As with you, I’ve been watching the events taking place in Ukraine. I’ve dubbed this the World’s War. Contrary to World War I and II, when much of the globe had participants involved (officially) in the conflict, this relative disruption in world peace doesn’t rise to that occasion. It does, however, have impact of worldwide proportions, thus it’s the World’s War. (It’s a hairline fracture of a difference, but a difference anyway.) After only ten days, this perfect example of man’s inhumanity to other humans is affecting people around the world. Here I sit in Little Rock, Arkansas, United states of America, where some would have difficulty locating on a map, already observing the cost of many things beginning to rise. Inflation had already started to take its toll on living, now the wanton act of a deranged, paranoid leader, thousands of miles away from my front yard is affecting my family and me. Of course, my paying more for gas to fuel my car, food to fill my stomach and other staples of daily living, in no way rise to the level of experiences the Ukrainian fathers, mothers, brothers, sister and others are suffering.
One of the things, I often think of as good is the ability of the media to bring the world, the good, the bad and the ugly into my living room. I sit in the comfort of my home, and I get a reasonable facsimile of the images, in the streets, on the ground being created in Ukraine. I recall this ability played a key role in turning the tide of public opinion in the 1960s, when images of Black young people being abused by police with dogs and water hoses, while publicly protesting for their rights, as American citizens were broadcasted for the world to see.
Crazed leaders aren’t as rare as we might think. I can think of a number who’ve graced the headlines during my lifetime: Idi Amin, Hafez al-Assad, Osama bin-Laden, Al Muammar Gadhafi, just to name a few. Please don’t read anything into the fact that I only listed some from Africa and the Middle East. Let’s not forget Hitler and Stalin. Paranoia, thirst for power, or some other warped motivation leads folks like this to actions that are downright criminal, depleting the planet of innocent lives as cavalierly as dropping a hat.
Everything I’ve talked about to this point is certainly negative and it’s hard to put a positive spin on any of it. However, I want to draw your attention to a few things that are just as negative. The reports coming out of Ukraine about African students being turned away from trains and other means of transport, as they make attempts to escape the advances of the Russian military is shameful, to say the least. There were quotes in my newspaper this morning attributed to some Ukrainians that indicated comments are being made about why Black folks are being allowed exodus. There are, similar reactions from Ukrainians about Indian expats, too. Shouldn’t there be an open and equal opportunity for all who are stuck in this God-forsaken predicament to escape without regard to color or ethnicity?
I have earnestly prayed for the Ukrainian people. Aren’t wars started by government leaders, not our neighbors down the street or around the corner? However, those neighbors and friend are left with no choice but to sacrifice their comfort, and even their lives to protect life, limb, and country. This is the case in all conflicts of this sort. I may be way off target here; however, I don’t think I am when I say that the press can’t but show its bias. We’ve been bombarded with images of Ukrainians carrying their gathered goods, families with children sleeping in abandoned subway tunnels, and other heart wrenching images of people transitioning into refugee status. All our hearts are pricked at such sights. I ask that we all think on this for a minute: estimates (according to the UN Refugee Agency) for 2021 were eighty-four million refugees worldwide; there is civil war taking place in the Northern Tigray region of Ethiopia, which has thrown over two million people into refugee status; West Africa has seen several attempts at coups in recent months. We have seen reports of these tragedies, but have the reports been as in-your-face as what we have seen and continue to see from Ukraine? All human suffering is tragic and it all warrants reporting to the world. We all should be either made conscience of what’s occurring everywhere or be left to as ignorant as possible without regards to the sufferers longitudinal/latitudinal location.
World peace is something I would love to see before my exit from this life. No matter my comparative evaluation, I continue to send up prayers for all in God’s creation, who are suffering by the hands of the darkest on individuals.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.