I’m sure you have seen thousands of news articles, petitions, and posts about the Ukraine-Russia war coursing through social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, have you not? How about the conflicts in Iraq, Palestine, or Afghanistan? What about posts for those? You most likely haven’t. This is because the United States has normalized seeing harm and warfare in countries with racial make-ups that aren’t primarily caucasian, different than the makeup of the current United States. America immediately jumps to cover and pity European (white) countries experiencing the same thing. The prominently white American government cannot bear to see other white people suffering and hurting. Of course, this article is not to downplay the Ukraine war, it is just interesting and informative when you compare the media’s coverage.
“It is extremely hypocritical, as America, being the strong and ‘free’ country it is, should strive for others to be free, would they not? As in the case with Gabby Petito, they [the US government] can’t stand to see white people suffer the atrocities people of color go through on the daily, on the hour, on the minute. America and almost every European nation has been built on the ideas of white supremacy, and the same ideas remain today, considering the difference in coverage. No whiteness = complete silence.” says a freshman who asked to be referred to as Nazirah.
As Nazirah stated, America failing to cover wars and conflicts in places such as Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan is extremely hypocritical. This is because the Ukraine war is something recent, the wars that were mentioned have been happening for decades. Iraq has been in bloody turmoil for 16 years, Palestine for 73 years, and Afghanistan for 43 years. Nazirah also brought up the Gabby Petito case, where a white woman, Gabby Petito was murdered by her fiancée. Hundreds of articles were written about Petito, while women of color are murdered by their partners and declared missing every day, yet there is hardly any news coverage of that. It is a great example to bring up when talking about how the scarce coverage of wars is hypocritical and proves that white people are always put first in America.
A fairly recent war that has been ignored is Saudi Arabia invading Yemen. This has been happening for 7 years. There are little to no popular news websites covering it, however, they cover Ukraine every day. Many may argue, “These places are too far,” “It has been too long to care” or, “America can’t care and save everyone.” Isn’t Ukraine on the other side of the globe as the other countries are? Time does not matter, if anything, that can help you realize how desperate these places are for help. No, America cannot help everyone, but as many news articles are released every day regarding Ukraine, does it hurt to cover the others too?
“America loves to ignore the situations that happen in places like Afghanistan– only helpful if it benefits them or if it’s white people. Even if they do or don’t benefit from it, they chose to help white people and ignore people of color that are suffering…” as Nazirah said, ‘if it’s not white, it doesn’t get light.’ I genuinely believe the government does not care about people of color especially overseas and is so quick to help whites. “Ukraine needed help and all but I did NOT see this type of treatment with other countries,” exclaims freshman Niko Andres.
As you begin to compare the treatment that these different wars get in American media, you see that it makes no sense. Andres highlighted that the government does not care about people of color, as they have not for all of America’s existence, thus why the media is so one-sided.