Originally published on Medium
The quick acceptance of 100,000 Ukrainian refugees into the United States goes far beyond Joe Biden’s unchecked prejudice that came to the surface during the primaries leading up to the 2020 presidential election. It also comes as no surprise after Biden made his views abundantly clear when talking about Black people and immigrants of color. Ignoring it is what got us here.
President Biden showed his disdain for Latino immigrants several times leading up to his election. His views about Black people are also dated going back to the prejudicial ways of the United States in the 1960s and prior. Playing on old stereotypes revealed how he thinks about and views non-white populations.
From talking about Black people not knowing how to parent to telling immigrants who asked about his immigration policies to vote for Trump — which many did — there is much doubt Biden will change his tune despite his reelection aspirations. As it stands now, both the president and members of Congress face a growing lack of support based on their ignoring promises made and turning their backs on those who fought tooth and nail to remove Donald Trump from office.
Obviously, these are issues that revolve around white supremacy. Because of the racial reckoning of 2020, more people than ever before are (or should be) aware of these systems. Democrats saw record turnout, in part, because voters wanted to see Trump gone more than they supported Joe Biden. Were they truly concerned about Trump’s inhumanity, they would be outraged by what the United States is still doing to enforce those abhorrent policies.
While many have proven they simply don’t care and are fine with upholding race-based systems, Black people and people of color continue to voice their discontent with them. White people, corporations, and even elected officials at the city, state, and federal levels all spoke up about racist policing and other structures in 2020. Only to backtrack less than a year later.
Now, in 2022, we’re right back to where we were. Police continue to militarize using unfettered access to federal and state funds while schools, hospitals, and social services are back to scraping for money amid budget and staffing shortfalls. Yet, the vast majority of voters refuse to acknowledge these discrepancies. They cheer for Biden much like Trumpistas do for Trump.
U.S. Policy and Russian Policy
The war in Ukraine is horrifying. The images and stories we’ve seen are dreadful. But how different are they from what we saw come out of Afghanistan and Iraq? The war on terror has killed nearly one million people to date — not including the uncounted. While many will argue that the U.S. had justifiable reasons, the reality is, that it did not. No more so than Vladimir Putin.
There was no justification for the war in Iraq aside from the concocted stories of weapons of mass destruction and loose ties to terrorism around the world. It takes a colonialist/imperialist thought process to say, “but what we did was different,” while ignoring the death toll as a result of the lies promoted by warmongering politicians.
Those same elected officials have and continue to oppress Latin America.
If not for U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the usurpation of governments in the region, migrants would be less likely to seek asylum in the United States. Citizens of several LAC countries have been held hostage by the U.S. through its support of dictators and the overthrowing of their democratically elected leaders.
When the U.S. argues that its goal is to spread democracy around the world (as many said in the leadup to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), they’re using “democracy” as a tool for the war machine to profit. Meanwhile, as the U.S. military displaces millions, it and its allies closed their borders to non-white refugees and asylum seekers — evidenced by the war in Ukraine.
Taking it a step further, predominantly white countries in Europe, like the U.S., place refugees of color in detention centers. Criminalizing their search for safety from dictators and cartels like a page from the U.S. policy in Latin America playbook. Similarly, in Europe, non-white migrants aren’t only locked out of the continent, but they are forced into inhumane migrant camps while Ukrainians are met with open arms, housed, given employment, and government benefits.
Yet, African migrants escaping the same war zone in Ukraine are reportedly being held in detention centers — an issue Joe Biden nor any major media outlet is willing to discuss. Yet, it’s happening as we speak. While refugees of color are denied entry to the U.S. due to the Biden administration’s continuation of Trump’s inhumane and illegal policies, the current administration is allowing white refugees from Russia and Ukraine to bypass the supposedly closed border.
Republicans and Democrats alike have for decades denied migrants of color entry into the United States while allowing white migrants access. The current issues brought to light by the Trump administration were only made possible with bipartisan support and every administration since the 1960s.
Voters, however, were outraged only when Trump was in office illustrating that their concern was based more on their animus for Trump and not on the safety of asylum-seekers.