With Russian troops having invaded Ukraine on orders from President Vladimir Putin, some pundits have commented on the fact that many of the Ukrainian refugees trying to escape the violence are light-skinned Europeans. MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan was vehemently critical of such commentary during his February 27 broadcast, stressing that Europe has seen one violent conflict after another over the years.
Hasan told his colleague Ayman Mohyeldin, “Some of the media coverage of the conflict in Ukraine has been kind of off. We have reporters and pundits making some rather awful remarks about the nature of this conflict and these refugees versus, say, conflicts and refugees in the Middle East.”
Hasan went on to tell Mohyeldin, “First off, Europe has been home to some of the worst wars and worst war crimes in human history — I mean, the Holocaust. So why this surprise that bad things are happening in Europe? And second, when they say, ‘Oh, civilized cities’ and in another clip, ‘well-dressed people’ and ‘This is not the Third World,’ they really mean white people, don’t they?”
Mohyeldin, a native of Cairo, Egypt, agreed with Hasan, responding, “To your point, you’re absolutely correct: Europe has had some of the worst human rights abuses and atrocities and wars in not just modern history, in all of history.”