Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center really hates it when it'spointed out that the white and Christian refugees of Ukraine are getting much more love in the U.S, particularly from conservatives, than brown-skinned ones from elsewhere. Kevin Tober huffed in a March 7 post:
On Monday night's The ReidOut on MSNBC, host Joy Reid used the last segment of her prime-time show to exploit the war in Ukraine in order to play racial politics. Reid claimed that the reason the United States and the rest of the world care so much about Russia's invasion of Ukraine is that their population is "white and largely Christian."
Reid started off by stating the obvious that "what we’re seeing in Ukraine is absolutely the worst humanitarian crisis that Europe has seen in decades." Of course, with Reid there is always a catch: "but we haven't witnessed the same type of solidarity for the Yeminies as we do for the Ukrainians," Reid whined.
Tober went on to misleadingly defend the disparity:
Contrary to Reid's hate-fueled ranting, we do see an outpouring of support and compassion for the Uyghurs (a group that is neither white nor Christian) in China as they have a genocide carried out against them. Although, the economic entanglements here are more serious than with Russia, thus making them harder to break.
But Reid didn't mention the Uyghurs (or at least did not quote her doing so), and Tober said nothing about the Yemeni refugees that Reid did reference.
Curtis Houck kept up the whine, with his own version of defense, the next day:
On Tuesday’s CBS Mornings, co-host and Democratic Party donor Gayle King channeled MSNBC’s ReidOut host Joy Reid by playing the race card concerning the ongoing plight of the millions of Ukrainian refugees, lamenting that those who’ve come to the United States from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras “were not welcome” nor “received very well.”
In other words, the west has shown its racist bones by showing unity for displaced white people while scoffing at similarly innocent black and brown people.
King conveniently ignored the facts separating the two with Ukrainians given permission to cross the border to neighboring countries due to Russia’s unprovoked war while the latter group has flooded and crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.
Houck wasn't done reframing right-wing discrimination against refugees:
In essence, what Reid did was what RedState referred to as “whataboutism with the ongoing brutality against the Ukrainian people,” while ignoring what Ian Miles Cheong pointed out as a long track record of the west being “the most compassionate donors of developing nations in their times of need,” including earthquakes in Haiti.
We could restate the point about how flooding the U.S. southern border and expecting amnesty and welfare is entirely different from Ukrainians being shot at and shelled as part of a war by a nuclear state, but it’s safe to say it wouldn’t make a difference for King.
Houck didn't explain why, exactly, one class of refugee deserves to be treated worse than another simply because they're not "being shot at and shelled." And Ukrainian refugees are technically "illegal" too.
Meanwhile, Scott Whitlock whined in another March 8 post that Rep. Ilhan Omar -- who right-wingers like the MRC love to hate for being an outspoken liberal who's not a Christian -- pointed out the disparity:
Radical Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is at it again. The Democrat on Sunday called the U.S. hypocritical in terms how it deals with Ukrainian refugees vs. countries like Syria and Central America. She also appeared way out of step with most Republicans and Democrats, decrying “disastrous” military aide to Ukraine.
Yet on the networks? Crickets from them as they ignore the potentially embarrassing comments from the hard-left Democrat. But this is a pattern for ABC, CBS and NBC. Omar’s past hateful, bigoted and anti-Semitic comments get buried by the same journalists who initially promoted her.
Indeed, most of Whitlock's post is about attacking her for previous thing she said and nothing about rebutting the comments that prompted his little screed.
Alex Christy took up the complaint baton in a March 12 post:
As ordinary Ukrainians flee the country in order to escape from the Russian invaders, CBS Saturday Morning declared that, unlike other refugees, they benefit from their race.
As part of a video report, anchor Jericka Duncan interviewed historian Kimberly St. Julian Varnon on the racial aspect of the evacuations. St. Julian Varnon declared, “You know, it's—it’s-- one of those things where if you are a person of color and you work in Eastern Europe and research Eastern Europe, racism isn't new. I mean, the racial discrimination is not new, but to see it on display and being exacerbated by war, it was just really heart-wrenching.”
Christy had his own defense as well, regarding the claim about Syrian refugees at the border were treated:
While there were Syrians at the border in November and December, it is wrong to claim that crisis was a refugee crisis. There were also several non-refugee economic migrants from Iraq and they were victimized and all used as political pawns by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, who lied to them by promising they would be granted asylum there, to destabilize the E.U.
Tober returned on March 15 to parrot Christy blaming Lukashenko for creating a Syrian refugee crisis in Europe in criticizing MSNBC's Chris Hayes for bringing up Poland disparate treatment of refugees:
Hayes seemed to bemoan the fact that " Poland's right-wing Prime Minister along with the PMs from Slovenia and the Czech Republic met with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in Kyiv" as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine. The leftist host seemed stunned that Hungary and Poland who believe in strong borders and opposed "Syrian refugees are together accepting millions of people displaced from Ukraine."
This also ignored the fact that Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko manufactured the latest migrant crisis by lying to desperate refugees about them being allowed to enter those countries in an effort to destabilize the region. Hayes also didn't have the honesty to ask why other Middle Eastern countries didn't take in those refugees.
Ending his race-obsessed rant, he claimed that "there's a lingering question that’s been surrounding this war pushed by bad faith actors on the American right. You know why should I care? Who cares what happens in Ukraine? What do I have to do with Vladimir Putin?"
Aside from Hayes' usual knee-jerk reaction to make everything about race, it is clear that he needs to understand that Poland and Hungary are eager to help Ukrainians because they know what it is like to be victimized by Russian aggression. It should also be noted that Ukraine neighbors Poland. Neighbors help neighbors.
Clay Waters used an April 24 post to complaing that the New York Times published an article about Republicans' anti-immigrant strategy that includes demonizing (non-white and non-Christian) refugees, complaining that the reporters "were unable to make the obvious distinctions between war refugees flying in from Ukraine and random people crossing the southern border." And Ukrainian refugees aren't "random"?
Of course, one doesn't even need to leave the MRC headquarters for examples of disparate treatment. As we've documented, the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com hasn't fretted a bit about Ukrainian refugees coming to the U.S. even though it complained loudly that refugees coming to the U.S. from Afghanistan were supposed not sufficiently vetted.
The double standard is real, but the MRC wants you to think either that it doesn't exist or that it's completely justified.