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hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
2 months ago

Once upon a time when I was still on Twitter a tweet came up on my screen with an attached video showing a completely naked Mozambican woman screaming while being dragged by her arm by a group of Mozambican soldiers. One of the soldiers let go of her, whereafter she ran about 20m into the distance before an AK47 dropped her dead to the ground. At which point the soldiers could be heard laughing. And there the video ended.

I left Twitter on that day never to return, but before I deleted my account I made sure to send the video to some of the “blue ticks” on Twitter with the hope that the BLM supporters among them would raise some outrage of the atrocities unfolding in Cabo delGado in Mozambique.

But no BLM supporters or women’s rights activists said a word.

It reminded me of the tragic reality that the vast majority of people who claim to be concerned about black lives, or women, for that matter, are not concerned at all. 

What they are concerned about is extracting status and money from a perceived white patriarchal establishment. And, as such, the lives of black people only matter when it comes to using them to extract social status or money from the establishment. In Mozambique, where the soldiers committing the atrocities are black, and where the government is black, there is no social status and no money to extract with a BLM movement.

BLM activists in the UK are, for this reason, very concerned by someone saying naughty words in the USA, but completely indifferent to wide scale, systematic murder of black people in Mozambique.

The war in Ukraine, in this regard, is deeply upsetting for race hustlers in the West because when an arch villain of white supremacy like Vladimir Putin starts killing other white people like ants, it undermines the central claim that black people are uniquely victimised by a white supremacist super structure. 

As such, it is absolutely paramount that race baiters spin the crisis in Ukraine to be about race because they cannot risk people thinking that the West is about more than this. 

It is therefore unsurprising to me that the principal concern of this author is not with the plight of Ukranians, or indeed, the plight of Africans being displaced this moment in Africa by a number of bloody conflicts, but with how to frame the Ukrainian conflict in racial terms for a European audience.

And, of course, this is a very difficult thing to do because he must ignore the reality that Europe has taken in many millions of migrants from African countries in the last few years.

Germany, in 2015, took in 1 million migrants, the vast majority of whom were non-white and non-European.

In the UK, if I understand the numbers that have been published so far, 50 000 people will arrive on boats from Calais this year. These are just the ones arriving illegally, never mind the ones going through formal channels.

The author shows no sense of proportion when considering the choices that refugees face. He doesn’t mention that Africans fleeing North Africa are far better off in Europe than, for example, in South Africa, where they’re frequently attacked and burned to death with violence unheard of in the alleged racist hellscape of Europe.

Implicit in the author’s writings appears to be the assumption that white people are genetically fallen, that behaving in a discriminatory way is “what they do”. In other words, he rages against the idea of biological essentialism, while practicing biological essentialism.

As always, it is a testament to Unherd’s open mindedness that this view on Ukraine is given air time, well done to you Unherd.

Last edited 2 months ago by hayden eastwood
Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 months ago

You are absolutely brilliant. Please start a substack so I can subscribe to you. Thank You.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Yes an excellent comment.
I think wat the author is saying is that there is no future in a multi-ethnic state

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
1 month ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Penny, thank you for the encouraging words – you can sign up here and be my first-slash-only subscriber 🙂

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 months ago

Hear hear!!!

Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 months ago

*cue jarring crash of thunder*

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
2 months ago

Thanks, Hayden. Your comment deserves the title of article all to its own!

Dominic A
Dominic A
2 months ago

Excellent post. You may be relieved to hear that in the US there is a growing awareness of, and pushback against, the problems you mention. For example, see or read Glen Loury or Jon McWhorter: serious, intelligent, nuanced – providing analyses that engender respect, and encourage real progress, and harmony (the mirror opposite of this article).

Lindsey Thornton
Lindsey Thornton
2 months ago

Thank you for a brilliant analysis. This reminds me of last night’s BBC Question Time when a Muslim member of the audience, egged on by Fiona Bruce, accused the British Government of a ‘double standard’ when it came to accepting Ukrainian refugees, as if they were not deserving, when her own selected Afghanistan asylum seekers were encouraged to stay in India, where they were safe, instead of coming to the UK to join her. The panellists were complicit by not pointing out that this was in itself a double standard and racist towards Ukrainians. I was disappointed to say the least that the audience accepted her outrage of victimhood and gave her a warm round of applause.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 months ago

I always admire an author who is willing to engage with his public. On here Debbie Hayton stands out in this respect. Of course Debbie provides responses of substance. An exchange of views always provides some enlightenment.

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
2 months ago

Well it’s pointless to leave a comment now. You said it all.

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 month ago

Aah, Hayden! Well done again. Yours is a voice of reasoned sanity. It is not surprising that your post has attracted so many ‘likes’, including my own. Keep posting, cus. You have valuable ideas to contribute.

Last edited 1 month ago by Julian Pellatt
Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
1 month ago

Hayden, what a superb response. Thank you.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago

Dear oh dear. The author doesn’t seem to understand the difference between people being forced out of their homes by a full scale military invasion and entering a neighbouring country with a similar culture, and potentially tens of millions of people – not actually the poorest but those who can afford to pay people smugglers thousands of dollars shipping up in countries thousands of miles away (having transited many others) they have no cultural connection with to get a better life. In the vast majority of the latter cases, there ARE no wars occurring. If the West was quite as racist as this author says, I’m not sure why they bother.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Indeed, like many journalists David Matthews tends to assume that talking to a small unrepresentative sample of people from his background entitles him to ascribe a common view – in this case to everyone who has a dark enough skin to qualify as black. Admittedly black for him seems to embrace Afghans and Syrians who probably don’t think of themselves as black just to make his point.
The nub of his argument seems to be because those fighting in Ukraine all have white skins then those with black skins don’t need to be concerned. His further point is that because neighbouring countries are prepared to temporarily give refuge to women and children fleeing from the fighting while their men defend Ukraine this shows that racism exists because there was a reluctance in some countries to give refuge to economic migrants or young men from war zones well away from Europe who were not as ethnically and culturally similar. He is obviously comparing apples and pears to construct his thesis. This article is a rambling concoction of superficial and prejudicial observations that amounts to little substance.

Warren T
Warren T
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

And no mention of those other “migrants” who refuse to assimilate into the host country’s culture and prefer to milk off the system, whilst guarding a “no-go” zone. I doubt seriously that most of the Ukrainians would want to settle permanently in Poland to begin with.

Last edited 2 months ago by Warren T
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 months ago

“Having grown up during the Cold War, the son of parents who toiled under the British colonial yoke, at the very least I speak for a generation”
No you don’t. What about all the people with similar backgrounds to yourself who disagree with you? Treating black people as an opinion monolith is frankly racist.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

He speaks for those who think in leftist cliches. If by racist you mean someone who thinks the colour of one’s skin has an important bearing on any other character trait a man might possess then he is certainly racist but of course racist seems now to be defined as something only those with pale skins can be. As far as I am concerned anyone who believes the colour of someone’s skin says anything important about their opinions or character is an idiot whether a racist or not.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Well said.

Esther W
Esther W
2 months ago

European racism towards black and brown people cannot be denied. But the difference in the warm reception of Ukrainian refugees as opposed to the other groups of people mentioned here is also due to the fact that the Ukrainians are real war refugees, fleeing to nearby countries and consisting mainly of women and children, as opposed to people arriving from far away, passing through many countries on their way to the West, and consisting mainly of young males. These are not war refugees, they are economic migrants. Add to that the completely non European values* of some of them, which have caused a lot of troubles in the host countries and you’ll see that it isn’t all racism per se.

  • Islamic supremacism, treatment of women and gays, vile antisemitism, general hostility towards non muslems, and an expectation to live by these values in the midst of societies which are completely different.
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 months ago
Reply to  Esther W

I largely agree with your comment, but think your first sentence is clumsy. I would suggest “It cannot be denied that racism towards black and brown people in Europe exists”. The way you have written it makes it sound like all Europeans must be racists, which would be a gross generalisation and quite offensive.

Esther W
Esther W
1 month ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You are right of course, thanks for pointing it out.

Lucy Turnill
Lucy Turnill
1 month ago
Reply to  Esther W

Actually a lot of the refugees experiencing racism at border were foreign students. Ukraine actively marketed itself to students from newly independent African countries. There are also 20,000 Indian students. They contribute more than $500 million into the Ukrainain economy which they won’t be doing anymore.

Graham Phillips
Graham Phillips
2 months ago

Russia was a bulwark against “western decadence”?

The “diaspora” can support a Russian ceasefire?

British apartheid?

“toiled under the British colonial yoke”. My grandparents and great grandparents toiled in coalmines and ship yards. Boo hoo.

The Grant you refer to is the son of a white father and a mother who is the daughter of a white mother but a black father. It’s interesting to learn that “black Twitter” and the “global Afritariat (?) view such a “token” as a sign they have no stake in this war. Maybe Africa isn’t particularly relevant in a war between Russia and Ukraine?

Viewing the West’s interest in the war in Ukraine through the “lens of race” is very USA 2022 and CRT. Perhaps we’re alarmed and concerned because Russia, the giant, nuclear armed enemy, who we’ve feared since the 1950s, who we’ve poured billions into defending against, has aggressively invaded another European country, with the potential that the war spills over into other countries?

“Europe’s discriminatory migration policies”. Changing demographics in Europe tell a different story.

Any chance of mentioning the immigration fraud being attempted on the back of the Ukrainian refugee crisis?

Last edited 2 months ago by grimephillips4
hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
2 months ago

Good points. To me the interesting thing is that so many Africans are on the side of Russia – ie they see no problem with “big man” politics and “big man” military conquest, which is unsurprising because most of Africa has historically been run by “big men” who exercise their power and dominion over weaker men.
The proportion of Africans (or those who identify as such) who do support Putin are, in my view, incompatible with Western democratic ideals.
To my observation Ukranians are the very opposite of this: they’re in this war precisely because they do want Western democratic ideals in their lives, and precisely because they reject the ancient practice of rule by Big Men.
Which makes Ukrainians a good fit for absorbing into Europe, since they have, en masse, demonstrated their commitment to all the things that Europe is forged on.

Last edited 2 months ago by hayden eastwood
Richard Parker
Richard Parker
1 month ago

Amen – especially the final paragraph.

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
2 months ago

The author refers to “black people” and “the diaspora” as if people in those groups had a certain fellow-feeling or even solidarity towards each other. Yet he can’t understand that white people in Central Europe might feel the same way. Borders have changed there over the last 100 years – your family that were once Hungarian are now Ukranian, so it’s not surprising they are looking out for each other. It’s just human to feel more comfortable amongst your own group.

“black people literally see themselves as having no stake in the war, despite the ripple effects of rising fuel and food prices affecting them as much as anyone else.” Isn’t this kind of insulting to ‘black people’? It seems to be saying that ‘black people’ don’t value self-determination and individual freedom, which is what the Ukranians are fighting for. But then he mentions the ‘colonial yoke’ so maybe self-determination does mean something ??

“the existence of a nation with the b***s to stand up to Western decadence.” Oh, there are such places, places where gay people or unfaithful wives can be stoned to death or otherwise executed. Perhaps the author is hoping for deliverance by China, but I wouldn’t like to be a person of colour in China – I’ve seen the treatment they get.

“Eurocentric self-interest — a self-interest that reinforces a sense of black cynicism and resentment.” What country doesn’t operate out of self-interest? European countries do however give billions of dollars every year as foreign aid, and rather than stewing in resentment, the recipients should focus on maximising every opportunity for a better life that aid offers.

Richard Hart
Richard Hart
1 month ago

on the contrary, some African countries have aligned themselves very closely with Russia in the conflict, and have stated publicly that the slaughter of Ukranians is perfectly legitimate (eyes small asset-rich neighbouring country speculatively).

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 months ago

“[Boris Johnson] said some rather horrid things about black people.”
This is almost insultingly disingenuous. The writer will have done his research and will know perfectly well that Johnson was lampooning Tony Blair’s white saviour mentality 

Ri Bradach
Ri Bradach
2 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Yes, it set the tone of the rest of the article.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 months ago
Reply to  Ri Bradach

Yes it did. I rather regret not immediately stopping reading the article, like Matt M.

Andrew F
Andrew F
2 months ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Question is (no idea what he said): was he factual in his views but just politically incorrect?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

If you’re referring to Boris, he was using satire to lampoon Tony Blair’s white saviour mentality. It’s not easy to see how any factuality-in-views desideratum applies when you’re lampooning someone.

Peter B
Peter B
2 months ago

Noise.
Of course Europeans are directly concerned about what happens in their own backyard. That is their geography, history and culture. I fail to see what the “problem” is with this.
Similarly, I would ask the author why Syrian refugees should be more of a responsibility for distant European nations than local Middle Eastern ones who are culturally and geographically better placed to help. Or indeed Russia who created most of the problem, but to the best of my knowledge has taken almost no Syrian refugees.
Ukraine is dealing with first order issues of survival. I suggest we focus on those and continue doing what we can to help. I doubt they will thank us for wasting time trying to shoehorn some racial narrative in here.

polidori redux
polidori redux
2 months ago

“the son of parents who toiled under the British colonial yoke,” 
And yet they couldn’t get here fast enough.

Last edited 2 months ago by polidori redux
David McKee
David McKee
2 months ago

There is just so much wrong with this article.
It is lazy. Clearly, Mr. Matthews has never bothered to read what Boris Johnson actually wrote, as opposed to the extracts, wrenched out of context, and used by his political enemies.
It is Eurocentric. Has he never heard of the 2,000 mile fence that India has built right around Bangladesh, specifically to keep out migrants? Unwanted migration is a global problem, not a Western problem.
It is emotive, rather than thoughtful. If he chose to ask himself difficult questions, such as if there could be non-racial reasons why the Ukrainians are welcome whereas the Syrians are not, he might start to get somewhere.
It is all about me, me, me. If he is interested in comparing ‘colonial yokes’, he might try asking a Pole who remembers growing up in a country which was an unhappy part of the Soviet empire. This might give him some genuine perspective.

Neil Cheshire
Neil Cheshire
2 months ago

Unremarkable and certainly not racist that in the early chaotic days of the invasion the Ukrainians favoured the escape of their own women and children before mostly adult male ‘refugees of colour’.

Last edited 2 months ago by Neil Cheshire
David Bell
David Bell
2 months ago
Reply to  Neil Cheshire

Refugees of colour many of whom I wager were illegals in Ukraine.

Lucy Turnill
Lucy Turnill
2 months ago
Reply to  David Bell

Actually many of them were international students, the majority medical or dentistry students. One Morrocan mentions that they were kept in a camp at the border as they tried to leave and not allowed to go to the bathroom at the gas station or buy food or hot drinks. She was told if she needed the bathroom, to go in the woods. Obviously, ambulances had to take some of them away who were out in the open air for too long without food or water. Kind of stupid as there is a war going on and you need ambulances for injured Ukranians. However, it’s probably not going to be an issue in future as the infrastucture like univerities is gone and the war will go on for a long time, so international students don’t have to worry about going there and feeling safe. Some students were helped by local people though and a couple of logical Indian medical students saw the mess at the ‘non- white queue’ and walked a few meters further along and walked into non-man’s land and then up to the polish entry point while the Ukranian border guards were distracted.

benjamin.seg01
benjamin.seg01
1 month ago
Reply to  Lucy Turnill

That “foreign students” narrative is so absurd. Not only do the numbers hardly add up, but most of these students speak neither ukrainian, russian nor english which tells you all you need to know. And of course, none of them seem to want to return to their home country. A number of towns here in Germany wanted to take in ukrainian refugees (mostly women and children) and were surprised to see hoardes of blacks and middle easterners turn up.

Lucy Turnill
Lucy Turnill
1 month ago
Reply to  benjamin.seg01

Actually, Ukraine aggressively marketed itself to new independent African countries. This goes back to Soviet times. There are also 20,000 Indian students. It’s been a successful revenue generation model as they contribute over $500million per year to the economy, though not any longer. Most are returning but obviously some are worried about the future of their studies as Ukrainian universities aren’t as up to speed in online learning (though you wonder whether this would work for medical courses where students need to do surgical classes in a lab). One girl who wanted to leave before the war said that the university would fine her for non-attendance (quite common in universities there) as they didn’t take the threat of invasion seriously. But the point is that they were being treated in the way you mention in your comment i.e. not students who want to be back with their worried parents in a nice middle-class home (one Indian student had to exchange his iPad for a ‘free’ seat on a refugee train), but as illegal immigrants. Unless Ukraine can offer onlines courses (though with all the infrastucture gone and a war grinding on for years – will they even be open), it probably won’t be seen as an attractive place to study and other places will fill the gap.

Lucy Turnill
Lucy Turnill
1 month ago
Reply to  benjamin.seg01

Actually, foreign students have been aggressively recruited. It goes back to Soviet times, particulary from newly independent African countries. There were 20,000 Indian students at the time of the invasion. It has worked as an income generation model as they bring in about $500million a year into the economy. So, of course there were going to be problems when they were treated like asylum seekers etc.

Matt M
Matt M
2 months ago

Surely everyone knows that Boris’s supposed racist comment was a joke in a Telegraph article about Tony Blair’s neo-imperialist saviour complex.

They say he is shortly off to the Congo. No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird.

Whenever a writer rolls out the old canard that this was a racist article, he identifies himself as a left-wing political activist and I stop reading.

Last edited 2 months ago by Matt M
Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Precisely. It’s actually quite demeaning that we’re expected to swallow this nonsense. They must think we’re really stupid.

Ri Bradach
Ri Bradach
2 months ago

I have said similar in a different context: where was the outrage at Russian atrocities in Syria?

It is important that we have a moral standard that is universal. It is not OK that Russian tactics slaughter civilians in ANY country.

However, the refugee issue is different and it’s different for a few very simple reasons:

1. Even according to the lovely liberals at the UN, over 85% of those refugees were single men of fighting age. Nobody has issue with families fleeing war, but an Islamist column?
2. The real issue with the actual refugees from Syria and Afghanistan (most are not, but they are from Islamic countries) is that they are Islamists whose views and modes are incompatible with Western society.
3. The others were purely economic migrants from Islamic countries. Skipping the queue and forcing yourself upon a host country isn’t right.

The real issue is that everyone to too frightened to say that these are the actual issues, so we pretend that it’s about the sheer numbers. It really isn’t and no good comes of the lie.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ri Bradach
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 months ago

So much wrong with this article, but one point just indicating how off the mark this is, is the ludicrous idea that Russians are less racist than westerners. The cannon fodder of Putin’s war are disproportionately from Russia’s ethnic minorities.

Lucy Turnill
Lucy Turnill
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

That is just one aspect of racism in Russian. Russian neo-Nazi groups also trained those in the Ukraine.

Lucy Turnill
Lucy Turnill
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

And that is just one aspect of racism in Russia.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lucy Turnill
Nell Larkin
Nell Larkin
2 months ago

Poland and Hungary are welcoming refugees who are coming from a neighboring country and they are bearing the cost of their care. In one way it’s no different from how Turkey initially gave refuge to Syrians. But those Syrians have not been given the same kind of sympathy or support from their fellow Muslim Middle Easterners as Ukrainians have been given by their fellow Europeans. Where was the outpouring of cash from wealthy Muslim countries that could have funded long-term support for Syrian refugees in Turkey so that Turkey would not be forced to bear the burden of their care? Why should Syrian refugees have felt so unwelcome by their neighbors that they felt compelled to flee to Europe? And why can’t we face the fact that many Syrians sought shelter in Europe not just for safety from war but for economic reasons, meaning they were seeking a better life in Europe and had no intention of returning to Syria? Most Ukrainian refugees in Poland, for example, have said that they want to return to Ukraine as soon as it’s safe. Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries simply exported their Syrian refugee problem to Europe and made it Europe’s responsibility, which it never was.

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
2 months ago
Reply to  Nell Larkin

Most Ukrainian refugees in Poland, for example, have said that they want to return to Ukraine as soon as it’s safe.
Yes this is THE difference that needs to be emphasised!!

Lucy Turnill
Lucy Turnill
1 month ago

Some will probably go back (some have already) and some may stay in places if oppotunities open up to them. I read an article about a Ukrainian lawyer who went to Germany as she said a lot of Ukranians are worried about being stuck in menial jobs in Poland. She has already got a job as a legal assistant a week after arriving.

Lucy Turnill
Lucy Turnill
1 month ago

Yes, many will return, especially as males haven’t been able to leave but some may find opportunities elsewhere and settle.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lucy Turnill
Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 months ago

Five years ago, I’d have been offended if anyone said that a black person could be racist against a white person.
I’m not offended anymore.
It has become clear to me that black people are no different from white people when it comes to their ability to dehumanize other people based on “race”.
if you don’t value all human lives equally, but base their value on phenotypically racial traits, then you are a racist. And you are just as immoral and destructive as any white supremacist.
The people who call the invasion of Ukraine a “white man’s war” are racists. Full Stop.
And they give extensive moral cover to white supremacy, which is a really stupid and destructive thing to do.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 months ago
Reply to  Penny Adrian

Amen to that.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 months ago

How tedious, tiresome, boring, irritating this ever repetitive whining and moaning obsession to bring that meaningless and un-defined word racism into every issue on our planet….

Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 months ago

Highlights the issue of the issue of the History curriculum. In the UK it’s not a case of which history it’s a case of not enough. Let’s have the history of evil and subjugation. All of it. Include the mass slavery depredations of Barbary on the coasts of the UK and Ireland. Include mass female enslavement of the Circassians by the Ottomans. After all, who remembers the Circassians? Include the mass slaughter of many hundreds of thousands of Han Chinese by the Manchu or the Dzungar genocide by the Qing Dynasty or the genocide of Siberian tribes by Russian imperialists. Include the Mfecane by Shaka Zulu ( resulting in an estimated 2 million dead Africans)? Truly, all human races can behave inhumanely.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
2 months ago

So European countries are ‘guilty’ of Eurocentrism? Umm… Ok.

rhys X
rhys X
2 months ago

I am thankful to Unherd for promoting and publishing alternative and ‘non’ mainstream views.

As for my own opinion, I find the race perspectives often interesting but ultimately self-defeating, for a number of reasons.

i. To focus on the quick win, the author notes the fallacy of the enemy of my enemy mentality of those who hate the west automatically siding with the Russians. But I wonder whether calling this stance ‘naive’ really covers it. The author brings up recent excursions in the Afghanistan and the ME, but I wonder if he recalls the Russian treatment of Afghans and Syrians (not to mention the Georgians and the Chechens but perhaps they are too white) in the recent past which, one might argue, far eclipses any of the behaviour exhibited by western forces in those respective countries? Dare I mention the Sino expansion in Africa as well? Crippling entire countries with unplayable debt, and I doubt the CCP would be willing to wipe trillions of that debt out like many western nations did in the late 00s (unless they get something in return, as they have been doing with vast swathes of infrastructure in serval African and Asian nations).

ii. The weakness in homogenous catch all descriptions inherent in identity politics. Another quick win, I suspect, but ‘the diaspora’. What is that? Is it BAME? Is it ‘whites’? Is it Slavic? These catch all terms actually reduce very diverse and ultimately different groups of peoples down to their skin colour. If there were one unified diaspora of black people then fair enough, but it’s self evident there isn’t one, just as there quite obviously isn’t one with Slavic people (case in point is self evident, I think), with Middle Eastern people etc. as a result ‘what people think/feel’ is lost. To paraphrase the author, ‘black people think this is a white man’s war’. Knowing several ‘black’ people I can say their stance differs from that of the author, and they’re right to. The threat of war in Europe is a threat to all peoples here, because it’s where we actually live. I disbelieve therefore that ‘black’ people feel they have no horse in this race. Some may think they don’t, some may recognise they do, and the latter are thinking rationally whilst the former, I say, are thinking more in terms of historic grievance (rightly or wrongly) as opposed to present reality. The reasons for this I suspect are indeed disenfranchisement from wider parts of western society, but the reasons for this are much more nuanced and complex, both to describe and try and solve, than a simple reductio ad absurdum to grievances with the military (though I suspect the author was talking more in generalities so this critique may be unfair).

iii. Humans are tribal. I’m just going to state what I believe we all hold to be true, including the author who evidences this himself but I argue to a much larger and unrealistic degree based purely on melanin. Tribal is much more meaningful and multi-faceted, and has its roots based in millennia of human societal evolution. It’s culture, belief, religion, ideas on societal construction, and maybe, right down the bottom, skin colour. It is natural both from a pure personal preservation perspective as well as a ‘tribal’ one to care more about conflicts on your door than ones far away. It’s also far more natural to care more about those displaced who share more of your cultural, religious or societal beliefs and traits than those who don’t. This is synonymous with all of human societies that have ever been created. Is it really a mystery why Poland, which borders Ukraine, has taken the lion’s share of those fleeing the war when they have very strong cultural ties, not even mentioning the literal familial ties that bind the two populations. ‘They’re Christian…they’re white’ – yes, very true. It’s neither racist nor illogical to point that out unless we are attempting to ivory tower our perspective of the human condition. So I wish it were different? Yes. Could it be different? Probably, yes. But it’s not the reality we see anywhere in the world.

And I will contradict myself now on point 3 by pointing out one exception; the west. The UK for example is perhaps one of the most diverse and multicultural societies to have ever been created. The overwhelming majority of states in the world exhibit some form of cultural or indeed racial homogeneity. Only countries like the UK have bucked this trend. If more countries like Russia ‘had the b***s to stand up to western decadence’ then I query what the author thinks our very imperfect but largely successful diverse society would ultimately become. It’s points like these that make it seem that the author is indeed championing the enemy of my enemy, when in reality there is a lot to dislike about the west, but in comparison to almost every other society that’s ever been created in earth by humans, it’s by far the best we’ve currently got.

Regardless, I enjoyed reading the article. I think people need more b***s and more heart when it comes to assessing and dealing with the growing authoritarian threat, regardless of where it reads it’s ugly, twisted head. (Apologies for spelling and grammar errors. I have insomnia and struggle to write and think properly at night).

Last edited 2 months ago by rhys X
Lesley Keay
Lesley Keay
2 months ago

British apartheid? What apartheid?

Dominic A
Dominic A
2 months ago

It seems the Horseshoe Theory also applies to racial politics – new ‘anti-racists’ show similar narrow-mindedness, obsession with skin colour, and tendency for splitting defences as the old racists.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Excellent point. I always automatically treat “anti-racists” as racists, of course, but hadn’t thought of the Horseshoe Theory in this context.

John Tumilty
John Tumilty
2 months ago

There is an argument about the way the West is treating this war differently from other recent ones. This article is not it.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
2 months ago

If he isn’t a race grifter himself, he’s certainly an “ally” and/or “race grifter adjacent.” And with regard to “No Russian ever called me n*gger”. I think the author hasn’t been around any ex-pat Russians. The ones I have come into contact with make black jokes that are shocking to the Canadians in the room like me.

Last edited 2 months ago by Vilde Chaye
Mechan Barclay
Mechan Barclay
2 months ago

As a secondary tangent, I’m very glad that this article was not censored or removed by some algorithm. It is precisely that I was able to read this myself and come to my own conclusions that the author is rather insincere and will allow me the next time write an article, to not bother. If you let people ramble on long enough you might just see what type of person they really are. Sadly in this case, woefully ill prepared. His title essentially gives away the answer. If it is a white man’s war as you way, then don’t get involved. Then why would you write an essay in the first place?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 months ago

I am half Italian and half Irish.. I am mixed race… the mere fact that I was born in England does not make me English: Just compare, for example a Finn with a Sicilian, or a Greek with a Dutchman? They are culturally and in appearance different… but both termed ” white”… compare a Cornishman with Geordie…. they are different… A Breton with a Basque Frenchman….. same again…. Nothing to do with colour.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 months ago

I don’t know if the Syrians generally can count on the Turks as dear neighbours. On any of the countries bordering Syria for that matter. The nice Afghans, the privileged ones if you will, had to be flown out to begin their search for dear neighbours, last year. Look at a map. At least a three or four hour flight in any direction might have found them somewhere just about both safe and welcoming: where they could start anew: Tel Aviv, Kiev or Singapore or Nairobi. That’s the reality of the world today. A whole region may just not in any shade be inviting, let alone … enticing.
Germany has welcomed Turks since the 1960s. Can Turkey provide a life for Syrians? In the 2020s? In other than refugee camps? Will we see Syrian names on the Turkish or Iranian World Cup football teams? Spanish and Italian names have appeared on French and even Belgian national football teams. Many tens of thousands of Spanish had found sanctuary in Spain in 1939 after they had fled Franco’s regime. I recall seeing a news report about six years ago that mentioned that Syrians could not get a job in Turkey. Is that true today?
One thing is for certain: the Ukrainians have many dear neighbours in the West, even if those friends are not direct neighbours. South, north, east? They go west, just like everybody else in the world. Perhaps several thousands of Ukrainians are surprised to be offered a welcoming respite (for now) in the good old woke USA. They are not so privileged after all!

Honestly, after reading this article, Putin must be rubbing his hands in secret glee like the arch troublemaker Roman Agent from Asterix And The Roman Agent.
The poor old West.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
1 month ago

… found sanctuary in France, I meant, in 1939.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
1 month ago

Only the West is worth zigzagging towards. Nobody has zigzagged their way to Russia except some oligarchs, of late, on their luxury yachts in their scramble to find a safe haven for them.
Yet it’s only, what, one cheer for the West? Half a cheer?

Was the West’s actions to deliver aid and relief to West Africa during the ebola crisis of nearly ten years ago an example of what? Keeping the problem at bay? Or of all the other non-western systems on planet earth hoping that that particular western intervention would be able to work? And help the afflicted, the fearful in west Africa?

It’s been very clear that in the digital age, many people in the spotlight revel in their place in the zeitgeist. It’s a sign of their importance. It’s a conceit much of the time, however. Americans know that when they squawk, and plain and ordinary Americans at that, the world sits up. No wonder, really, that the American ability to entertain, to amuse, has suffered in the digital age when Americans have been able to hog the headlines by using digital as a megaphone on the world’s stage. Neither laughs nor spills are aired, this time, but solely grievances. Unfortunately, because it’s America, the world must still listen. And boy didn’t the world soon become bored by it all! By America’s petty problems!

Ukraine has wisened the world up to what is important in life: namely family, freedom, honour, sacrifice, the rule of law, tradition and heritage: the values of the West.
Putin has merely enacted the “burn it all down” mentality of silly Americans who have in their fecklessness latched onto identity politics as the cause of the world.

The Ukrainians have clearly signalled their belief in western values. The detractors of those values both within the west and without have signalled their distaste to such a degree that even now, in the face of spirited Ukrainian defending against Russian aggression, they are reluctant to raise three cheers for the West. Or even two. One or two are raising a glass instead to Putin. Not the author of the above piece, I add.

I’m just sorry then that the Ukrainians are hogging the limelight. But they deserve to. The West forgot what it was recently. Is it actually waking up?

Alan Groff
Alan Groff
1 month ago

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 month ago

The author ignores the following;-

  1. Empire created by Shaka Zulu.
  2. Biafran war when 30,000 Christian Nigerians were murdered by Muslim Nigerians.
  3. Algerian Civil War.
  4. Mengistu’s mss slaughter in Ethiopa.
  5. Rwanda and Hutsi’s slaughter of Tutsi’s.
  6. War in Congo.
N T
N T
2 months ago

I was going to bring up Afghanistan, but you beat me to it. It is hard to explain why there has been such welcoming of Ukrainians, when it seems other ethnic groups displaced by Putin’s aggression were not embraced so well.
The argument about migrants is going to fall on deaf ears. There is a huge gulf between those trying to escape poverty and those running away from a giant army. I understand that there is displacement of other ethnicities/races by war, and that the welcome mat has not been unrolled for them. I don’t know what the extreme interest in this conflict is, besides it being livestreamed, and perhaps the fact that their neighborhoods look closer to ours. Maybe it’s that they’re closer, or because they’re considered Europeans.
If China was to invade Taiwan, tomorrow, and there was a flotilla of boat people, how welcoming would country x, y, z be?
As for the mistreatment of “foreigners” in Ukraine during the evacuations, there should be more condemnation of that behavior, just like we should be publicly lamenting the loss of life in Russia, whether those deaths are caused by false-flag operations, commandos, terrorists, or something else.

rob monks
rob monks
1 month ago

an excellent piece. In Australia we have had for many years now ‘detention centres’ (prisons) for asylum seekers, many like the Iraquis fleeing persecution. In Afghanistan cases of casual brutaity have been uncovered of our own elite soldiers, eg shooting two Afghani boys and other incidents.
We have our own double standards too.
Also the fact that the extreme right wing groups in the Ukraine have targeted romani people seems not to have been given much coverage in most media.

Last edited 1 month ago by rob monks
David Bell
David Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  rob monks

Where did you read about it, then? I’ve never heard about the anti-Romany incidents.

Kamal Wood
Kamal Wood
1 month ago

Great article! Judging from most of the comments here it’s a voice that many here would rather not hear, but if anything that’s all the more reason for you to raise it.