Even in these dark times, there are uneducated, ignorant and bigoted journalists whose stupidity doesn’t rest. There are simply people out there who question my belief in free speech.
There are people who are far more knowledgeable than me who can provide insight and criticism about the racism and ignorance of these statements, so I will leave that space to them.
But there is a perspective to be given here on behalf of someone who grew up in Europe. First of all, I don’t divide countries or continents to civilized or uncivilized because those are terms used by bigoted people to convince themselves that they are superior. Also, these terms measure how civilized some country or area is as opposed to the western world which is insulting to other cultures and it tries to suppress diversity, customs and beliefs of nations and people across the world.
Now that I’ve explained that, let me discover another layer of the ignorance of this video that you, depending on where you come from, might have missed.
He referred to Ukraine as “relatively civilized and relatively European”. Relatively.
Let me tell you what the definition of relatively is:
“regarded in comparison with something else rather than absolutely; quite.”
So until Ukraine entered this war and started to hold the line for democracy, showed it had the same values and principles as westerns, it wasn’t completely civilized. This is something that people from certain areas of Europe understand well because there are a lot of European people who think they are “better” and “superior” than people from other European countries because… well, because they are condescending assholes. This doesn’t refer to whole nations of people, but to the individuals who hold these beliefs. It’s kind of disheartening to think that next to the wars and racism, we additionally have to take time out of our life to also address and call out blatant xenophobia.
I saw one Tweet that summed this up well: “Ukraine is no longer Eastern European, it’s European now” or as one of these journalists put it “they are driving in cars that look like our cars”
Sometimes, I just want to scream into a pillow.
And now this bullshit:
And let me now refer your attention to the end: “War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations. It can happen to anyone.”
I don’t understand these people who like to pretend like there were only WW1 and WW2 and the rest of European history was just us singing together on Eurovision while holding hands.
So the asshole who wrote this falls under one of the following categories:
- Purposefully has selective memory to support his own agenda
- Uneducated and never saw a history book
- Spent the 1990s in a coma
It can happen to anyone and it happened in, lo and behold, Europe in 1990s. And it is happening again in, lo and behold, Europe today. And this is not mentioning numerous conflicts and violent protests that have happened in our modern history.
I am a 25 years old Croatian of Bosnian descent, which makes me European, who was born to war refugees in Germany.
The war that made my family members refugees in the 90’s was the consequence of Yugoslavia starting to fall apart. There are people such as the journalist from the first video that distance this from Europe because to him, countries that made up Yugoslavia were relatively civilized, I would guess.
People using phrases such as “This is not a third-world country, this is Europe” with that strong accent on the word Europe as if there wasn’t a very long and bloody war a few years ago should google The Battle of Vukovar, Croatian War of Independence, The Genocide of Srebrenica, Bosnian War, Siege of Sarajevo or simply google Yugoslav wars and then the entire history of this continent. And for those of you whose jaws just dropped, yes there was a genocide in Europe in 1990s. But war isn’t something that happens in Europe, according to these fucking experts.
Even at the threat of a nuclear weapons being used, people still find the time to sweep history under the rug and twist narratives.
I get violently anxious when people try to rewrite history. No matter how grim and dark it can be, it is there to be learned from and not to be updated to a version that makes someone feel more comfortable. And this is coming from someone who hated history in school. I am bad with years, events and timelines, can’t help it.
I think that Trevor Noah did a good job reporting on everything that is happening, including the racism and these statements, so make sure to check it out. And yes I laughed to at some of his jokes and felt guilty because this is not the topic to laugh about:
Just to clarify to anyone who wants to insult me in the comments – I am not trying to insult Europe. I love our culture, literature, food, customs, the progress we’ve made and how united we became. It’s my home and I truly love it but that doesn’t mean that I should throw my critical thinking out of the window and live in denial about the past of this continent.
I don’t usually get political or talk about subjects such as this on my blog and I don’t intend on making a habit out of it, but I felt like this had to be said.