Covering Ukraine: A mean streak of racist exceptionalism | Russia-Ukraine crisis


The battle raging in Ukraine between Russian and Ukrainian Slavs, the latter with the help of a tribal coalition of countries throughout sub-Scandinavian Europe, has uncovered far more than the fragility of peace on the disease-ravaged subcontinent. It has additionally revealed a imply streak of racist exceptionalism with which many Europeans, and folks of European heritage, have a tendency to treat themselves.

It has been inconceivable to overlook the shock amongst Caucasian journalists protecting the battle, sparked by Russia’s invasion underneath the pretext of supporting ethnic allies within the jap tribal enclaves of Donetsk and Luhansk, which it has recognised as impartial states, at the concept this might occur in Europe.

“They appear so like us. That’s what makes it so surprising … Struggle is not one thing visited upon impoverished and distant populations. It could possibly occur to anybody,” wrote Daniel Hannan within the UK’s The Telegraph. “We’re within the twenty first century, we’re in a European metropolis, and we’ve got cruise missile fired as if we had been in Iraq or Afghanistan, are you able to think about,” a commentator wailed on French TV.

Reporting from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, Charlie D’Agata, a correspondent with CBS Information within the US, declared Ukraine “isn’t a spot, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen battle raging for many years … This can be a comparatively civilised, comparatively European – I’ve to decide on these phrases fastidiously, too – metropolis, the place you wouldn’t anticipate that or hope that it’s going to occur.” He later apologised.

The pearl-clutching is after all nothing new. When protecting occasions within the US in the course of the Donald Trump administration, particularly the 2020 elections, reporters would repeatedly exclaim that such chaos was anticipated of the “Third World”, not the US. “America is a Third World nation now” was a headline of Fortune journal following the unhinged first presidential debate between Trump and his eventual successor, Joe Biden.

All of it harkens again to Chinua Achebe who, in his 1977 evaluation of British author Joseph Conrad’s novel Coronary heart of Darkness, famous that “for causes which may actually use shut psychological inquiry, the West appears to endure deep anxieties concerning the precariousness of its civilization” and desires fixed reassurance by comparability with Africa. To Africa, we will add Iraq, Afghanistan and far of the International South.

In essence, the journalists are in search of to affirm white European exceptionalism and advantage by outsourcing its ills to the “growing” world. What Achebe wrote, relating to Africa is true of a lot of the non-white world which “is to Europe as the image is to Dorian Grey – a service onto whom the grasp unloads his bodily and ethical deformities in order that he might go ahead, erect and immaculate”.

Satirically, European ethical deformities have been on open show for the reason that Russian invasion, which is itself grossly immoral and unjust. The reported remedy by Ukrainian guards of Africans, Indians and different individuals of color making an attempt to flee the nation stays an indelible stain on its in any other case heroic stand in opposition to aggression.

The nice and cozy welcome accorded to white Ukrainian refugees by Ukraine’s neighbours within the European Union is in sharp distinction to the hostile reception skilled by individuals of different races, from different locations, on arrival at Europe’s doorstep. And the Europeans haven’t been shy concerning the causes for the discrepancy.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov declared: “These aren’t the refugees we’re used to. These are people who find themselves Europeans, so we and all different EU nations are able to welcome them. These are … clever individuals, educated individuals … So not one of the European nations is afraid from the immigrant wave that’s about to come back.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki additionally stated: “We’ll settle for anybody who wants it. The Ukrainian society will get extra afraid and harassed. We’re prepared to simply accept tens, lots of of hundreds of Ukrainian refugees.” That is whereas his nation continues to disclaim entry to largely Iraqi, Afghan and Syrian migrants and asylum seekers on its border with Belarus.

Within the UK, which has contemplated pushing again non-white refugees into the English Channel, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly stated Ukrainians can go in visa-free in the event that they have already got household there.

It’s value noting that when the journalists shocked by the pristine continent’s descent into the muck which they consider is solely reserved for the remainder of humanity, deign to say the contradictory stances in the direction of asylum seekers, they accomplish that in passing. The phrase “racism” seems to be studiously averted.

The irony of European powers taking in refugees created by Russia’s aggression whereas shutting out these generated by their very own invasions and occupations is seemingly additionally misplaced on them. As is the truth that whereas Russia is condemned correctly for invading another person’s nation, the identical nations shouting the loudest about worldwide legislation and the UN Constitution and resolutions are joyful to disregard Apartheid Israel doing precisely the identical factor to Palestinians. No requires sanctions or isolation there. No celebration of the bravery of individuals in Gaza and the occupied West Financial institution in standing up for his or her freedom in opposition to a brutal occupier.

However then once more, Israel didn’t invade a white European nation, and we all know they assume sure behaviour is appropriate, and to be anticipated, when directed in opposition to individuals on different continents.

In actual fact, one feels in the direction of the North in a lot the identical manner comic John Oliver responded upon listening to that former US President George W Bush, who ordered the disastrous and murderous invasion of Iraq in 2003, was condemning Putin. “Maintain on, George. Not from you,” he retorted on his present, Final Week Tonight. “You aren’t the man for this one, as a result of that assertion solely would have made sense if it ended with ‘Oh s***, now I hear it. Sorry. I’ll shut the f*** up now.”

Moderately than shut up, maybe it will be higher in the event that they confirmed just a little consciousness and just a little consistency.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

Arizona blows out Utah as rebuilding Utes take a step back following two-game winning streak


Utah saved it aggressive towards Arizona the primary time round. Thursday night time proved to be the other.

Utah middle Branden Carlson, left, and Arizona ahead Azuolas Tubelis vie for a rebound through the first half of an NCAA school basketball sport Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, in Salt Lake Metropolis. (AP Photograph/Rick Bowmer)

Salt Lake Metropolis • Craig Smith started this week by speaking concerning the idea of malleability. All year long, he argued, groups can change form, getting higher or getting worse. One month, a crew may be among the many finest within the nation and subsequent it would play like a convention bottom-dweller.

His level was Utah could also be an 11-16 crew, and 4-13 within the Pac-12, however not too long ago it was taking part in above its file. After two highway wins, he thought this model of Utah might be aggressive towards No. 2 ranked Arizona.

However the idea of malleability works in each methods. Utah discovered that on Thursday night time in a 97-77 loss to Arizona. As a substitute of getting nearer to beating one of many nation’s finest, it discovered itself additional away with a deficit that ballooned rapidly and by no means improved.

“It was a troublesome night time for us,” Smith stated. “I assumed we appeared tentative at occasions. We did some good issues, however clearly not sufficient… I assumed they suffocated us at occasions.”

The final time Utah met Arizona, it went down by solely three factors on the half and misplaced by 18. The ultimate consequence was by no means doubtful, but it surely was extra aggressive than most predicted. Thursday was nearer to the other.

Arizona used the primary half to construct a 20-point lead as Utah crumbled underneath a deluge of dimension and taking pictures. Kerr Kriisa, Arizona’s sophomore guard, hit seven first-half three-pointers en path to 21 factors. The entrance courtroom mixture of Azuikas Tubelis and Christian Koloko mixed for 34 factors.

If there was a second that embodied the sport, it was the final 10 seconds of the primary half. Utah guard Gabe Madsen hit a three-point with 5 seconds remaining. However earlier than the Utes may file into the locker room, Kriisa took two dribbles and knocked down a half-court shot. Utah, even when it had flashes of competitiveness, appeared outplayed and outmatched in each aspect of the sport.

“That’s only a good crew,” Madsen stated. “Kriisa went on a bit of run there by himself. That’s going to occur towards crew. However clearly there’s a lot we may do higher.”

There have been some vivid spots for Utah. Madsen had 15 factors and David Jenkins added 14. Branden Carlson, who was coping with an ankle damage coming into the week, was efficient to begin the sport and completed 4-12 from the sector and 1-for-4 from three-point vary.

However there’s little query this model of Utah was not the one Smith hoped to see, or had seen in Utah’s back-to-back wins towards Stanford and Cal final week.

Marco Anthony, who was key in breaking Utah’s practically year-long highway dropping streak, had extra missed free throws than made. He mustered solely two factors in 24 minutes. The crew principally adopted his lead in unforced errors — lacking seven free throws and turning the ball over 14 occasions. Towards most groups that wouldn’t work, however towards Arizona it means the deficit will flirt with 30.

Arizona leads the nation in tempo of play and, for essentially the most half, every turnover led to a quick break dunk of some sort. It’s why the Wildcats went on a 23-2 run to finish the primary half — effecitvely ending the sport —and all 5 starters have been in double-figures.

“We had some catastrophic turnovers,” Smith stated. “After they get out in transition, their spurtability is unimaginable. It’s just like the Nineteen Eighties Lakers.’

In the end, if Thursday was a check of crew’s malleability — like Smith talked about — it confirmed Utah has a methods to go. And Arizona — a program ranked within the prime three in KenPom, the NET rankings and the AP Ballot — is the one rising.

“They received all of it. You may see their athleticism up and down the lineup. That’s the place we wish to go,” Smith stated. “However we clearly received a methods to go.”