People care about Ukrainians because they’re white, MSNBC host says

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Joy Reid has argued that there’s greater concern over Ukrainians than victims elsewhere because they’re white and Christian

Black MSNBC host Joy Reid has shared a racial explanation for the outpouring of public and media concern over the Russia-Ukraine crisis, saying Americans are more compassionate about Ukrainians than people in other war-torn nations because those being affected are predominantly white and Christian.

“We should also care this much for refugees and those facing occupation and war in the Middle East and Asia and Africa, too,” Reid said on Monday night’s episode of her show. “The coverage of Ukraine has revealed a pretty radical disparity in how human Ukrainians look and feel to Western media compared to their browner and blacker counterparts.”

Reid contrasted public outcry over the Ukraine conflict to the largely ignored civil war in Yemen, where nearly seven years of bombing by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition has killed thousands of civilians and forced more than 4 million people to flee their homes. Backed by the US and other NATO members, the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen to target Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

“We haven’t witnessed the same type of solidarity for the Yemenis as we do for the Ukrainians,” Reid noted. “We don’t see historic sanctions or global campaigns – corporations like Airbnb and Netflix taking a stand.”

Reid argued that the world is paying more attention to the Ukraine crisis because it’s happening in Europe. “If this was happening anywhere else, would we see the same outpouring of support and compassion? We don’t need to ask ourselves if the international response would be the same if Russia unleashed their horror on a country that wasn’t white and largely Christian because Russia has already done it —in Syria.”

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FILE PHOTO. Elizabeth Warren and Joy Reid  in 2019. ©REUTERS / Loren Elliott
MSNBC host hits back at Musk in ‘Karen’ row

The MSNBC host called the disparity in media coverage a “teachable moment.” She added, “We aren’t afraid to call out our own industry. There is a lot of soul-searching that we need to do in Western media about why some wars and lives seem to matter more than others.”

Reid has a history of looking at a wide range of issues through the lens of skin color. She blamed Joe Biden’s failure to win the 2020 presidential election in a landslide on “racism, anti-blackness, anti-wokeness.” She attributed last summer’s coverage of missing vlogger Gabby Petito to “missing white woman syndrome.” 

Last December, she accused billionaire Elon Musk of “misappropriating black vernacular” after he jokingly referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as a “Karen.”

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