Discrimination Instead Of Support – OpEd


It’s not a secret that Ukrainian refugees are not always welcomed. Some unconscious and intolerant citizens of Western countries feel irritation and hostility towards them. Ukrainian refugees are often regarded as second-class people, freeloaders, extra mouths to feed, and sometimes even as criminal elements.

Such manifestations of intolerance must not be allowed; they have to be suppressed at the individual and state levels. First, we have to popularize the image of Ukraine as a friendly nation. Second, we have to spare nothing for the Ukrainians who came to our countries.

As uncomfortable as it may be, there is resentment against Ukrainians not only among marginalized European nationalists and Trumpists but also in some state institutions (including Canadian ones) designed to guard democracy and human rights.

Most recently, on the official website of the Canadian government, a document was published that reflected manifestations of racist and nationalist sentiments at the Canadian Immigration Department itself. It sounds surreal, doesn’t it? There is racism where it cannot be by definition. The report is based on an interview with active civil servants and immigration department officials. As it turns out, a number of immigration inspectors resent the fact that Ukrainians have absolute priority in obtaining residence permits, social benefits, and payments in comparison with other refugee categories such as Arabs, Latino Americans, Indians, immigrants from Southeast Asia, etc.

The interviewed Canadian officials consider this disproportion in favor of the Ukrainians to be unjust towards representatives of other nations.

Definitely, those who think they shouldn’t have a place in public service. In fact, they are the ones who are the covert conductors of true discrimination. Do the Ukrainian refugees deserve a special attitude in comparison with other newcomers? Yes, they do! They already deserve it just because they belong to the Ukrainian nation! Must the citizens of Western countries fully support and unconditionally help the Ukrainians? Yes, they must! For whereas the Canadians, the Americans, and the Europeans benefit from the democratic rights and economic goods of the free world, no nation sacrificed more than the Ukrainians on the altar of this very free world

Neil Karpenko

Neil Karpenko, PhD, Ukraine’s history and politics researcher residing in Toronto. Contributing author to Haaretz, The Hill Times and Morning Star

One thought on “Discrimination Instead Of Support – OpEd

  • August 18, 2023 at 2:49 am

    so true. lack of understanding, ignorance, propaganda lead to discrimination


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