The Federal Government has pledged to accept Ukrainian refugees fleeing war, despite Australia’s ongoing history of imprisonment of refugees fleeing wars in parts of the world that aren’t Europe.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was already supporting Ukrainians who had fled to neighbouring countries like Poland but wanted to settle elsewhere by fast-tracking visa applications and on Sunday announced a special refugee intake.
“Australia will be very prepared to take more and more and more as we have with Afghanistan,” he told reporters outside a Sydney Ukrainian Catholic Church on Sunday.
“The ultimate numbers will be determined down the track and that will involve, I have no doubt taking numbers in addition to our normal program.”
So-called “skilled” migrants and students will be given priority, because the economy.
More than 150,000 Ukrainian refugees have already fled and the United Nations has estimated that number could grow to four million.
Morrison said that due to Australia’s low immigration intake over the past two years during the pandemic — because he closed the borders — there was “quite a lot of room … to take in more places”.
But apparently there’s not enough room for the Muruguppan family and their Australian-born children or the 32 refugees detained indefinitely in Melbourne’s Park Hotel.
Instead we’ll just continue to spend $361,835 per refugee to lock people up in rooms with no fresh air for committing no crimes.
Human rights leaders were quick to call out Morrison’s blatant double standard and racism.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre founder Kon Karapanagiotidis tore the PM a new one for not doing his job in protecting refugees that had already arrived in Australia.
Today @ScottMorrisonMP could send clear message Australia stands with victims of war
Grant permanent asylum to all people from Afghanistan & Ukraine that are in Australia already
Grant extra humanitarian places for both
Fast track family reunion
Note he’s doing nothing so far
— Kon Karapanagiotidis (@Kon__K) February 26, 2022
He accused Morrison of “doing nothing so far” for refugees from Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Myanmar South Sudan, Yemen and other parts of the world where wars and oppressive regimes put people’s lives at risk.
“All refugee lives deserve protection. All come from civilised nations. All want peace. All want freedom and safety. And Australia could do more to help all of them today,” he said.
I can’t stomach watching politicians both here in Australia and globally pretend to care about victims of war yet lock up such victims of war the minute they try seeking asylum in their countries, especially if they are black, brown or Muslim.
— Kon Karapanagiotidis (@Kon__K) February 27, 2022
Human rights lawyer Sophie Trevitt also went to town on Minister for Defence Peter Dutton, who used to lock refugees up for a living, for pretending he gave a fuck about women and children “huddled in bunkers” and fearing for their lives.
You don’t get to ‘think about the women and children’ when you locked up women and children on prison islands as they fled war, and you’re currently imprisonning young men seeking safety in hotels instead of welcoming them pic.twitter.com/h61S2xA3qc
— Sophie Trevitt (@SophieTrevitt) February 24, 2022
But it’s not just the right-wing fuckwit politicians, Western media coverage of the Ukraine crisis has also been called out for being extremely fucking racist.
News outlets have basically never ever reported the suffering of people of colour with as much urgency or compassion it has offered white European refugees, and this is a stark reminder of that bias.
This crisis has brought out the absolute worst of it as US and British reporters expressed their shock and heartbreak at the situation impacting “civilised” people who don’t live in a third-world country.
What a mouthful. Extraordinary racism and ethnocentrism on the mainstream news. It’s not just the “civilized” bit, but the notion that in Iraq and Afghanistan war is just a normal part of life and not a vicious imposition from places like the so-called civilized West. https://t.co/HkBxV01pGy
— Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (@KeeangaYamahtta) February 26, 2022
The Telegraph in the UK literally published this fkn tepid take: “They seem so like us. That is what makes it so shocking” and got rightly canned online.
If only human beings recognized all human beings as “like us.” If only racist ideas did not transform peoples of color into “remote” populations. If only “anyone” included everyone. https://t.co/yxGlWkDv8B
— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) February 27, 2022
Everyone knows bombing and torture is fine until it affects people who look like Boris Johnson.