a “developing, third-world nation; this is Europe!”
Not only did the TV news anchors or correspondents make such colourist, racial remarks, but print journalists also wrote similar articles.
Daniel John Hannan, a British writer journalist, reckoned that Russia’s military action in Ukraine is an “attack on civilisation” as they [Ukrainian] “seem so like us” and have Instagram and Netflix accounts.
“War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote population,” Hannan, a former politician serving as an adviser to the UK Board of Trade since 2020, wrote in The Telegraph.
As military operations rage in more parts of Ukraine, the UN refugee agency has reported that more than 368,000 people have fled Ukraine since Thursday.
The agency fears that the conflict could see more than 5 million people seeking refuge in neighbouring countries like Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova.
While explaining the reasons for accepting refugees from Ukraine, a Polish journalist said,
“To put it bluntly, these are not refugees from Syria, these are refugees from Ukraine… They’re Christians, they’re white. They’re very similar [to us].”
The “implicit racial bias of some of the Ukraine coverage” has not gone down well with the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association.
The association condemned and categorically rejected “orientalist and racist implications” towards the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
“This type of commentary reflects the pervasive mentality in Western journalism of normalising tragedy in parts of the world such as the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. It dehumanises and renders their experience with war as somehow normal and expected,” it said in a statement.